DEATHSTROKE/YOGI BEAR SPECIAL #1 // Review
Just by judging from the title, it’s easy to think that this is probably a very terrible comic, with the uber-serious sometimes villain, sometimes anti-hero rubbing elbows with Jellystones own picnic basket thief. To what ends could either of these two characters have in common? In fact, why mix them together at all? The idea of the slapstick and the uber-serious crossing paths at any time can you leave you flabbergasted, but they have. The issue was written by Frank Tieri, and has artwork drawn by Mark Texeira, and, with the two combined, it makes for an exciting read.
Yogi Bear, who does what he always does, is trying to steal picnic baskets from the unsuspecting visitors of Jellystone Park. Ranger Smith, who is hot on his trail and chasing after Yogi, is trying to get back the stolen goods, but, in true Yogi bear fashion, Yogi ditches one of his picnic baskets, which in turn trips up Ranger Smith, allowing Yogi to find hiding in a nearby cave which is hidden by a waterfall. Waiting for him is his good friend and usual partner in crime, Boo Boo, who, shortly after saving Yogi, disappears. Distressed and needing help, yogi seeks out the one person who can help him find his friend: the infamous mercenary Deathstroke.
Taking slapstick comedy and giving it a realistic feel is no easy task. Too many of Marvels countless Deadpool titles have tried this, only to fail miserably. Frank Tieri, however, does stay remarkably close to the Hanna Barbera source material, and ties it into a story involving Yogi Bear and Deathstroke (of all characters), which makes for a pretty exciting read. Not only does he incorporate Yogi Bear but also a slew of other Hanna Barbera characters. With some of the lesser known, and some of the more well known, characters making appearances throughout the issue.
Mark Texeira lends his style of artwork to this issue, himself a veteran. His art provides a sense of realism to the characters he has worked on since his start in the mid-eighties, and it shows especially in this comic with the exceptionally detailed versions of classic cartoon characters.
This comic raises a lot of questions for the DC fanbase, will Hanna Barbera characters start making their way into the actual canon, or is this a one-off comic that provides a Who Framed Roger Rabbit type look at two very different characters? Also, just “why” in general? That being said, this issue does provide a fascinating story that sucks you in right from the start and holds you there until your finished with a fantastic mix of nostalgia and good storytelling.