The Flintstones has been one of the biggest surprises in the world of comic books over the last year. Writer Mark Russell has adapted the “modern Stone Age family” into a genius collection of social and political commentary. Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special #1 – one of a series of Hanna-Barbera related tie-in specials that DC Comics released this week – sees Russell incorporating a beloved hero that has yet to make an appearance in Rebirth into the reality of The Flintstones.
Time-traveler Booster Gold is on a date, which gets interrupted by an alien invasion of Gotham City. As is his MO, Booster sees this as an opportunity to save the day and become the world’s most celebrated hero. Naturally things don’t go according to plan, Booster winds up in cave-man times and he enlists Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble to help him repair his ship so he can return to his own time. Along the way, they interact with a few supporting characters from The Flintstones and hilarity ensues.
Mark Russell’s ongoing Flintstones series is one of the smartest and bravest books on the market. This crossover, unfortunately, is nothing like the regular series. This special is very much a Booster Gold story, with some minor Flintstones interaction. It’s almost as if it was written by somebody else who didn’t know what to do with the characters from Bedrock. This is unusual but not necessarily awful.
As a Booster Gold story it’s pretty good. The issue is funny and it’s been a while since we’ve seen Booster in a new comic book. As far as crossovers go, however, it’s lackluster. The Flintstones involvement is uninspired, which doesn’t make sense given how brilliant the ongoing series has been.
The art also does more favors to Booster Gold than his caveman collaborators. Rick Leonardi’s style seems better suited to the time traveling hero than Fred and Barney. This is by no means a poorly drawn or colored book – it just does not fit The Flintstones as effectively as we are accustomed to in their monthly title.
Like the other crossover specials, this one features a back-up story setting up a title in the second wave of DC Comics ‘s Hanna Barbera initiative. This issue’s back-up features The Jetsons, making their modern comics debut in a story by Jimmy Plamiotti and Amanda Conner.
The short story teases a more modern take on the Jetson family, similar to that of The Flintstones. Readers are introduced to this take on the family through a more uncomfortable origin for Rosie The Robot Maid. It’s too short of a story to get a good read on what to expect from the upcoming title, but the artwork is decent and it’s good enough to garner interest. If The Jetsons is half as good as The Flintstones has been, it’ll be worth a read.
Overall, Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special #1 is not the strongest crossover offering, but it isn’t a terrible experience either. The biggest problem with this book is that The Flintstones has been so phenomenal that seeing them take a backseat to Booster Gold, even for one crossover story, is unsatisfying. Fans of Mark Russell’s ongoing series may be disappointed but Booster Gold fans will likely enjoy this issue.