By Dustin Cabeal
Blink. Blink. Blink.
If you came here to read a review telling you what this comic is about, then I’m afraid that I must inform you that I haven’t the foggiest. I know what I read. I understand what I read. I have no clue what the larger story will be about or why this tale is being told. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s the truth. I have no clue what Dastardly & Muttley is about; I only know what happened in the issue.
If you’re curious about it, you’re better off just picking it up and either being pleasantly surprised or more than likely confused and disappointed. As you can glean from cover, the title characters are pilots. This is where the story begins, well shortly after a nuclear explosion, our duo are flying, and “Mutt” has somehow snuck his dog onto the plane. Cue the mutation sequence right? Yeah, you’re going to have to wait a while for it, but they encounter a drone that they’ve been sent to shoot down, and it sprays them with cartoon gas which makes everything a little toony.
The dialogue is probably trying to be funny. I have to assume that since it never once made me laugh or amused me. It instead was a chore to read and seemed to be excessive. There are dialogue bubbles everywhere, and it just feels overbearing considering the content. There’s also a spot in which the four wall is broken, and I kind of sighed at that point. I didn’t even realize it was Ennis writing it, but it seemed as bad as his series last year. His humor is just really dated.
The art is surprisingly great. I mean DC should probably give the artist a top tier title after this because it was the best part of the comic. It’s realistic, with a hint of Gary Frank’s style, but softer facial features. The planes looked detailed and realistic, and when the crazy cartoon shit hits, it didn’t look strange or out of place. It was like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but not if you watch it today, but as a kid when it looked good seeing the live action and cartoon elements blended.
The thing is, I just don’t know if I care about the story. I got the gist; I just have no idea where it’s going to go. I’ll likely read the next issue and maybe even finish the mini-series, but it’s not great. It’s just okay. It could be a lot better or at the very least more entertaining. The jokes are low hanging fruit, hell; some have fallen off the tree. It depends on what the next issue does, but this first issue will leave you feeling confused before and after you read it.
Dastardly & Muttley #1