The Weekend Reading List: The Flintstones Vol. 1

The Flintstones Vol. 1 by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh

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  • Publication Date: March 28, 2017
  • Humor, fiction, graphic novel, childhood nostalgia factory, yabba dabba doo, cavemen, social commentary
  • 3.6/5
  • WARNINGS: A bit of dark and dry humor in this one and there’s definitely some extensional life crisis stuff going on in this one compared to the Scooby-Doo reboot.

From Amazon:

“Hanna-Barbera has created some of the most recognizable animated characters of all time. As part of DC Comics’ re-imagination of cartoons like SCOOBY-DOO, THE FLINTSONES, JOHNNY QUEST, SPACE GHOST, and WACKY RACERS, these new series will be infused with modern and contemporary concepts while keeping the heart and soul of the classic animation.

Fred and Barney reunite for Mark Russell’s modern take on Hanna-Barbera’s most famous stone-age family!

Welcome to Bedrock, where Paleolithic humans head to dinner for a taste of artisanal mammoth after shopping at Neandertall & Big Men’s Clothing, where Wilma shows her modern art, and where, if you take a plane, you could end up sitting on the literal tail section. See Fred, Wilma, Pebbles, Dino, Barney, Betty and Bamm-Bamm as you’ve never seen them before in THE FLINTSTONES VOL. 1.

THE FLINTSTONES has garnered significant critical acclaim for its modern take on the iconic Hanna-Barbera prime-time animated series. This darkly hilarious title cast an acerbic eye on issues like consumerism, religion, politics and relationships that’s both distinctly twenty-first century and uniquely the Flintstones!

The critically acclaimed creative team of Mark Russell (PREZ) and Steve Pugh (ANIMAL MAN, SWAMP THING) set out to turn a beloved classic cartoon into a modern graphic novel masterpiece with THE FLINTSTONES VOL. 1, which collects THE FLINTSTONES #1-6.”

Zo’s Review:

Recently, there has been an explosion of childhood nostalgia just blowing up over the place. The Flintstones Vol. 1 is another addition to this trend. Unlike Scooby-Doo Apocalypse  which completely did a revamp of the Mystery gang and took several liberties in their new portrayal, I wasn’t sure exactly what would, or better yet, could be done with this reboot.

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For Flintstones Vol. 1, we’re reacquainted with the town of Bedrock, its inhabitants, and our favorite caveman, Fred Flintstone. In terms of basic story backgrounds, everything is still the same as the original Flintstones series. Fred still works at the quarry, pre-historic animals are still used as household furniture/cleaning items, and Fred and Barney are still best friends. Unlike the Scooby-Doo re-imagination – or maybe similarly – the Flintstones Vol. 1 gives a bit more depth and an interesting take on a basically uncharted backstory for our favorite “modern stone age family”. It even answers what used to be my biggest question growing up watching the cartoon: “If the Flintstones are ‘modern’, what’s their version of ancient?”. That’s one of the things that this new version actually answers. There was actually a time and culture before Bedrock was established which adds depths to the world building (and answers young Zo’s burning curiosity).

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One thing I really appreciate about this new version of the Flintstones is its commentary of American society. Both Fred and Barney are war vets just trying to live their lives while also dealing with some residual effects of having fought and survived a war that they didn’t really understand the purpose of (guilt, PTSD, etc.). There is also a commentary on religion, relationships, and consumerism. I was actually surprised with how dark/serious some of the themes were in this adaptation. Though some of the topics barely scratched the surface, it was much more serious and thought provoking than I was expecting. I mean, I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this reboot. Slap-stick humor? Laughs? Sure. Social/political commentary? Sur-wait, what?

I’ll admit, when I first started reading Flintstones Vol.1 I thought it definitely paled in comparison to some of the other reboots out there. However, in retrospect, I think I was just expecting a different sort of humor than what it was actually giving and that’s not a bad thing. If you want in your face humor, this one probably is not for you. However, if you’re a fan of dry humor The Flintstones Vol.1 definitely has potential.

Though I did like the characters in this volume (especially teenage Pebbles and Bam-Bam), I will admit that it did seem a bit hard to connect the characters in this re-imagination with their original cartoon source material. If it wasn’t for the signature clothing and obviously the names of the characters, I’m not sure if I would recognize Fred as Fred Flintstone from the Flintstones. Admittedly, The Flintstones never had as many re-imaginations as other series so the creators of this series probably took it as an opportunity to play around a bit with things. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, at least for me, just something that I thought was interesting.

Overall, if you want a modern spin on your favorite modern stone age family and to have a yabba dabba doo time, I would definitely recommend The Flintstones Vol. 1.

I received a copy of this book from the NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

What do you all think? Have you read The Flintstones Vol. 1 already? Have any other book suggestions that I should add to my Weekend Reading List? Leave your thoughts behind in the comments. Just be respectful please.

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