Sunday, December 30, 2018

Review: THE JETSONS #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Jimmy Palmiotti
ART: Pier Brito
COLORS: Alex Sinclair
LETTERS: Dave Sharpe
COVER: Amanda Conner with Paul Mounts
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (January 2018)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

“Meet the Jetsons”

“The Jetsons” was an animated situation comedy produced by Hanna-Barbera.  It originally aired during prime time from September 1962, to March 1963 for 24 episodes on ABC.  “The Jetsons” titular family was Hanna-Barbera's Space Age counterpart to “The Flintstones,” a TV series in which the family lives in a Stone Age-like world.  The Jetsons live in the futurist Orbit City, where the buildings hover far above the surface of Earth.

The family was George Jetson (the main character), a loving family man; Jane Jetson, George's wife, mother of their two children, and a homemaker; Judy Angela Jetson, their 16-year-old daughter and a high school student; Elroy Jetson, their highly-intelligent six and a half year old son.  The lead cast also included Rosie, the Jetsons' household robot, whom the family loves and will not replace although she is an outdated model.  Astro is the Jetsons' family dog and is Elroy's best buddy and one of George's best pals.

DC Comics has been reinventing and re-imagining classic Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoons in new comic book series since early 2016, the best example being Scooby Apocalypse, which is “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” with a sci-fi, monster apocalyptic twist.  “The Jetsons” are re-imagined in the new six-issue miniseries, The Jetsons.  It is written by Jimmy Palmiotti; drawn by Pier Brito; colored by Alex Sinclair; and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

The Jetsons #1 opens in a post-apocalyptic world.  The family is still comprised of George Jetson; his boy, Elroy; daughter, Judy; and Jane, his wife.  And their home is still located in a city that floats above the surface, but in this alternate Jetsons scenario, the surface of the Earth is entirely water.  Jane is no longer a homemaker, she is a scientist and she has bad news about the fate of the planet for her fellow scientists at the International Space Station.  This scenario also presents Elroy as older, and he and his friend, Lake Cogswell, are about to start something big.

Although this version of “The Jetsons,” is set in a darker, apocalyptic world, writer Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Pier Brito present a bright and colorful future that is closer to the future scenarios presented in DC Comics titles in the 1960s and 1970s.  Alex Sinclair's colors accentuate this hopeful future of helpful technology that makes that aftermath of “extinction level events” and apocalypse quite livable.

The Jetsons is similar in tone to the settings of the happy 1950s to early 1960s family sitcoms that are now a staple of digital sub-channels like MeTV and AntennaTV.  Apparently, the nuclear family can survive decades (and centuries) of social change, societal upheaval, and the end-of-the-world.  In the end, the nuclear family rocks the casbah and the apocalypse.  And, if the first issue is any indication, those pesky brown people and darkies still barely register (although there are hints of things ominous beneath the waves and in the past).

Still, The Jetsons is an enjoyable read.  I have learned not to expect much from DC's Hanna-Barbera reboots/re-imaginations, and that makes it easier to separate the good, the bad, and the ugly and to also appreciate the really good.  So far, The Jetsons are good enough to earn a second look.

6 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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