The Jetsons #5 – Jimmy Palmiotti, Writer; Pier Brito, Artist; Alex Sinclair, Colorist
Ray – 10/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Thus far, The Jetsons has been a fascinating musing on progress, life, death, and what it means to be human, told through the filter of a surprisingly normal family. In The Jetsons #5, all those themes come to a head in an explosive penultimate issue that leaves multiple lives in the balance. There are only two days left until the meteor hits Earth, and George presented his family with the chance for some of them to survive, via Mr. Spacely’s rocket – but there isn’t enough room for everyone, and he plans to stay behind. Jane changed that plan, insisting they’ll both stay behind and let Rosie look after the kids. The opening half of the issue, despite the hanging doom, is surprisingly sweet, as George celebrates his birthday with his family, including a pair of unique gifts from the kids – and a surprising revelation about his new powers, courtesy of Astro. But the ticking clock is always on everyone’s minds.
Then the story takes a massive twist, as George is called into work, only to find out its false pretenses – he’s not needed for repairs, but rather for a secret mission organized by Spacely’s assistant Lydia, who believes they can destroy the meteor with a stolen, banned nuclear bomb. This will require them to fly Spacely’s shuttle up to the meteor and detonate it manually – dying, but ensuring Earth lives on. George agrees – but he has another plan for his copilot, sparing Lydia and teaming up with his mother for a suicide mission. His final goodbye to his family is easily one of the most powerful scenes in any comic this year – but as usual with this comic, not everything is what it seems. There’s a lot of questions to be answered in the final issue – about Earth, about the creatures, about the meteor – but what is already completely clear is that this is easily the crown jewel of the Hanna-Barbera line, and one of the best comics DC has put out in recent years.
Corrina: This story is earnest and heartwarming and sweet and all the things that the more cynical stories in comics are not and I love it for that.
It strikes me that for all the reimagining that DC is doing with these H-B properties, the ones that have worked the best are those that have taken the existing cartoons seriously and delved deeper into their storyworlds. Future Quest and Future Quest Presents have done this brilliantly, even finding gems in properties like Birdman, which had become something of a joke.
For the Jetsons, Palmiotti has taken the idea of a basic nuclear family, (parents, two kids) in the future and started asking questions about the world around them. Why are the people living in space? What caused it? What might change it? What other dangers do they face? And he’s taken the idea of family seriously, turning the Jetsons from a typical sitcom two-dimensional with unfortunate anachronisms (Jane, his wife) into a modern family where everyone has something to contribute, from George’s tech skills to Jane’s science, to Judy’s studies, and Elroy’s explorations. And we won’t even mention the wonderful twist on Rosie that’s so much a part of this issue. There have been expansions on the Cosgroves, too.
But, mostly, the Jetsons comic is a story about love and family and wonderful emotional power derives from that.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.