Things get weird in Bedrock, and an old green friend makes his first appearance…  Your Major Spoilers review of The Flintstones #3 awaits!

flintstone3coverTHE FLINTSTONES #3
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Steve Pugh
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in The Flintstones: Fred Flintstone lives in a world of stone and dinosaurs, trying to keep his modern stone-age family aloft in a world that he really never seemed to understand.  And now, things are gonna get even weirder…


We open at the Bedrock Cave of Science and Technology as Doctor Sargon (who looks not unlike a certain late Doctor Sagan) shows Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm’s eighth-grade class their newest wonder: Space travel!  To wit, putting a chimpanzee in a hollowed-out stone and fling him as far as they can with a catapult.  It’s a really funny scene, made better by the use of quotes from ‘Space Oddity’, ending with the revelation that the not-at-all-successful flight has attracted the attention of aliens from space.  Things get metaphorical from there, as Fred and his fellow veterans have to deal with a society that doesn’t know what to make of them now that the wars are over.  It’s pretty heavy stuff, balanced with a plot about the ills of tourism as aliens kids make their way to Bedrock to celebrate their ‘Galactic Break.’  Fred mobilizes his friends to defend their world, while Pebbles seeks a different solution…


The truly unbelievable part of this issue for me is how much heart it has, even under the black humor and occasional disintegration.  The last page joke is a scathing shot at how society treats its veterans, that also serves as a perfect fillip on humor of the opening pages.  Steve Pugh’s art captures the details of The Flintstones’ world in recognizable fashion, but with less-cartoony proportions and realistic detail.  The humor is constant, scathingly funny and skillful, weaving important sociological observations into the narrative.  I will say that the recurring joke about hold music at the Suicide Hotline really missed the mark with me, but I can at least see it’s place in the overall narrative of the issue.  I’m wonderfully surprised at how creative this comic book has been, and this issue is no exception, hitting the mark with Mr. Slate’s greed, Wilma’s artistic intentions and the origin of The Great Gazoo (“It translates roughly to ‘Game Warden'”) all tied together with a plot that bobs and weaves, leaving no target unlampooned…


The long and short of it all is: This issue is very confusing, in all the best ways.  The Flintstones #3 takes aim at modern society through the lens of cavemen (the Bedrock School Bus panel was quite amusing) who aren’t really cavemen at all, with amusing jokes, good-looking art and only a few bits that didn’t land, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  The real question with The Flintstones isn’t “Who is this comic aimed at?” but instead “Will the fans of irony and social commentary realize that this book is where it’s at?”  I’m hoping the answer is yes…



It's an issue that's genuinely funny, unexpectedly touching and pretty to look at, with a few false notes.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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