Browsing the local comic shop is a pastime any nerd will tell you is a favored one. Looking around for something new, catching up with the other nerds, chatting up the owners and clerks about what new stuff is around the corner is a hobby I partake in weekly. While looking through DC’s library of books though there was something that looked a little out of place, its slightly muted colors and characters with outfits defying the current norm of overcomplexity all looked strange. Moments later, two neurons rubbed together and the fire dance of memory.
That cover is made of nostalgia and smiles
The plot is simple but has a lot of moving parts to it. There are a ton of characters that all need to be given impetus to be involved and the story accomplishes this by threatening the whole of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon universe with an extra-dimensional evil, one which nearly destroyed forces of good in a far flung future save for one who inherited the weight and responsibility of the power bands.
Flash back to Earth and more heroes converge as mysterious portals start to appear across the world and Dr. Benton Quest and the team must investigate with the help of the forces of good. Including the irreplaceable Birdman and The Impossibles, a well-meaning rock band trying to find a way to help as agents of good while struggling to stay relevant in the fast-paced music industry. Even more come together as the portals start piecing together the evil and the hero from the future, Space Ghost, readies to do battle against it.
Despite all the pieces on the board, all of them feel important and are given their chance in the sun. This is accomplished because of the writer, Jeff Parker of “Fall of Hulks” fame, writes these characters as simple as they are complex. These older characters are given slightly more story and character, but they do not stray too far and lose the quintessence of what made those characters fun, to begin with.
Parker demonstrates an understanding of adaptation expertly when handling these older characters. The Impossibles have been modernized to reflect the shifting interest of a fanbase, illustrating this with lines like “Then our fans grow up and suddenly they hate us just as much as they loved us.” Space Ghost has been given more story and reason for his battles against evil with his lost team and his search for Jan & Jayce. Birdman is probably the most intact of the Saturday morning lineup, as he is representative of an older time of comics, where he served not only as a force of good but a role model for children.
Everything about this screams “Comics Code era hero”
This book isn’t for everyone, though, there’s no real commentary on the world of today. The washed out art and color palette, while keeping in with the era of the characters may not appeal to everyone save some modern video game fans. This could sometimes be construed as children’s literature with how it’s presented, but at the end of that, is that so bad? This is a great book to pick up if you want to relive the mornings and nights, hopped up on sugary cereals and just have a good time. While this isn’t a life or game changer, I’m looking forward to the next release.