(Submitted by Batman’s Bitch, Mr. Prince Adam… 😉 Thanks, Super Friend. You know I tease ya cuz I loves ya…and also because it’s true. 😉 xoxo)
“After a chance meeting with billionaire Bruce Wayne, Elmer Fudd’s obsession quickly escalates into stalking Batman through the dark alleys and high-class social settings of Gotham City. Welcome to Bat Season! And the bonus Looney Tunes backup story features DC characters written by Tom King and artwork by Byron Vaughns.” (DC Entertainment)
Batman/Elmer Fudd Special #1 is one of five one shot specials teaming up the DC Comics cast of characters with the Looney Tunes cast of characters. I love DC & I love Looney Tunes, so these crossovers should be a slam dunk and this issue absolutely is. How do the two worlds meet? Well, in the case of this issue, writer Tom King places Elmer Fudd, a hunter on the hunt for a hitman who killed his girlfriend. The hitman offers to make a trade, spare his life, in exchange for the name of the person who contracted him. Elmer agree and the hitman tells him the contract was ordered by Bruce Wayne. Elmer Fudd heads to a party at Wayne Manor and opens fire on Bruce Wayne. Of course, Bruce escapes, switches his suit for his Batman costume and tracks down Elmer Fudd. A fight ensues, Batman subdues Elmer Fudd, as he should be able to and convinces him that Bruce Wayne didn’t order the hit on his girlfriend. The two team up and track down the hitman to a bar filled with hitmen and seedy characters. Naturally a bar fight ensues and as they corner the hitman, he pleads and reiterates that he’s not the killer, pointing behind them. Batman and Elmer turn around, and see Elmer’s girlfriend. She says that she enlisted the hitman’s help to fake her own death, so she can get away from Elmer Fudd’s dangerous lifestyle as a hunter. She walks out of the bar, while the three men enjoy a drink to end the first story. The story is a traditional Gum Shoe detective story, especially with that swerve at the end, with the girlfriend being the mastermind behind it all. Judging by my commentary, you’d assume that Elmer Fudd was randomly dropped into Gotham City, just for crossover purposes. However, Tom King cleverly works in some Looney Tunes references. The bar that the hitman frequents is Porky’s, with the owner/bartender being the human version of Porky Pig. Furthermore, the hitman accused of killing Elmer’s girlfriend is named Bugs “The Bunny” Woves. The other hitmen and shady characters are made up of Looney Tunes archetypes. We see versions of Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, even Sylvester and Tweety. I liked Tom Kings decision to make Bugs and some of the other Looney Tunes characters villains. Had they been the exact status quo as their cartoon counterparts, the reader would have a hard time rooting for Batman or Elmer Fudd. Also the reveal of classic Batman character Silver St. Cloud being Elmer Fudd’s girlfriend, is a fun way to further have Batman/Bruce Wayne cross paths with Elmer Fudd, instead of merely setting the story in Gotham City. The interesting twist, for the purposes of this book, is that Silver St, Cloud dated Elmer Fudd first before Bruce Wayne, but left them both because of their dangerous lifestyles, highlighting a similarity between the two men.. The ending of this story featuring Batman, Bugs and Elmer drinking carrot juice and discussing Albuquerque is a nice nod to Bugs Bunny’s vegetable of choice, as well as a call back to a classic episode.
While the first story is set in the DC Universe, the backup story is set in Looney Tunes continuity. It actually reads like a typical Bugs Bunny Vs, Elmer Fudd story. Mr., Fudd is chasing Bugs because it’s Rabbit, or should we say, Wabbit season. To save his own skin, Bugs switches the sign to Bat Season, lights the Bat-Signal and calls Batman. Seeing the sign, Elmer switches gears and starts chasing Batman. After being thoroughly amused, Bugs Bunny ends up in a Batman costume, throwing Elmer Fudd into a little bit of a confused sate, just like the cartoon. Also, just like the cartoon, he eventually figures out the ruse and continues chasing Batman. To outsmart Elmer Fudd, Batman changes the sign to Robin Season, before summoning his various sidekicks who use this moniker. As Elmer Fudd takes up the chase against the Robin’s, Batman & Elmer Fudd walk off into the sunset. This book felt like I time travelled about 29 years to a Saturday morning long ago, watching The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show. In this story, the writer is focused all on the laughs. It’s really a love letter to vintage Looney Tunes episodes. Both these stories show how malleable the Batman and Looney Tunes stories are, that they can tell two stories, with completely different tones and objective and still be recognizable to their brands and be entertaining on two different levels.
Lee Weeks is the artists for the main story. It definitely has the feel of a gritty, noir detective story to match the story being told. The art is definitely nowhere near as clean cut or crisp as your typical Batman or Looney Tunes comic book. It’s got a scruffy look about it. This scruffy look makes Elmer Fudd look like a total badass. It adds so much gravitas to Elmer Fudd’s trench coach and hat look. Yet, Mr. Weeks manages to keep Elmer Fudd’s aloof, simplistic look. I loved the human rendition of the Looney Tunes. They all have distinguishing characteristics that give the characters away. For instance Bugs has those protruding teeth he is famous for. Although, I think they made the human Bugs more visually unappealing, so that we would gravitate towards Elmer. Yosemite Sam has his read mustache and beard, but it’s more of a goatee. Instead of a cowboy hat, he now wears a bandana. Bartender Porky looks as much like a literal pig as a human drawing could look. It’s like the pig animation morphed to a human from screen to page. Foghorn Leghorn has gone from a giant Rooster, to a sharply dressed African American card shark. I loved that there was diversity with some of the characters. The card shark angle was great as well given that Foghorn Leghorn, in the cartoon often tricks and swindles the hens and the watchdog into getting what he wants. With all this Elmer Fudd talk, I should mention that there is an exceptional image of Batman leaping down into an alley. That is an iconic image in Batman lore but done from an angle we’re not used to seeing. It’s worth noting that Silver St. Cloud is drop dead gorgeous, so it makes sense she could stop both Elmer Fudd and Batman in their tracks at the bar. The art for the second story is done by Byron Vaughns. There’s not much to say except that it’s great and looks EXACTLY like the animation of Looney Tunes. It’s so good, that it’s as if they just transposed film cells from the show. Batman looks like an over exaggerated version of the character from Batman: Brave and the Bold. The only complaint I have with this portion of the art is that when Bugs Bunny dons a Batman costume, he looks too much like Bat-Mite for my liking.
I expected to like this book but quite frankly, I straight up loved it! It satisfies both fandoms with a story set in both the DC Universe and Looney Tunes lore. If you’re a fan of both, this is your fanboy heaven. I can guarantee I will be reading and reviewing the remaining four one shots in this series. Whether you go looney or batty over this book, I guarantee you are going to love it! So BUY IT and read it. Until next time…. That’s All Folks!