Note: Here at Relevant Reviews, we pride ourselves on finding ancillary media every Wednesday around the time of big launches, usually movies, but also certain pastas and adult-oriented erecticana. We at RR pride ourselves on being budget-friendly, and so whenever possible will be reviewing runs that are available on a comics service, primarily Comixology Unlimited, but also DC Universe Infinity and Marvel Comics Unlimited.
This is a review of the DC Meets Looney Tunes trade paperback, collecting Batman/Elmer Fudd, Johna Hex/Yosemite Sam, Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil, Lobo/Road Runner, Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian and Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny. This was chosen because it’s a good lead-in to a movie about the Loony Tunes meeting up with human beings in Space Jam 2: A New Legacy, and also a decent way to butter all of us up for The Suicide Squad next Friday.
To start this off, I’m a Batfan. Loved the old Adam West series growing up (and was lucky enough to spend two hours interviewing the man for Dangerous Ink back in my reckless journalistic youth- PDF available here: https://www.nicolaswilson.com/adamwest.pdf ). Obsessed over the Bruce Timm animated series in my adolescence. Hell, I even loved the “I’m Batman” Snickers commercial.
So of course my favorite of the bunch was the Batman/Fudd crossover. There are plenty of fine, serviceable stories in this collection, most doing what you’d expect with the premise of a DC hero and a Looney Tunes character having a fish out of water meeting. But the Batman story is different. Despite the title, it throws the entire Looney Tunes cast into a noir detective story where Elmer is trying to track down the murderer of his love, Siwlver St. Cwoud. He tracks the hitter, a lowlife named Bugs, to Porky’s, a bar infested with some of Gotham’s worst scum. To buy his life, Bugs siccs Elmer on the man supposedly responsible for hiring him, Bruce Wayne, which of course puts Elmer on a collusion course with Batman, and the two eventually teaming up to hunt wabbits. I don’t want to spell out any of the twists and turns, but the story takes itself just seriously enough to feel genuine, without ruining the layer of lunacy that makes it a worthy Looney Tunes story, too- not an easy balancing act, and Tom King (author of the very excellent Vision vol 2 which I largely based my Avengers West Coast pitch around) deserves special mention as a standout talent. It’s gutsy giving Elmer his trademark speech impediment in a noir narration- but it actually works- really, the whole gag works, even to the end of the story, where Bats and Elmer sit down to drown their sorrows in carrot juice, only to find it, and our story, tapped out; to quote their porcine bartender: