Why is The Flintstones comic book so important? That's a hard question to answer, but it very much succeeds in shining a light on the civilization we currently live in - with amazing clarity. The comic breaks free from all the shackles of the old cartoon and examines serious issues such as gender norms, complex human relationships, depression in veterans, the pitfalls of capitalism, genocide, and more. Yeah, this isn't your parents' Flintstones.
The Flintstones is the comic book fans didn't know they desperately needed. As part of an entire series of re-imagined Hanna Barbera cartoons, DC has a hit on its hands with this new look at Bedrock. With its brilliant, challenging scripts provided by Mark Russell, and absorbing art by Steve Pugh, The Flintstones has proven to be one of the best books DC has published in recent memory. If you aren’t reading it already, keep reading below to see why you should.
The comics present the town of Bedrock as a brand new society, its citizenry the first generation to eschew traditional nomad practices for a semblance of what the reader perceives as civilization. This allows for a removed vantage point with which to comment on how ridiculous the system really is. Capitalism, specifically, is openly challenged at several points, both because of the inherently shallow nature of materialism and the foundation of unpaid and underpaid labor it usually rests on.
While she was often relegated to the sidelines in the cartoon, Wilma Flintstone is the second most important character of the entire comic book series. Instead of the classic sitcom pairing of Fred as the fat, oblivious husband and Wilma as the beautiful, gracious wife, their equal partnership forms the bedrock (nailed it!) of the series. Yet Wilma has her own dreams and aspirations outside of being a good mother and wife.
She creates achingly meaningful paintings, and craves recognition and acceptance for her talent. She also has the soul of a philosopher, delivering many of the comic's most poignant messages on what it means to be human. Truly, it’s a new Wilma for a new millennium.
The new series re-imagines the original cartoon's Order of the Loyal Water Buffalo as a veterans support group (the awesome hats are part of their old uniform). A heartbreaking look at the way we turn our back on those we once counted on to protect us, The Flintstones doesn’t flinch when confronting controversial issues faced by veterans. From PTSD to the high rate of suicide among former soldiers, readers view these concerns through a new, Stone Age lens.
Also, in a callback to the original Flintstones, the veterans use a special mantra to deal with the tension of civilian life: Yabba-Dabba-Doo.
Much like the original animated series, The Flintstones gets a TON of comedic mileage out of outstanding Stone Age puns. Some of the many gems include local superstore Tar Pit (a riff on Target complete with bullseye logo), the Prayo-Clinic as a pagan fertility clinic, and a comfortable chunky boot made by UGGH. These serve as Easter eggs in the series, providing incalculable value to re-reads in the hopes of catching another funny sign or amusing T-shirt.