It seems obvious that the recent rush of Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes crossover books was motivated more by marketing than good sense. One can picture some junior executive in the Warner Brothers offices trying to sell his bosses on the idea… ‘We own the cartoon characters! We own the superheroes! We put them together! It’s gold!’ Or it would be if the average kid today read comic books or remembered the Looney Tunes characters.
Despite this and the general comic reading audience’s refusal to take this sort of thing seriously, some writers managed to pan gold out of the premise. Batman/Elmer Fudd was a neat Film Noir thriller that turned everyone’s favorite hunter into a hired gun in Gotham City. The Snagglepuss Chronicles used Hanna Barbera’s animal characters to spin a complex tale of repression in the age of McCarthyism. And someone has got to be buying Scooby Apocalypse for it to have lasted over two years.
This brings us to Catwoman/Tweety & Sylvester Special #1 – a book which opens with a witches convention and a wager between Witch Hazel and The Kindly Ones as to what is the more witchy animal – birds or cats. This leads to Sylvester and Tweety being sent into the DC Universe and having one night to seek out a champion as they settle the matter once and for all, with the stakes being “reality as they know it!” And the lives of every bird or cat in the universe, along with any superhero and super-villain with a bird or cat theme.
‘No prethure’, as Sylvester would thay.
Whoever had the idea for this story, I know the title had to have been conceived by one of the aforementioned marketing weasels because they buried the lead. Yes, Catwoman is in this story. So are Tweety and Sylvester. But none of the promotional material for this book mentioned one very important fact: Black Canary is in it.
Oh, I’m well aware that the general public knows who Catwoman is far better than they know who Black Canary is and that she has more star power as it were. But if you wanted to make some serious clams selling this book to people who buy comics, all you need to say is that Gail Simone is writing Black Canary again and watch the Birds of Prey fans come running.
Certainly DC Comics fans will get the most value out of this book, if only for the fun of spotting all the references artist Inaki Miranda snuck into the background. Those who don’t enjoy this sort of game will have to content themselves with the well-written story and gorgeous artwork that somehow finds a way to translate a Tweety and Sylvester brawl into a more realistic art style. Not to mention the amazing colors of Eva De La Cruz!
So even if you’re not the sort of person who likes “funny animal” books, Catwoman/Tweety & Sylvester Special #1 is well worth checking out. And if you are the sort of person who likes “funny animal” books, you’ll love the back-up story, told in a traditional Looney Tunes animation style, where Tweety has to defend Granny’s home from Catwoman.
Catwoman/Tweety & Sylvester #1 releases on August 29, 2018!
Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.