By Mark Russell, Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry, Dave Sharpe, Howard Chaykin and Will Quintana
Feminism comes to Bedrock, and big changes get rolling…
Russell’s scripts on The Flintstones almost always hinge on the political, and with the past two weeks in the American landscape, this script seems especially timely. One of the goals listed for the Global Women’s March (or at least one part of it), was the acknowledgement that most domestic work falls on women. This means that women fulfill most of the nurturing and care-giving roles in societies, to their own detriment.
When Wilma and Betty leave Bedrock to visit Wilma’s parents, Fred and Barney are left to fend for themselves while Pebbles and Bam-Bam learn about economics. What ties both of these stories together is mankind’s unconscious desire for self destruction. Although gatherers often did the most important jobs, the hunters where idolized and given precedent. Likewise, society acts like an unchecked cancer growing larger the more it produces which necessitates it growing larger to produce more.
In true satire fashion, the idiotic caveman mayor of Bedrock wants to reapproperiate funds for the local children’s hospital so he can fund new armor for the dinosaur army to destroy the peaceful (but weird) lizard people.
Pugh and Chuckry’s bright colors and whimsical sight gags keep the story from being too bleak and keep the resemblance to real events at a reasonable distance to allow humor. The Chee-Toes gag still makes me giggle for some reason. Pugh’s design for the Bedrock airport is also hilariously unreal. It’s the flashbacks that hit home visually, having a somewhat grainy quality to signify change in time but also the crux of what Russell is saying about the treatment of women in society.
Right as Fred finally realizes how important Wilma is to his life, and how because of the sacrifice of mothers the fathers get to slack off, Bedrock voters decide that the dinosaur army needs that new armor more than sick kids need medicine.
It’s a pretty cynical message that’s no less poignant, but its also hopeful as the next generation has the potential to learn from the previous one and not repeat the same mistakes. While Wilma’s life may not be entirely glamorous, its much better than the life she could have had. While Pebbles and Bam-Bam may be growing up around adults that literally can’t see the big picture, they have the ability to take in information that is true if also unpleasant.
A decidedly stronger issue over the last few, which were not bad by any means. It remains one of the strongest books that DC is publishing right now and for my money, one that is well worth its price on the cover.