Warning: This review contains full spoilers for the issue.
This month's issue of The Flintstones has a refreshing return to Wilma's art career, some new developments in the ongoing saga of Clod the Destroyer, and musings on cinema. Who would have thought that something based on The Flintstones could have eloquent commentary on the differences between art meant to, ahem, titillate, and "true" art? Also, I'm sad to report, this issue contains the death of Vacuum Cleaner, one of my favorite recurring characters. Then again, should I have expected anything else from the issue that guest-stars Werner Herzrock?
This issue also puts an end to Clod the Destroyer's incompetent reign of wrath, hopefully for good. In a sequence that I hope real life chooses to imitate in some fashion, he's essentially kicked out of the office, left to stay in a position where he's fairly harmless. Wilma's wonderful artistry skills come into play here, producing a fake cave set for him to stay in.
The most heartbreaking aspect comes from the demise of a longtime supporting character in the comic, Vacuum Cleaner. Possibly the most innocent of the anthropomorphic gang, he meets his end in a horribly ironic way. Earlier, I mentioned the "artistic" films that Fred Flintstone discovered. He ends up taking many of his friends to go see them, under the cover of disguises, so no one would recognize them. Vacuum Cleaner develops a fascination for the art and also takes multiple trips to the theater. Unfortunately, the increased amount of visitors leads to an increased amount of dust and muck, causing a worker to grab V.C. and use him to clean it up. This, of course, proves to be too much for him.
It says a lot about Mark Russell's long-term writing that I can get attached to what amounts to a household object, only to get my heart broken when he dies. I also think that Steve Pugh's art for the particular scene is equally poignant, showing the heartbreak on all of the various appliances' faces at the improvised funeral and subsequent montage. Combined with the eulogy, it's a potent scene. It's been hard writing my review for this issue because it's so hard to read.
The Flintstones #10 is written by Mark Russell, drawn by Steve Pugh, colored by Chris Chuckry, and lettered by Dave Sharpe. You can find it at your local comic book shop.
Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.