DC Comics Invades Hanna-Barbera by Jerry Whitworth
On March 29, 2017, the worlds of DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera are going to meet (outside the confines of Scooby-Doo Team-Up). Across four annuals being released simultaneously, Adam Strange will meet Jonny Quest (by Marc Andreyko, Jeff Parker, and Steve Lieber), Batman will meet Top Cat (by Dan DiDio and Phil Winslade), Booster Gold will meet the Flintstones (by Mark Russell, Rick Leonardi, and Scott Hanna), Green Lantern will meet Space Ghost (by James Tynion IV, Chris Sebela, and Ariel Olivetti), and the Suicide Squad will meet the Banana Splits (by Tony Bedard and Ben Caldwell while characters like the Jetsons, Ruff and Reddy, and Snagglepuss will receive back-up stories). Spinning out of the events of titles like Death of Hawkman, Future Quest, The Flintstones, Green Lantern, and the Suicide Squad, the books will act as annuals for the new Hanna-Barbera imprint of books DC Comics began releasing last May. Notably new to the mix is the Banana Splits, a variety kids program from 1968 designed by Sid and Marty Krofft (H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost) which ran two seasons featuring humanoid anthropomorphic animals as a rock band (something of a cross between The Monkees, Bozo the Clown, and Chuck E. Cheese). Featuring Fleegle the Beagle, Bingo the Gorilla, Drooper the Lion, and Snorky the Elephant, the series interspersed comedy/music sketches with the Splits and unrelated shorts (animated and live action) in Danger Island, The Arabian Knights, The Three Musketeers, and Micro Ventures. For Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual #1, The Splits are coerced by Amanda Waller to rescue the Squad (as no word if the aforementioned shorts will somehow be included). Likely more in line with the action-based comics in this ensuing crossover, Green Lantern/Space Ghost Annual #1 and Adam Strange/Future Quest Annual #1 maybe the most highly anticipated.
For Future Quest, an entity known as Omnikron (a destroyer of worlds) has bridged the gap of time and space bringing together heroes of the past like Mightor and Ugh (with a glimpse of Shazzan), the present in the Quest family, Birdman, Dino Boy, Frankenstein Jr., and the Impossibles, and the future with Space Ghost, Herculoids, and the Galaxy Trio to combat such a dire threat. Adam Strange, following the events of Death of Hawkman, will be catapulted into this world where he must team with Jonny Quest and his family and enter Dino Boy’s Lost Valley where creatures from across the great expanse of time have been deposited following the emergence of Omnikron (most notably, dinosaurs of several different eras). What makes such a union interesting is that Quest frequently employed technology several years ahead of what the general public has access, items like jetpacks and energy-discharging armament (though, typically larger than something handheld). As Strange is an Earthman wielding such equipment, albeit alien, his aesthetic is not as foreign as what may be first considered. Further, while Strange’s Rann was home to technological marvels, most of its landscape was exceedingly dangerous with lethal natural phenomenon as dinosaur-like monsters and the like roamed. Of the Future Quest annuals, the one teaming Space Ghost and Green Lantern hosts the most possibilities.
At first glance, similarities are present between Green Lantern and Space Ghost. Both space-faring heroes, each rely upon some incredible form of technology to achieve seemingly impossible feats. These similarities would be expanded upon in Future Quest revealing Space Ghost was a member of the Space Force, an intergalactic policing agency whom wielded power bands to bring law and order to the universe (mirroring the Green Lantern Corps who do the same but with power rings). For Green Lantern/Space Ghost Annual #1, the two heroes will be jointly placed in a time rift where they must combat various foes and each other (where the heroes will lose their tools and eventually switch them with each other). The foes aspect is purposely left ambiguous which permits the reader to entertain the thought of Space Ghost tangling with the likes of Sinestro, Atrocitus, Larfleeze, Star Sapphire, Black Hand, and Phantom Lantern. However, perhaps more enticing, is the possibility of Space Ghost foes gaining power rings. Sinestro Corps Zorak, Red Lantern Moltar, Agent Orange Brak, Star Sapphire Black Widow, Black Lantern Tansit, and Phantom Lantern Space Spectre pose intriguing avenues. All four annuals will be released on March 29, 2017.