Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #6 – Mark Russell, Brandee Stilwell, Writers; Mike Feehan, Penciller; Sean Parsons, Inker; Gus Vasquez, Backup Artist; Paul Mounts, Ross Campbell, Colorists
Rating: Ray – 8/10
Ray: It’s the conclusion in Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #6, Mark Russell’s historical, melancholy trip into the history of the Cold War, the red scare, and the gay rights movement as told through obscure Hanna-Barbera characters.
If you told me that I would love a comic with that logline, I would laugh at you, but Russell is nothing if not the king of DC political satire at the moment.
This final issue picks up five years after Snagglepuss told off the House Unamerican Activities Commission and was blacklisted in return. Now he’s picking up the pieces of his own life, unable to work. He pays one last visit to the old man who is estranged from his son before the old man dies – leading to a powerful twist ending to that subplot. Augie Doggy has gone on to a successful career as a novelist, inspired by Snagglepuss. However, the one return Snagglepuss wasn’t expecting is someone with ties to the late Huckleberry Hound.
That would be Quick Draw McGraw, the closeted gay police officer who betrayed his lover Huckleberry – but eventually found himself outed and disgraced just the same. Now, Quick Draw has found a second act in cartoons, and he wants to make amends by extending the same opportunity to Snagglepuss.
This is a strangely meta ending, explaining how these flesh-and-blood characters have come to be known as cartoons to us. The issue manages to tie in just about every character from the series, including Huckleberry Hound’s son and Snagglepuss’ old lover from Cuba. Most of them get some sort of a happy ending, and the series ties up with a hopeful note, even as the Cold War between the US and Russia continues to rage. The Detective Sasquatch backup, as always, is slight and odd and doesn’t really fit in with the themes of the series. It’s amusing on its own but feels out of place compared to the deep political satire of the Snagglepuss Chronicles.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.