Writers: Ken Pontac
Artists: Leonardo Manco
Published by: DC Comics on June 8, 2016
Summary (from dccomics.com):
The world has ended, but the race has just begun! Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect and the rest of the Wacky Racers vie for the finish line in a contest where the winner takes all and second place is death. Today’s trial: the shattered maze of freeways known as the Überpass, where they’re beset by giant sand beasts, mutated insects, and worst of all, Dick Dastardly’s murderously poor sportsmanship. The last thing they need after surviving the race is a brutal bar fight in a local dive, but that’s just what they get!
As you may, or may not, know I started reading Wacky Raceland at issue #2 instead of the ceremonial issue #1. After reading issue #2 I had so many questions and I figured issue #1 would be packed with information, but after reading it I realized not much was answered. There were two main points that I wanted to be addressed: the characters and the details of the apocalypse. Just from looking at the cover it’s obvious that the character redesigns don’t resemble their cartoon counterparts AT ALL. Not only were the characters appearances so drastically changed, but also their inherent personalities. For example, Peter Perfect seems to still have feelings for Penelope Pitstop, but the only feelings Penelope seems to have toward anything is hostility. When artists so heavily redesign already known characters then they need to reestablish the characters so that the readers know which character is which. That was the biggest thing this issue didn’t do. A few characters were easily established such as Penelope and Dick, but the others were only touched upon, like Peter Perfect, Lazy Luke and Bubber Bear, and the person who I think was Private Meekly. The second point I wanted explained, or at least addressed, was the logistics of the apocalypse. I’m not quite sure how the end of the world really works in the Wacky Raceland world. Like did the end of the world happen all in one instant or was it a gradual thing? Was it a manmade apocalypse or was it like a natural disaster sort of thing? I mean, I know these questions aren’t really instrumental to understanding what’s going on, but I’m curious all the same.
Like issue #2 this issue can get really confusing. This issue skips between the present time at the Armageddon bar, to the race that happened earlier that day, to pre-apocalyptic times. The only thing that distinguishes the different scenes is the lettering at the start of the time change. On extremely busy pages it might be easy to miss the lettering adding even more to the confusion. That leads to another point, the pages (almost all of them) are very busy, and occasionally cluttered. There’s an overall mysterious feeling to the announcer and the races the characters participate in, but it doesn’t really feel like the storyline is going in any particular direction (an observation for both issues #1 and #2).
My overall impression of this issue is the same as the second issue: nothing like the source material, but entertaining nonetheless. This required more than one read through for me to understand what was going on. The mysterious elements are keeping me intrigued and even though the characters are a bit rough around the edges I’ve gotten to like them, especially Penelope Pitstop and Dick Dastardly. I fully plan on continuing this series.