Comic Review: The Flintstones Volume 2

I don’t normally jump back into a series when I read trades.  I generally just grab one and read it, getting back to a series I like when I can.

But I really liked that first Flintstones trade, and there were only 12 issues total over two trades, so here we are.

As with the previous book, the series takes a more adult, satirical look at modern life using the characters from The Flintstones as a way of exploring modern foibles.  This is a comic that covers things like income inequality, a disposable society, war, democracy, gender roles, the nature of science and religion, and community standards groups.

What jumps out to me most after finishing the series is how little it has to do with Fred Flintstone.  Fred isn’t scheming to get ahead or anything.  If anything, he comes across as a humane straightman, someone who spends time ignoring Mr. Slate’s “profit above all” ideas to dig a guy out of a quarry rockslide.  This is a man who saw war and gives a really heartfelt speech against the Mayor of Bedrock Clod the Destroyer.  Clod wants to go to war with the Lizard People for…no reason, really.  It’s just what Clod wants and ran on.  To get the money for the dinosaur armor they’d need, Clod needs to close the Children’s Hospital.  Fred gets up and argues that men have two purposes in life:  their part in producing children, and then protecting said children.  Fred’s point is that the men of Bedrock are good at the first part, but if they close the hospital, they’d be bad at the second.

Naturally, the vote goes against Fred and the women voters he was siding with.

There’s a lot of clever jokes here, with some nice updates on numerous characters like the Great Gazoo and Dino, while also having a nice story running through about the friendship between the small elephant vacuum cleaner and Fred’s armadillo bowling ball.  Writer Mark Russell and artists Steve Pugh and Rick Leonardi do some really good work here, working with the sort of humor the old animated series had while updating it for a more mature 21st century audience.  This gets my highest recommendation.  10 out of 10 just read this thing already!

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