My but don’t the owners of iconic pop culture properties like to re-invent them!
You see it all the time in the movies where re-imaginings and reboots crop like mushrooms on the forest floor after heavy rain.
It’s less common in animation where characters may get tweaked and finessed but are rarely altered wholesale since so much of who they are depends on their recognisability factor.
Tweak too much and the essence of the character everyone knows and loves may be gone.
But in the world of comics, where pretty much anything is possible and often times attempted – major characters like Superman and Batman have gone through more iterations than there are evil villains wanting to fight them to the death – it’s far more common and as EW reveals, great but pleasing change is about to be wrought on some of our favourite Hanna-Barbera characters such as Scooby Doo, Fred Flintstone, Johnny Quest and The Wacky Races:
“And this May, DC Entertainment is taking you back to those days with an all-new line of comics based on your favorite Hanna-Barbera characters. Featuring books like Scooby Apocalypse, Future Quest, Wacky Raceland and The Flintstones, DC is looking not to rehash old stories, but revitalize the characters in a new day and age — while keeping their charm, of course.”
As one of the co-publishers of DC Entertainment’s explained to EW, the changes wrought won’t fundamentally who the characters are but simply give them a new look and feel:
“From a personal standpoint, I was always a fan of the old Hanna-Barbera characters, having grown up on them. I think what you find right now is there’s so much material on pop culture, and these characters resonate with so much of our fanbase. It was so fun to go out and look at them, but not just bring back versions that existed 40, 50 years ago and really look at it the way of saying, if these characters were created and interpreted today, how would they exist? So we handed off our materials to a number of top creators, and what came back was an exciting look that felt very true to the existence of the characters.”
It sounds like an imaginative but balanced approach and as the recent Muppets movies proved, it’s possible to update and have some fun with much-loved characters without wrecking the very things that made them so beloved in the first place.
For more on the new comics, which are out in May 2016, check out EW.