Back in September, we broke the news that DC was adding two new ongoing titles to its line of comics spinning new takes on classic Hanna-Barbera properties. One of those titles was Dastardly & Muttley, a book that promises to give the duo their own spotlight following their appearance in Wacky Raceland.
Now we know (as recently discovered) what the book be about and who’s drawing it. Here’s the image below (from MCM London Comic-Con/Bleeding Cool):
The most obvious thing to note is that the book won’t be set in the world of Wacky Raceland, where Dastardly was a post-apocalyptic rouge/thug(?) and Muttley is covered in a few layers of cybernetics. Instead, writer Garth Ennis (Preacher, Punisher MAX, 2000 AD) recasts the duo as a pair of modern-day(?) fighter pilots. It may seem like an odd setting for these characters, but then they did have a short-lived TV show from 1969 to 1970 (titled Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines) that did see them portrayed as flying aces and members of a crew of aviators (‘The Vulture Squadron’), so that might be the version that Ennis is basing his book on.
Joining Ennis on the book as the main artist is Alain Mauricet (known just as Mauricet), an up-and-coming talent who’s work can be seen in the miniseries Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys. Dastardly & Muttley will be his third DC Comics project (following Harleys and Adventures of Superman) and it will be his fifth American comics project overall, as he previously drew Tales of Tellos and The Crossovers for Image and CrossGen respectively. In his native Belgium, he had already built a career as an artist in the Franco-Belgian comics scene, drawing for various comic ‘albums’ and magazines.
Mauricet’s artwork in the image has a softer, slightly more animated feel in comparison to the rough and gritty aesthetics of Leonardo Manco’s linework in Wacky Raceland, so that could be an indication that Dastardly & Muttley might not be as dark or gnarly as that book was. But then again, this is being written by Garth Ennis, the man who conjured up the superbly-twisted Preacher and gave Marvel one of the darkest Punisher runs ever (if you can believe it). While you might be forgiven for thinking that this might be out of Ennis’ comfort zone, more recent works (Dreaming Eagles, World of Tanks: Roll Out) suggest that the ‘fighter pilot’ theme of Dastardly & Muttley may actually fall within his current writing interests.
As far as where things stand with DC’s Hanna-Barbera line: Scooby Apocalypse, Future Quest, and The Flintstones are still charging forth, with issue #8 of both Scooby and Future and issue #6 of Flintstones expected to arrive in December. Meanwhile, the final issue of Wacky Raceland arrives this Wednesday (November 30). All of these books are available at your nearest comic book store and on digital reading platforms and will soon be available in collected trade editions.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to reading Dastardly & Muttley?