Review: Wacky Raceland #2

New issue, new racetrack, and a the same group of talking cars with batshit crazy owners behind their respective wheels, all of them racing to get a chance at paradise. The gang is in San Francisco, while the rest are trying like crazy to get first place and not to die, Dick Dastardly gives himself a pitstop to revisit some of the ghost that haunt his past life. It’s Wacky Raceland #2: The Wackening.

Some of the problems plaguing the first issue, are fixed just by reducing the amount of voices and timelines happening at the same time. And by problems I mean it was a jumbled mess, whereas Wacky Raceland #2 was easier to follow. There was a clear reason for the flashback, unfortunately their geographical location was the only reason for it.

WRAC_Cv2_dsI sort of understand the idea behind making all the characters completely out for themselves, it worked for the show because most of those characters were the exact caricatures you saw on the screen, there was no grounding element needed when a laughing dog tried to trip the car containing two cavemen. This doesn’t translate when transforming the characters and injecting them with more reality than we’re used to seeing them. Then we do need something to relate to these humans trying to survive a post-apocalyptic wasteland by racing. But it’s not there, I searched and found nothing to grasp onto and care about these characters, they’re all bastards. As this issue focused on Dick Dastardly all I saw was a Dick move after another from this racer I’m supposed to be interested in. While everyone else s racing for their life, he stops at the old San Francisco Opera House, which triggers a flashback that shows the kind of life he had before the wasteland. All I saw was that he was a bastard then, and continues to be a bastard. I find it hard to believe any of the other characters will be any different. There is more semblance of Trans representation in this issue, but I don’t think having Sergeant Blast show up so a neo-nazi can continuously yell bigotry at her is the right way to do it.

The art is busy, sometimes too busy. There are missed moments on each panels that forced me to go back and catch up when the dialogue was assuming I had seen a small bit that happened during an incredibly busy action sequence. I love the depictions of the cars. The details that Manco has for his inks work very well with such complex Mad Max-like machines, the angles sometimes work against them, one too many closeups on a car and you’re as confused as watching a fight scene between two robots in a Michael Bay Transformers flick. Less quantity and more substance is the game to play. It is okay to not have all of the cars at each other’s throats all the time.

Wacky Raceland takes the look from Mad Max and the concept from Death Race, it strips them of their personality and human factors, drops the caricatures from the Hanna-Barbera show in the middle of it and really wants you to care, when we just don’t.

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Wacky Raceland #2
Writer: Ken Pontac
Artist: Leonardo Manco
Colorist: Mariana Sanzone
Publisher: DC Comics
Price $3.99
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital