The fastest man alive meets…the fastest car…alive? Does The Flash Speed Buggy Special #1 tear up the track, or sputter at the starting line?
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Brett Booth
Inkers: Norm Rapmund, Mark Irwin, Marc Deering, Matt Banning, John Livesay
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse, Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: 05/30/2018
Previously in Flash Speed Buggy Special: Part origin story, part adventure with the Speed Force, action-packed, and a whole lot of fun.
THERE’S SOMEONE NEW IN THE SPEED FORCE
In the midst of a battle with Kilg%re, Wally West is surprised by a new face in the Speed Force – a guy in a car. This is Dr. M. Blanc (a nice shout-out to the amazing Mel Blanc, who voiced Speed Buggy), formerly with S.T.A.R Labs, and this little “speed buggy” is one of his projects. (The solicits named him as Dr. Pernell; my preview copy had Dr. Blanc – I hope my version is true because it is awesome.) Dr. Blanc wants to do more testing. Wally has his misgivings but decides to help to keep an eye on the scientist. In The Flash – Speed Buggy Special #1 we also get a nice moment of Dr. Blanc looking in on his daughter Debbie, with her friends Mark and Tinker, as they work on an old car. He has not actually talked to her in ten years, which is sad. But this introduces us to the Speed Buggy kids in a nice way.
But back to the action! Wally and Dr. Blanc start racing and crash and burn in another place, another time. Wally finds the car, but where is the scientist? With a spoken “Vroom, vroom!” the car comes to life and there’s a brief fight until Dr. Blanc regains his senses, but he has now merged with his car. Just then, Savitar shows up, along with his partners for this issue – Speed Demon Buggy and Reverse Speed Buggy (who says, “Moorv, moorv!”) whereupon I just about fell out of my chair. Yes, this was all a fiendish plot by Savitar to sabotage Dr. Blanc’s work to get him to break the Speed Force. We have some fighting and some time travel shenanigans, but Speed Buggy saves the day, although Dr. Blanc is now permanently fused with his car. On the flip side, he can now keep an eye on his daughter, as he goes to the garage and subs himself in for their junker car. There is also a nice little epilogue that mentions Speed Buggy traveling the world, winning races, and solving crimes.
BIG, BOLD AND COLORFUL
There is a lot of action in The Flash – Speed Buggy Special #1, and the art reflects it. When we have fights, the poses are dramatic with movement, but I never lost the flow of the story. If I am not mistaken, Dr. Blanc is drawn to look like a young Mel Blanc, which is a nice tribute. Speed Buggy is instantly recognizable, except he looks a lot beefier here, especially when he’s fighting. It’s a pretty good look on him. I like the pacing in that there are some moments of calm between the fights, and the art reflects that calmness. The splash with Savitar and Speed Demon Buggy and Reverse Speed Buggy is terrific, and I loved the takes on the evil Speed Buggy counterparts. I’m sure there are details I missed, but there is a little Jabberjaw cameo in Dr. Blanc’s lab. And in the epilogue, we have some cute crowd shots featuring a lot of familiar faces from both the DC and Hanna-Barbera universes.
BOTTOM LINE: SPEEDSTERS – YAY!
This is a really fun origin story for Speed Buggy, which is also a very satisfying Flash story. It is an exuberant, crazy, and action-packed. If you love the Flash, go buy this book. If you love Speed Buggy, go buy this book. If you love having wonderful things in your world like puppies, kitties, and DC/Hanna-Barbera crossovers, go buy this book.