Sunday, December 08, 2019

Three Tie-In Titles

Jonny Quest #2 (Comico, July 1986, $1.50)
"Enter Race Bannon" Writer: William F. Messner-Loebs, Penciller: Wendy Pini, Inker: Joe Staton, Letter: Joe Pinana, Colorist: Rick Taylor, Editor: Diana Schutz.

Be sure to take a look at that credit line again. I found the creative team of this issue to be mind-blowingly spectacular, and if that group of three doesn't make up some kind of independent comics power trio, I don't know who would. This Hanna-Barbera cartoon tie-in comic was written and drawn by some of the more impressive independent comics creators of that era. Thank you, Diana Schutz, for bringing those creators together!

In her editorial, Schutz says a little about the intent behind the issue: "In the original run of Jonny Quest, ... we never did learn how Race Bannon came to be a part of the Quest team -- nor was mention ever made of Jonny's mother." Messner-Loebs's stort amends those gaps.

Jonny's mother is introduced as a lively counterbalance to his more sober and studious father. She becomes ill and lapses into a coma, and Bannon is an agent assigned to protect the family from terrorists. There are several extremely touching scenes in the comic focusing on Judith Waterston and her relationship with her husband and son, particularly pages 7, 11, and 17. Bannon's first impression, then, though heroic, is as sympathetic and comical as it is strong or powerful in its intent (p. 19).

For the most part, Pini and Staton's artwork stays true to the cartoon character designs and overall style, but occasional glimpses of their other work pops through here and there. This isn't Elfquest or E-Man, but I love that those two creators had their hands at this series.

The issue also includes a pinup by Adam Kubert and a two-page letter column containing seven letters of comment. One of those letters was penned by T.M. Maple.

Availability: This comic has not been collected. We also recommend the original cartoon.