The injection of classic Hannah Barbara characters into the DC Universe have been hit or miss for me. They have been mostly entertaining, and while I didn’t care for The Jetsons or Scooby Doo: Apocalypse as much as I liked The Flintstones, I have loved the special cross-overs immensely. These one-shots are often incredibly silly and oddly violent. Not over the top violent, but just across the line of slapstick. Deathstroke/Yogi Bear is no exception.
When the animals of Jellystone Park start disappearing, and then turning up again as ravenous monsters, it seems that Yogi might need to acquire the help of a more seasoned professional. Good thing one was nearby collecting the Bounty on the Dalton Brothers Gang.
Yogi hires Deathstroke, promising him that if he gets Boo Boo back, he will give the mercenary all of his possessions. While a talking bear in a green hat and tie might not be the best source of income, Deathstroke has dealt with weirder things than this.
After rescuing Ranger Smith from a Zombie-Bambi, the trio make their way to the last know location of Boo Boo: behind a waterfall. Yogi accidently opens a trap door, and he falls into a secret HIVE complex run by Mr. & Mrs. Creepley. They have captured all the lovable anthropomorphic animals of Jellystone and turned them into HIVE murder machines. Including a giant purple octopus.
In the end, Yogi ends up saving the day by pretending to faint and releasing all the caged animals, stating: “I am smarter than the average bear.” So all the animals are saved, Boo Boo is reunited with Yogi, and Deathstroke goes home awaiting his payment.
Frank Teiri manages to capture some of the Saturday morning cartoon hijinks that we associate with Hannah Barbara properties, and manages to let Slade play around in it for a little while. He truly combines the universes, not just making Deathstroke visit a place he has not part in, but making part of his own colorful backstory. It’s charming… in a maudlin sort of way.
The art styling of Mike Texiera does continue the tradition of making the Hannah Barbara characters a bit more life like and less 60’s cartoonish. Its wonderfully done, still allowing for the exaggerated expressions and large eyes of Yogi and Boo Boo, but still allowing them to have ursine qualities that separates them from being poorly dressed hairy people. It’s a tough line to walk, but with the help of colorist Jeremy Cox, they nail it.
All in all, it was a wonderfully fun book to read. Not really suitable for a young audience, but anyone who has bought these books in the past should know this by now. Plus it has ”Deathstroke” in the title, so you should have know better than to buy this for little Jonny. Pick it up even if you just want to see the exploits of Secret Squirrel, which is the bonus comic at the end… which will make you have some rather strange feelings about animal/human relations. I give this cross-over special a: