We’re all over the place this time around, as Bedrock regrets its election in The Flintstones, Jughead regrets posting a video that went viral and Batman… well, he has no regrets.

Flintstones Clod

The Flintstones 10
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh 

Mark Russell dances around a few different topics here, weaving in a story about incompetent leadership, artistic expression and how Bedrock reacts to the introduction of movies. It all weaves together perfectly, as Russell does with every issue.

Months after the people elected Clod the Destroyer to be mayor, everyone is having a little bit of voter’s remorse. In order to finance his mission to destroy the Lizard People – who have mysteriously disappeared – Clod trades in the people’s retirement funds for sandwich vouchers, after he’s already stopped funding the hospital. The sandwich vouchers are a bridge too far and the people are finally sick of Clod’s rule.

I really wonder where Russell’s Flintstones story would have gone had Donald Trump lost the election, but at least something good has come out of the 2016 vote…

Flintstones Movies

Meanwhile, Fred and Barney discover the cinema, going to see a series of prehistoric movies based on chick flicks to see the women involved “bare it all.” And Wilma gets discovered by a movie director who needs an artist to help build sets.

Russell ties it all together in the most appropriate way, probably the way many would like to see things resolved here in the U.S. But the highlight of the issue is the tragic death of one of my favorite characters in the book: the vacuum cleaner. The poor little guy just wanted to see a movie, and ended up working after a showing, doing the most disgusting thing possible: cleaning the floor of a movie theater. It’s maybe the saddest thing I’ve read all year. We’ll have to see how his friend bowling ball gets by after losing the vacuum cleaner.

Jughead Seniors

Jughead 14
Written by Ryan North 
Art by Derek Charm and Jack Morelli 

Jughead is still dealing with the repercussions of the last two issues – losing a King for a Month bet to Reggie and then creating a viral sensation that caused the rest of the gang to be a little upset with him for various reasons. While most everyone gets over it when they get a taste of the fame that came with having a viral video, Betty does not get over it, because it means people on the internet aren’t taking her seriously. Leave it to Betty to have a dumb reason to be upset over fame.

Not wanting his friend to be upset, Jughead decides to do what he can to erase the fame he’s brought about the group.

Jughead Peers

That leads to the seniors in the photo up above thinking that what Jughead is doing is lame and creating their OWN viral video, which causes no one to care about the Jugheads any more. Of course, the only one to be happy about that is Betty.

The Jughead comic continues to be a great addition to the updated Archie line, with fun writing that brings a great sense of humor and wonderful art. While the main Archie book is more dramatic and dealing with the interpersonal teenage relationships, Jughead gets to have slapstick adventures that continue a great tradition of light and fun comics.

Batman 20
Written by Tom King 
Art by David Finch, Danny Miki, John Trevor Scott and Jordie Bellaire

Batman Gotham

What a disappointment.

The latest issue of Batman was the end of the “I AM BANE” story, which was the third and final chapter in the “I AM” trilogy that kicked off Batman’s DC Rebirth. For most of the last 10 months, we’ve been building to what was supposed to be an epic confrontation between Batman and Bane, as the Dark Knight took away the Psycho Pirate, who gave Bane some semblance of peace, in order to save Gotham Girl.

That confrontation concludes here, but it’s not really all that epic. In between a series of panels where Bane and Batman pummel each other, we get an unnecessary Ocean’s 11-style recap of the story so far which is being narrated by Martha Wayne, Batman’s dead mother, as she lectures Bruce to join his parents.

As a story’s finale, it left a lot to be desired. And since Batman is moving on next issue for a crossover with The Flash to address some Rebirth mysteries, I’m not sure there will be much more follow-up.

The three arcs that Tom King has written so far – “I AM GOTHAM,” “I AM SUICIDE” and “I AM BANE” – will absolutely make for great collected editions, but as an issue-by-issue story, it didn’t provide what I wanted out of a comic.

It might be time to switch to collected editions for Batman.

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