Deathstroke/Yogi Bear Special #1 – Frank Tieri, JM DeMatteis, Writers; Mark Texeira, Tom Mandrake, Artists; Jeromy Cox, Hi-Fi, Colorists
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: Not…completely bad?
Ray: Three waves in, the DC/Hanna Barbera specials have been an interesting mixed bag of genius, nonsensical fun, and utter disaster.
Deathstroke/Yogi Bear Special falls in the secondary category – an amusing diversion that doesn’t do all that much for either of the characters involved but delivers an entertaining story. The presence of Frank Tieri on writing gives you a pretty clear idea of what to expect – a lot of cartoonish ultraviolence – and it delivers. Yogi Bear is played fairly straight in this issue, an overly intelligent talking bear who spends his days being stealing picnic baskets and tormenting Ranger Smith. But then Boo-Boo goes missing during a heist, and Yogi seeks out help from an unlikely source. That unlikely source would be Deathstroke, who is introduced in a dingy bar brutalizing the Daltons, a trio of dimwitted bank robbers from the cartoons. After a brief fight, Yogi manages to get Deathstroke to help him track down what’s happening to the animals in Jellystone Park – a bizarre phenomenon turning them into ravenous monsters.
From there, the issue combines ultraviolence with slapstick, in a way that doesn’t feel all that different from what you’d expect from Hanna-Barbera. The main issue is that Deathstroke himself feels rather out of character. This is probably just me being so used to the Priest version of the character that this sarcastic gun for hire feels more like a toned down Deadpool at times. Eventually, they trace Boo Boo to an underground lair where animals are being transformed into mutants by an evil alliance of HIVE and some obscure Hanna-Barbera villains named The Creeplys. These Addams-esque villains provide some good laughs, but their plot is disproportionately evil for their appearance. The main story had a pretty great punchline, though.
Then comes the continuation of the DeMatteis-penned Secret Squirrel story last seen in Scooby Apocalypse, as Squirrel, Morocco Mole, and their human allies deal with the return of their arch-nemesis, the thought-dead Yellow Pinkie. It has some intriguing twists near the end, but I’m not sure how much mileage they can get out of these characters.
Corrina: It’s a violently cartoonish story, which is absolutely what you’d expect from this kind of crossover, especially with Deathstroke. There are a few things that raise the entertainment value, from Ranger Smith having all the good lines to Deathstroke having fun taking down the Daltons, and the weird, crazy image of Deathstroke being attacked by tentacles. (The comic doesn’t go there but Insert one’s dirty tentacle joke of choice, here.)
Using HIVE to experiment on animals makes for sound plotting, as much as it can be when mixing DC characters with talking animals, and I genuinely did worry a bit about Boo-Boo, strapped to the table as he was.
As for the back-up, there’s a talking squirrel along with a skimpily dressed woman and that’s about the level of the story.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.