In the art climate of today where sequels, prequels and remakes are a dime a dozen and intellectual property rights are being passed around like a parcel at a kids birthday, it isn’t shocking to see something like The Flintstones reimagined. Though you will be doing yourself a major disservice by glossing over this DC Hanna-Barbera crossover title as another chance to cash in on an existing audience. This hilarious comic by writer Mark Russell and brought to life by Steve Pugh sees the inhabitants of bedrock under a microscope like you have never seen them before.
Building on what the beloved animation did well all those years back and reflecting modern life hilariously through a prehistoric mirror, the comic soars well past appliance gags (though it has several) and into the heart of what it is to be human in a world that is far from natural. Taking a laugh out loud and unrestricted satire approach to everything, Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty and everyone else show us how ridiculous our lives can be in the pages of this astounding 12-issue run. If you think you know the Flintstones think again as these loin cloths wearing citizens of modernity tackle some of life’s biggest questions without missing a beat.
From the idea that our planet is overseen by technologically advanced aliens who treat us like zoo animals, to those from a different region who are seen as lesser beings the book tackles discrimination often. There is clear racism expressed by those who don’t like the look of the less modern cave men, despite their efficiency to work for less money (sound familiar?). The place of women in society is also constantly questioned by a forward-thinking Pebbles who is trying to find her place in the world.
Work & Money
Hard working family man Fred spends lots of time in the quarry turning big rocks into smaller ones, here he is constantly tasked by the rich owner Mr Slate, constantly throwing curveballs his way. Slate lives like a king while others in town struggle, all of which is made more ridiculous when you realise that rocks (the most abundant thing around them) are their currency. Nothing makes gold, diamonds, oil or cash seem more exploited than looking at them from this fun perspective.
Science & Religion
Answering the biggest questions isn’t something that Mark Russell shies away from here, as if philosophy and faith are first being stumbled upon here in Bedrock get to see how organisations deal with new ideas. The ever-shifting style and name of the deity in the monotheistic group makes for great laughs here, as we see leaders making things up as they go along. Science equally comes with lots of trial and error as we are introduced to professor Carl Sargon, who joyfully guides us through cave man logic.
One of the most abundant elements of modern society is handled with much self-deprecation here. Straight away the new invention of ‘crap’ sweeps the residents as they buy it up by the cartload despite it having no purpose other than to exist. We also see life from the viewpoint of a prehistoric household object, all of which are actually animals, which gives some of the most heart-warming moments in the book. Within a few pages you will question your amazon purchases, your job and your morals by laughing at idiots just like you.