I’m Hunting Pwayboys….SHHHHHHHHH
Show of hands, how many here watched Looney Tunes growing up? Really? That many? I can’t actually count who raised their hands and who didn’t because this is sort of a one-way conversation. Ain’t I a stinker…?
All kidding aside, Looney Tunes was a staple cartoon for generations of audiences worldwide, so when DC announced their special cross-overs with other characters I was fully on board. And while I was expecting the sort of wackiness that we saw from Legion of Superheroes/Bugs Bunny, I was blown away by Batman/Elmer Fudd. It’s freakin incredible. It’s dark, it’s noir, it’s gritty, and yet still as that sense of hilarity and irony inherent in Looney Tunes cartoons.
Written by Tom King, with art by Lee Weeks, and colors by Lovern Kindzierski, Batman/Elmer Fudd follows contract killer Elmer Fudd as he approaches Porky’s Bar. He is hunting wabbits (naturally) because Bug Bunny has done him wrong. The wabbit has killed his woman, Silver St. Cloud. But during the confrontation with the wabbit, Fudd learns that the hit was contracted by none other than Bruce Wayne. Which makes readers go “Wait a sec. Bruce doesn’t call hits on people. What’s goin on?” Fudd doesn’t pause. He heads right for stately Wayne Manor under the guise of a limo driver. He pushes past Alfred and unloads a couple of shells into Wayne at a party. Done and done. Revenge sated.
Back home…it’s not the case. The Batman follows Fudd (a sentence I’d never thought I’d say). They brawl and things get explained in a way only cape comics can. Between fists, blood, and bangs. The whole caper with Fudd, Wayne, Bugs, and Silver St. Cloud is a ruse and The Batman agrees to help Fudd get the bottom of it. So, it’s back to Porky’s to confront Bugs. It gets rowdy from there.
I’ve been impressed with Tom King’s Batman comics since Rebirth started, he’s done right by The Bat but I was skeptical about this cross-over. Turns out that was unfounded. Aside from the realism added to the narrative – turning the cartoon characters from the past into actual humans – the story is a dark and gritty romp through a Gotham that I wish was real. Porky’s bar is full of Easter Eggs that hearken back to my childhood and the comic reads like a tongue and cheek Dick Tracy story. And let’s not forget that Elmer Fudd is telling the story, with that familiar speech impediment that brings us all back to when we were kids. King really did something great with this single issue and I’d like to see a follow-up – one can hope, yeah?
Lee Weeks, sufferin succotash is this art amazing. It’s grainy, it’s dirty, it screams noir. There are entire pages of this comic with no dialogue, no monologue, and the reader is still reading feverishly. Not only is the a familiar version of Batman, but the way that the Looney Tunes characters are portrayed really makes you stop and take a second look. See how many of your classic favorites you can spot in this comic, all the regulars are there, you just have to look. Again, I would love to see a follow-up with this team of creators at the helm. If only…
In closing I highly recommend picking this comic up and in the immortal words of Porky Pig….That’s All Folks