Friday, June 16, 2017
Suicide Squad/ Banana Splits Special #1
Cashing in on the success of the more adult reboots of popular Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as Scooby-Doo, DC Comics released a number of one-shots earlier this year. One such title was the Suicide Squad/ Banana Splits. The selection of the Suicide Squad was the obvious choice. Fresh of the success of last year's smash movie, the covert team of metahuman criminals have reached near Batman-level popularity. Obviously, everybody also remembers the Banana Splits! They were the stars of a short-lived variety show that aired on NBC Saturday mornings.
Wait, you don't know Fleegle, Bingo, Dropper, and Snorky? Don't worry, I don't either.
The Banana Splits are an odd choice to headline a Hanna-Barbera themed crossover. The show doesn't exactly have reputation of being a big hit, much less a cult hit. Sure, the show was an early production by Sid and Marty Krofft. But during marathon's of Krofft series on Boomerang or Nick at Nite, the Banana Splits are never shown because the rights are owned by Hanna-Barbera. Plus being musicians, they looked like a scary version of the Chuck E. Cheese band. Yet, when you consider that Killer Croc and King Shark are members of the Suicide Squad, this pairing might actually be a bright idea.
The Suicide Squad/ Banana Splits Special starts off with the Splits being arrested for being mistaken as metahuman criminals. Sent to Beve Reve prison, the Banana Splits are recruited into Amanda Waller's Task Force X. Their mission: to retrieve and rescue the Suicide Squad whom have become captured during a recent assignment.
The story was actually decent. I enjoyed the banter between the members of both groups. and was actually wanting the Banana Splits to remain permanently with Task Force X by story's end. DC took a gamble with this story written by Mark Russell and it paid off. Another thing that helped was the cohesive art style crafted by Ben Caldwell (PREZ.)
Each special comes with a back-up feature that gives yet another Hanna-Barbera character a modern reboot. This second feature stars Snagglepuss. His tale was considered quite controversial when it was released earlier this year. In this 1950s era set story by Exiles' Tony Bedard, Snagglepuss is a gay playwright whose been brought in front of Congresses' House Committee on Un-American activities. People have joked for years that the pink mountain was gay. This story just confirmed it. Regardless, the Snagglepuss was a brilliant allegory on the Red Scare that gripped the middle part of 20th Century America.
This book was a pleasant surprise. I really didn't think the Banana Splits were worthy of a reboot. Plus, I wasn't sure if having Snagglepuss get outed would work. Yet this book was a success all around. Well, except for one thing. The Snagglepuss back-up ends with a 'To Be Continued' blurb. Yet I can find no evidence of any continuation of the story. Thankfully, it doesn't end on a cliffhanger but this lack of closure still bugs me.
Rating: 8 out of 10 stars.