Written for and published by Forces of Geek October 2018
Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound Special #1 | Writer: Mark Russell | Artist: Rick Leonardi | Publisher: DC Comics
An image of the KKK waving hello to Huckleberry Hound as they drive by his house on a Mississippi evening utterly conveys the edgier settings of the critically acclaimed Hanna-Barbera/DC Comics one-shot crossovers.
Set against the turbulent backdrop of the early 1970’s, John Stewart, a rookie in the Green Lantern Corps goes home to Earth where the political upheaval of the Vietnam War and the violence of the Civil Rights movement confronts him at every turn.
Many of us have probably wished at some point in our lives for a superhero to leap out of the comics and fix the world’s problems.
Russell examines the pros and cons of this real-world scenario as for whether Stewart, who wields the most powerful weapon in the universe should use it to stop racial atrocities.
The narrative uses a struggling Huckleberry Hound as the voice that is begging for the power ring to be used, while other plot elements argue the opposite.
Stewart’s struggle to resist smacking down those who worship evil’s might is what brings everything together to produce an entertaining and provocative story. Artwork checks all of the boxes and makes excellent use of expressive character work to convey what word balloons can’t.
It can be hard to take these one-shot comics seriously because the Hanna-Barbera side of things is a far cry from what we used to know. Putting that aside makes a pairing such as Green Lantern and Huckleberry Hound an exceptional way to approach serious issues without trivializing them while using a unique hook to provide enough of the escapism readers look for in comic books.