Tho' the show lasted for only one short season in 1968, a mere seventeen episodes nearly fifty years ago, the characters and concepts have been near to our hearts and close in our fondness for Saturday Morning Cartoon comfort. I've always been surprised the cartoon has never been resurrected, or that they tried to turn it into a major motion picture (Sarah Jessica Parker as Penelope Pitstop! George Clooney as Peter Perfect! James Gandolfini as Clyde of the Ant Hill Mob! Matt Frewer as Professor Pat Pending! John Goodman as Rufus Ruffcut! Christoph Waltz as The Red Max! Dustin Hoffman as Dick Dastardly! And Jerry Mathers as the beaver.) But it's probably all for the good that nobody ever thought it possible or necessary to redo and update Wacky Races. Until, um, now.
DC has just released issue #1 of the new comic Wacky Raceland, which reimagines the entire concept as a post-apocalyptic battle for life and salvation against the ruins and terrors of the ravaged Earth. It's nastier, bloodier, more cyberpunky (the cars are sentient; Muttley is part cybernetic), and definitely not for children or little stuffed bulls of a nervous disposition. I think you'd win your bet saying that the creators saw Mad Max: Fury Road more than a few times. When every racer is as ruthless and dangerous as Dick Dastardly, who will win the final prize of escape to a safe haven? Completely over the top and a gruesomely dark-humored, Wacky Raceland uses the word "asshat" more often than any other DC comic, except perhaps for old issues of Lobo.
Panels from Wacky Raceland #1 (August 2016), script by Ken Pontac, pencils and inks by Leonardo Manco, colors by Mariana Sanzone, letters by Sal Cipriano
Still, I think the creators of Wacky Raceland have forgotten the successful adult-geared comic book series of a few years ago which updated the old cartoon for a modern, more open-minded audience, a comic that brought grown-up sensibilities and mature situations to the world of Hanna-Barbera. Let's take a look at some panels from that old series, shall we? yes! Let's!
Of course, because this blog is intended for kids from six to sixty, I've censored the offending language to make the comic appropriate for all ages. Enjoy!
There you are, folks: the adult-themed Wacky Races. Join us next time for the sequel, the adult-themed Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: