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DC’s ‘Hanna-Barbera Beyond’ Will Remix and Reimagine Classic Characters

Hanna-Barbera classic TV characters are getting a new injection of life this year, but not in the animation sphere.

DC Comics, whose parent company Warner Bros. also owns the Hanna-Barbera library, is launching a new comic book line of called “Hanna-Barbera Beyond” with “reimagined” concepts that keep “the heart and soul of the classic animation.”

The initial four titles arriving in May are Scooby Apocalypse, Future Quest, Wacky Raceland, and The Flintstones.

At a Wondercon panel last week, the creators of the comics explained how they’re re-imagining the concepts; for example, the Scooby gang first meets at Burning Man, and Fred and Daphne are Youtube stars.

DC editors haven’t ruled out the possibility that all the books will connect to create a larger story for the Hanna-Barbera universe. In the immediate future, the most likely new addition to the series will be a Jetsons comic.

Here’s more details from DC on the line-up:

Hanna-Barbera Beyond
  • Scooby Apocalypse – Featuring character designs by veteran artist Jim Lee and an origin story by Jim Lee and Keith Giffen (Justice League 3001), artist Howard Porter (Superman) will provide his own unique take on Freddie, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. “Those meddling kids” and their Mystery Machine are at the center of a well-meaning experiment gone wrong and they’ll need to bring all of their mystery solving skills to bear (along with plenty of Scooby Snacks), to find a cure for a world full of mutated creatures infected by a nanite virus that enhances their fears, terrors and baser instincts. This time, the horrors are real in this apocalyptic near-future badland!
  • Hanna-Barbera Beyond
  • Future Quest – Writer Jeff Parker (Aquaman, Justice League United, Batman ’66) and artist Evan “Doc” Shaner (Justice League Darkseid War: Green Lantern) join forces to bring fans new tales of adventure’s most iconic teenager, Jonny Quest, along with his sidekick Hadji. This series combines Team QUEST (Hadji, Race Bannon, Dr. Benton Quest and Jezebel Jade) with some of the most well-known action and adventure heroes ever created by Hanna-Barbera, including Space Ghost, The Herculoids, Birdman, Mightor, and Frankenstein Jr., among others.
  • Hanna-Barbera Beyond
  • Wacky Raceland – Take The Ant Hill Mob, Penelope Pitstop and Dick Dastardly, mix in a healthy dose of “Mad Max” and you get this dark and gritty take on Hanna-Barbera’s “Wacky Races,” courtesy of writer Ken Pontac (Reboot, Happy Tree Friends) and artist Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer), with vehicle designs by Mark Sexton (Mad Max: Fury Road). A time of hope and innocence with Utopia at the finish line has given way to planetary Armageddon and a desert wasteland full of radioactive lakes, nanotech dust storms, and cannibalistic mutants. Against this backdrop, the Wacky Racers and their sentient vehicles continue their contest, but now the competition is for survival, and there can only be one winner when the checkered flag falls.
  • Hanna-Barbera Beyond
  • The Flintstones – Based on character designs by Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn Starfire, writer Mark Russell (Prez, God is Disappointed in You) provides his own unique perspective on everyone’s “modern stone age family.” Russell will use Bedrock’s most popular family to shine a light on humanity’s ancient customs and institutions in a funny origin story of human civilization. Fred is still the simple man, striving to be the king of his castle, Wilma is still the tolerant but not-indulging wife and Barney (with his wife Betty and infant son Bamm-Bamm) is still the original wingman, whose loyalty to Fred often outweighs his common sense.
  • Mirrorstone

    This post made me check the date to make sure it’s not April 1st.

  • EHH

    Future Quest seems promising.

    • Brian D. Scott

      I’d agree – curious about the female Impossible!

      • Susan Gallagher

        I am female myself – and the last thing I want is some token female stuck in my all-time favourite The Impossibles to take attention away from the proper members! To please the extreme and of the PC bunch if that’s the case.

  • Elsi Pote

    Wow, go Warner go! a bit late, like with everything else, but very interesting takes.

    Now if you can finally release the Tom and Jerry Golden collection Vol 2, that will make my 2016.

  • Willie Okendo

    Johnny Quest and the super heroes will work in this style, but Scooby Doo, Wacky Races, and The Flintstones? What? Seriously?

    • Emmanuel Asiegbu

      Beat me to it!! :,-D

    • It’s Jonny without the H willie, get it right!

      • Willie Okendo

        Oh sorry, I was in a rush when typing the comment. Mistakes happen OK!

  • Jack Napier

    It’s hard to believe how utterly off the mark are the Flintstones and Scooby Doo concepts. Jim Lee is by no means a competent character designer (Fred! Tribal tats! Cool! Not!), and the “realistic” take on the Flintstones is so tone-deaf it hurts.

    • Honest_Miss

      Man, this is so unnecessarily harsh. It’s not even a critique, just being rude :

      • Gerry

        I’d like to disagree. I think his critique is pretty tame given how awful the subject matter is. Scooby-Doo and the Flintstones especially.

        These are the kinds of ideas I drew back in middle school. The kind I find 15 years later in a storage box and shudder at how embarrassing what I thought cool ideas or drawings where back then.

        I was 10. Not sure what the excuse is here.

      • Barrett

        I’d say the comments are spot-on, especially re: Scooby-Doo. I mean, the Flintstones one looks like an amusing bit of fan art, it’s not badly drawn, just off-putting given how cartoony the original characters are. I like that the general premise of the Flintstones one isn’t too radically different from the original. The Scooby one on the other hand makes me want it to die in a fire. I mean, where to begin? Hipster Shaggy, complete with punch-me goatee-stache? Borg Scooby? When the least-objectionable, in-character thing presented is Velma as a VR-goggle-wearing drone pilot, you know shiz gone south, son.

        Scooby-Doo has already been pushed to the breaking pint with “new premises.” Some of those, like the recent “Mystery Inc.” series, more or less worked and were worth exploring. Others, like “Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!” with the terrible character designs and nanobot-powered transforming Scooby, are almost too horrible to even bring up. I just can’t get behind what they’re doing on this Scooby comic.

        I will say the “Future Quest” one looks interesting, and has art that befits the classic H-B shows without slavishly imitating it. The Wacky Races-meets-Fury Road one could be entertaining, though I think it would have worked better as a short film than a still-frame comic series.

        • Susan Gallagher

          I do like dystopian adventure stories and would like the art and story here if it was not for characters which were just not made for this type of story! Would be great for Judge Dredd, but not the Wacky Racers, for goodness sake! Looks like the writers are using well-known characters to draw readers into something where only their names will have any resemblance to the oiriginal.

      • Jack Napier

        Sorry you feel that way.

  • Vraptor140

    Future Quest looks to have the best chance at being good. I’d expect the Flinstones to be average and don’t have much hope for the others.

  • The Jonny Quest comic sounds like the most faithful and sensible of the bunch on an artistic scale, but the rest of them just scream “OW THE EDGE”.

    Actually, I take that back, Wack Max: Fury Race looks pretty neat.

    • Ronnie

      I think Flintstones looks pretty alright, and I have faith in the writing team behind it.

  • So it’s Scooby-Doo for the hipster-millennial crowd?

    • ???

      Except…what hipsters/millennials would find this appealing? I mean, it looks stupid, yes, but it doesn’t exactly have that so-bad-it’s-good quality to be enjoyed in an ironic fashion, either.

  • SomeCallMeKash

    The only one people seem genuinely interested in is Future Quest. Everything else just looks like a parody.

  • Inkan1969

    I can’t begin to describe how ugly the character designs for the Flintstones are in this picture. Amateurish anatomy with badly rendered “realistic” versions of the characters’ heads.

  • Hankenshift

    Wow. Just when I didn’t think animation artwork could get uglier. This looks awful–made to appeal to people who hate cartoons. Awful.

  • Ridgecity

    Ok, I lost track of comics for 10 years and the first thing I see today is Jim Lee draws Scoody Doo like Joe Madureira would. I think I will return in 10 more years. please don’t tell me Adam Hughes is doing the Jetsons.

  • Uh, hi, Wacky Raceland? Tank Girl had “Skidmarks” in 2010, and “Fireball” in Deadline ran from 1991-92. You’re a bit late in coming.

  • Mi Hi

    Why?

  • I Think that Future Quest will be a bigger but a funtastic hit!

  • TKeen

    I’ll guess this guy is a comic-book artist – they don’t like drawing a genuinely fat, out-of-shape slob like Fred Flintstone. He has to make Fred muscular. Everyone knows Fred Flintstone was just Ralph Kramden in an animal skin.

    • Kpaqu1

      Amanda Conner is a woman.

  • StephaneDumas

    Could we see one day a re-imagining of characters from Filmation, Dic, Ruby-Spears, DePatie-Freleng, Rankan-Bass? ;-)

    • Nina

      As much as I hated “Inspector Gadget” as a kid, there’s a lot of potential there for a comic book series. Especially if the creators were to really have Penny shine. Her character was a rarity in ’80s cartoons – a smart and capable young female – yet the focus was on her bumbling uncle, and that always bothered me. I’d like to see her working more *with* her Uncle Gadget, rather than as someone behind the scenes.

      And then she could have her own spinoff series that could look at her and Brain solving their own mysteries, as well as flesh out her world, relationships, and school life. She’d be a great character to introduce today’s youngsters to, particularly girls, especially given how connected they are to their own tech devices.

  • Nina

    I do kind of like the idea of a gritty, contemporary spin on “Scooby-Doo” and “Johnny Quest”. I could definitely see serialized stories grow from those two properties. I could maybe also be down with a “Mad Max”-inflected “Wacky Races” just because it seems like a nifty crossover idea, but I don’t really know where they could take the series story-wise. The same goes for “The Flintstones”. If anything, the family from Bedrock seems better suited for a quick, daily comic strip, rather than a comic book series.

  • Hey Now

    I fail to see the “Wacky” part.

  • locboichris

    This kinda offends me as a cartoon lover and animator , like yes we know marvel n dc typa stuff is uber popular n breaking box office records but damn not everything needs to look real , and super dynamic. Classic cartoons need love too. (F..k disney cough cough) (zootopia was amazing cough cough)

  • dantes342

    this is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen.

  • GOATmaybe

    Fred looks so yoked man. Dude been working on his Guns hahahaha. Man that looks just so unnecessary. Future Quest does look cool though.

  • Wilma and Betty look more like crack whores now. Certainly trailer trash. Why?

  • Jimvanhise

    Jezebel Jade is not part of the original Jonny Quest. She was added in the 1980s to the poorly done animated revival because someone thought there had to be a female teenage character and she was just annoying and destroyed the chemistry the characters had, like in the second (last) season of the recent TV show Human Target where 2 extraneous female characters were added to the cast which ruined what had worked so well in season one. I’ll pass.

    • Susan Gallagher

      That’s what I think will happen if they do add a female member to The Impossibles.