I haven’t read much Batman in the past few years. I’ve heard really good things about Scott Snyder’s run on the book but I’ll be honest, I only have so much money and DC doesn’t send me review copies of anything. But then they did something odd that I couldn’t pass up.
One day, I’m going through the Diamond catalog and I happen upon the solicits for a batch of DC/Looney Tunes one-shot crossovers.
“Well, that’s kind of dumb… wait… is Lee Weeks drawing Batman/Elmer Fudd? … Palmiotti and Mark Texeira on Jonah Hex/Yosemite Sam? Crap, guess I have to get at least two of these books.”
Holy crap, am I glad that I did.
Let’s tackle Hex and Sam first. Hex is hired on by Yosemite Sam in order to help protect him and his gold claim from foul play. Now if you are expecting anvils and that kind of thing, forget it. This is very close to the version of Hex we saw in Palmiotti’s previous runs, complete with Sam shooting guys in the head. The story itself is well written and self contained. Palmiotti deals with oddities like a giant chicken man (Foghorn Leghorn) in a sort of realistic manner that fits with the story nicely and you never really question his appearance. Texiera is… well, Texiera. He was born to draw westerns and this book is no exception. I was actually a bit surprised by how much I loved his versions of Foghorn Leghorn and Yosemite Sam.
Batman/Elmer Fudd goes a bit of a different route. All of the Looney Tunes characters are fully human but still carry a lot of their trademarks. Fudd still has his speech immediate which is obvious from the word go as he is the narrator for this noir tale. Fudd has come to Gotham to track down his girlfriend’s killer and finds himself aiming at Bruce Wayne. The story is great. It manages to be something new and different yet still captures the spirit of all the characters involved perfectly. I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t read much of Tom King’s work but this book makes me really interested in reading more.
Lee Weeks does a bang up job of doing exactly the same thing as King: He brings something new to the characters. Especially his human version of Bugs Bunny. It’s very clear that the characters are who they say they are.
My one wish in this world is that when companies go to do future weirdo crossover comics, that they take a look at both of these books. While I obviously wasn’t in the meetings between editors and creators, it really feels like there was very little interference. It’s like DC and Warner Brothers told the creative teams, “Do what you guys do best,” and these awesome books came out.
Oh DC, I’d love to write an Adam Strange/Duck Dodgers if you do this again next year.
In the meantime……
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!