Rocky and Bullwinkle have had a few comics series to their names over the past few decades (often with the two characters' names transposed in the title), from publishers including Dell, Gold Key, Charlton and Marvel.
But never before have the characters gotten a series with the creative pedigree of IDW's new Rocky & Bullwinkle series by writer Mark Evanier (Groo the Wanderer and lots of biographical work on Jack Kirby) and artist Roger Langridge (Popeye, The Muppet Show). Stephanie Buscema will also provide variant covers. The series hits comic store shelves this March.
There are only a handful of people on this planet more skeptical of modern day, family-friendly reinterpretations of the masterfully crude and hilariously dry animated features that comprised The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. There's demonstrable proof that such endeavors simply do not work, specifically the mostly terrible 2000 live-action version The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle starring Robert De Niro and Brendan Fraser's earnest but unsuccessful turn as Dudley Do-Right in 1999. After seeing those films, fans of producer Jay Ward's wry variety series shuddered to think what might come next; Fractured Fairy Tales, Aesop's & Son, and most probably, Peabody's Improbable History, a brilliantly silly series of vignettes about a relentlessly smug, time traveling dog and his human sidekick visiting historical figures only to discover them in various states of indignity and disgrace.
Well, it would seem that smarter heads have prevailed in the thirteen years since Hollywood's last attempt to make a Rocky & Bullwinkle-based film. Not only is the new film, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, an animated affair, but it's helmed by The Lion King co-director Rob Minkoff himself. The theatrical trailer released today reflects an obvious mandate to make Peabody and Sherman more emotionally palatable for the all ages audiences of today, but expresses a great deal of the sardonic spirit that original creator Ted Key infused into his classic cartoons.
In the past, we've had a little fun with The Devastator, the quarterly comedy anthology, but their latest issue is the best of the series so far. Wrapped up in a cover by CA favorite Michael Kupperman, this issue is themed around spies and espionage, and there are enough great gags in here that it's well worth picking up -- and I'm not just saying that because an ultraviolent parody of the Canadian children's show Totally Spies...
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