Comic Review: The Jetsons #1

It might be helpful to start out this review by stating what this comic isn't. It may bear the names and characters of the much beloved Hanna-Barbera cartoon of yesteryear, but it has about as much in common with that franchise as Richard Dawkins has with the Pope. It's not a comedic TV sitcom that puts 1950's ideology in a utopian future setting. No, it's a 2017 cable TV drama put in a survival sci-fi setting.


Like so many other Hanna-Barbera properties that launch within the past year, The Jetsons takes on a slightly more modern tone. George is a fit overworked mechanic, Jane is a highly influential and well regarded scientist, Judy is college socialite and activist, Elroy is a young adventurer who seeks to preserve the past, and Rosie the Maid is actually the consciousness of George's mother transferred to an artificial robotic body. Astro doesn't seem to talk either. 


What is most different about the start of this series is the tone. Humanity is at further risk of extinction. A giant comet (from outside the galaxy... I'll leave that alone to preserve my sanity) is headed toward Earth that appears to be much like the one that struck the Earth before that caused the planet to be covered in water. There seems to be some intelligence behind this phenomena, but humanity doesn't have time to puzzle that out if they want to survive. The comic ends abruptly with the comic striking Earth, leaving us to wonder what will happen.

The first comic does what all dramatic comics need to do: Introduces us to the main characters and what drives them, sets the backdrop and history of the narrative about to unfold, and gives real stakes for the characters to struggle against. I just wasn't expecting it from The Jetsons

Maybe I should have though after looking through Jimmy Palmiotti's back catalog. It's as diverse and as the companies he has done work for (Nike, Nickelodeon, Universal Pictures, Disney, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Lion's Gate, Vidmark, Starz, Fox Atomic, Alliance films, New Line, Spike TV, MTV, 2kgames, Midway, Radical games, Activision and THQ games). So maybe I shouldn't have expected a sitcom style comedy. But, I still kinda want it to be that way.

See, the pacing of this comic is rough. The characters are all over the place and their interaction is minimal at best. Pier Brito's art is fine and very detailed, but the quality can vary from page to page. I have a feeling that if this had started with the family on the sofa, as most sitcoms do, then the whole story could have been more cohesive... even with the giant comet coming to ruin everyone's day. Right now... I just don't care about the family because they are all depicted as individuals. 

So... Maybe I'll pick up the next book. But more likely, I'll wait for the trade paperback and see if the whole story works better when I get to see more of the pieces in place. 

Rating: 6.5/10 Awkward Metaphysics