Rocky and Bullwinkle #1: Review

After a few decades off the grid, Rocky and Bullwinkle have been resurrected once again. And this time just for comic geeks.

Here’s the official word from IDW:

They’re finally here! Welcome Bullwinkle the Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel back to comics, in this very special first issue by fan-favorites Mark Evanier and Roger Langridge. Rocky and Bullwinkle must stop the evil Boris and Natasha from duping a wealthy philanthropist in THE PSYCHIC SIDEKICK. And when Dudley Do-Right tries to woo the beautiful Nell, will Snidely Whiplash get away?

For those of you who grew up with Rocky and Bullwinkle, issue #1 of this new series will feel like pouring a coldrocky-and-bullwinkle-1 bucket of nostalgia over your head. This is to say, yes, it takes you back: the jokes, the pacing, and the feel of this issue are distinctly old-school. Much of this has to do, of course, with writer Mark Evanier, who’s made his name and fame by penning scripts for classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons and wastes no time infusing this new launch with the same kind of energy you’d expect from the animated Rocky and Bullwinkle series. Similar to a standard television episode, issue #1 presents a series of discrete micro-stories which all revolve around a the same loose theme (for this inaugural issue it’s Mr. Louis Lucre’s fortune, which he loses and regains). The end-product is sweet and emotionally filling –although if I’m to be honest, it’s also a bit dull; or maybe to be fair, it’s simply pales in comparison to the television show which had the benefit of well-timed sight gags, voice talents, and a big brass band. I know, I know — it’s a comic and not a television, so is it fair to compare? Well, sorry, but I can’t help myself.

The art, by Roger Langridge, is pretty damn spot-on. Rocky looks like Rocky and Bullwinkle looks like Bullwinkle, which adds tons of credibility to this new title, and makes it a joy to flip through. A special shout-out goes to Langridge for his use of colors with this issue, too, which are so reminiscent of the original show you almost expect the characters he illustrates to move.

Overall, issue #1 of Rocky and Bullwinkle was a delight to read — but mostly as a throwback to series we all loved. Can this title break new ground and push the continuity further? We’ll have to wait and see.


+ Great Old-School Throwback - But Can It Add Anything New?