The wait is over. With the Wacky Racers desperate to escape the nanite storms and giant sandtipedes of the post-apocalyptic wasteland, Professor Pat Pending has managed to gain entry to the Butcher Shop, the genetic laboratory where all this craziness started. With Penelope Pitstop, Dick Dastardly and all the other Racers bent on revenge against Pending and seeking answers to their questions – as well as salvation – they finally get to confront the mysterious Announcer. We review Wacky Raceland #6.
Yet what they discover is more disturbing than any of them could have ever imagined. The tragic twists their lives have taken all lead to this one moment, when the truth of the race is finally revealed…
It’s been no secret that Wacky Raceland has been through some ups and downs. As a concept it was a risky gamble, to take a somewhat forgotten old cartoon which was pure, simple fun and to reboot it as Mad Max meets Tank Girl. This new incarnation was like The Sex Pistols vomiting over The Osmonds. It shouldn’t have been a shock that by the time the fourth issue came out it was now being called a six-part miniseries, rather than an ongoing title. And now it’s the end of the line for this little spitfire of anarchy.
Which will probably have many saying “Good riddance” to it. But not me.
Initially, I was as against this series as much as anybody. To be fair, it was pretty hard to take in at first and even in this last issue it doesn’t do itself any favours. However, credit should – must, in fact – be given to the creative team. Leonardo Manco’s art has been consistently impressive, and if there are moments when this issue doesn’t quite shine as brightly it’s understandable and forgivable. Likewise, Ken Pontac’s writing has shown moments of sheer brilliance, and there was a definite story arc going on which deserved more time to be told and more support from readers.
Unfortunately, Wacky Raceland #6 does have that somewhat rushed feel of a wrap-up final issue and so there are problems. The Racers don’t get any time to shine at all, the Voltron-style finale is a disappointment and there’s so much more which needed to be explained. Plus, Dick Dastardly deserved something special. However, none of these diminish the fact that it’s still a pretty solid ending to one of the wackiest reboots of all time.
If there’s any justice at all then this series will pick up a cult following, because the team behind it were given an impossible task and created something simultaneously offensive and beautiful. It had its flaws but it was also something original and, as any creator knows, that’s the hardest thing to succeed with. It did something different, and I can respect that.
None of this is a recommendation, but I’m personally going to miss this series. Wacky Raceland may not have won the race, but it won me over if nothing else.