The book that nobody thought could be any good was actually excellent, and now, it comes to a close… Your Major Spoilers review of The Flintstones #12 awaits!
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Steve Pugh
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in The Flintstones: “You are now leaving Bedrock! The Great Gazoo is on his way home to the stars, while Fred and company leave the Church of Gerald, and Mr. Slate leaves behind being a jerk– at least for a little while. Say good-bye to Pebbles, Bowling Ball, Philip the turtle, Fred and Barney, and the whole cast in this final issue of what critics are calling the best comic of 2016!”
“FAREWELL TO BEDROCK”
When we read of plans to turn The Flintstones into a comic book satire of modern society, the Major Spoilers Podcast team was skeptical. I’m here to say that I, at least, was 100% wrong. This book has been a strange achievement, not precisely a joy to read, but fascinating in its assessment of the modern stone-age family. This issue is the big one, the bowling tournament where Fred and the men of Slate Quarry are at the edge of winning the bowling trophy that Mr. Slate wants desperately. The fact that his ex is the captain of the opposing team (The all-female Spare Ribs, which is one of the terrible/brilliant puns in these pages) might have something to do with it. Throughout the 12 issue run, though, Fred’s bowling ball has been chafing at the bit of his oppression, and his friends Lamp and Hatrack are worried he’s going to do something stupid. Pebbles is having an existential crisis, and the whole story is once again framed as The Great Gazoo reporting on humanity to his galactic bosses, his final report on whether the human race will be allowed to live and grow… or be wiped out for the betterment of the universe.
WEIRDLY APPLICABLE TO THE MODERN AGE
Mark Russell has an amazing talent for making the most mundane parts of the Flintstone’s story allegorical to modern society, with Pebbles’ search for meaning leading to the final words on the Church of Gerald. As for Fred, he manages to not only be a decent man, but to convince Mr. Slate to better (for a while, anyway), giving his search for meaning a mostly happy ending. The art is incredible once again, full of nice touches and side-jokes that somehow make the central narrative even better, adding depth and humanity to even the most terrible people in Bedrock. That fact that the last issue features the entire cast of the book waving goodbye to Gazoo (and by extension, the readers) is the perfect metatextual ending to a story that may be the most meta thing I’ve ever read. Some of my friends have found this book to be depressing and off-putting, but this issue finally wraps everything up by reminding us that life is a journey, not a destination, using the cartoons of our youth to address the difficulties of living in such a polarized and polarizing world.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A NICE FINAL TOUCH
In short, this book is excellent, the ending that this story deserved, and The Flintstones #12 earns a well-earned 5 out of 5 stars overall. I can’t say that it answers every existential question that it raises, but it leaves me feeling a little bit better about my life and my world, using the family designed for silly sitcom shenanigans 55 years ago to talk a little bit about the human condition. Fred Flintstone is truly the everyman and this chapter of his story is wonderfully satisfying.
Also, Bowling Ball needs his own solo series.