~ by Michael Tennant, the CBU’s Nightwing ~
Our forever young-at-heart, Tom King-lovin’ scribe Michael T. has been enjoying the DC Comics/Looney Tunes mashups and naturally a Tom King-penned one has inspired him to write a brief review . . .
Did you ever imagine ELMER FUDD as a hired killer in a hard boiled noir comic?
Tom King did.
Full disclosure: Tom King is one of my favorite writers. Not of just Batman, or superhero comics, but of all comics. From Grayson to Omega Men to Sheriff of Babylon to his current run on Batman, everything he touches is just right. So when I heard he would be writing one of the DC Comics/Looney Tunes crossover books, I was in.
And Mr. King did not disappoint.
In the other books in this series, the creative teams kept the Looney Tunes characters consistent with how they appeared in the comics from the past. In this issue they’ve transported those anthropomorphic characters right into the lovechild of Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon. And it works!
Reading the first few pages of this masterpiece I could not help but hear Fudd singing…’Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit’ (maybe that’s just me).
Fudd is the narrator with his particular speech patterns brought to life. Hunting who else, but Bugs ‘The Bunny’—he just reminds me of Peter Lorre strait out of his role in Casablanca. The classic lines are there, if starkly different. Hunter. Prey. But also a bit of old friends and adversaries.
The art by Lee Weeks is perfect with deep shadows, light falling just where it should. It’s as if he had been working on Noir style books all his life. The atmosphere he creates is a character all its own.
The story has all the elements you’d expect: danger, misdirection, double-crosses, and of course, a femme fatale.
King has jokes too:
“Fudd, you ever been to Albuquerque?” Bugs says.
“Nope,” Fudd says.
“Yeah. Me neither.” Bugs says.
So simple, dark and funny.
When the inevitable meeting between Fudd and Batman goes down, we do not get a bumbling Fudd. Instead we get a cold, calculating killer. Someone worthy of going up against Bruce. This book gives you everything you did not know you wanted, and more.
One of my favorite parts of the entire book was the choice of the femme fatale. Rather than going to the well with CATWOMAN (I mean, she is the current love interest of Batman now), King steps back into the past to bring us SILVER ST. CLOUD. These little touches just add layers upon an already great story.
The cherry on top of it all is the last panel. Porky the owner/bartender of the bar where much of the story takes place ends it the only way it could . . .
Author Info: After discovering Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes #239 as a young man, Michael never looked back. Armed with a passion for journalism and a thirst for knowledge, he still talks to his imaginary friends.