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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.