I love Wacky Raceland. There is no denying it. Two issues in, and I am so hooked it scares me.
Ken Pontac and Leonardo Manco take a somewhat different journey in the second issue of this book, spending the entire page count on one story, and delving into the past life of Dick Dastardly. Not to say there isn’t a race. The vast cast are sent to post-apocalyptic San Francisco in this outing, racing not only against each other, but also against murderous nanites.
As the reader discovers, in a series of flashbacks, this is not Dastardly’s first encounter with the San Francisco nanites. We get to see a very different side of the man, who was a prominent musician in the days before the apocalypse, complete with wife and family. The horrific deaths of his wife and son, caused by the nanites, happens before his eyes, and is done in such a way that he will always blame himself for the events. The sequence both builds sympathy for the character, and neatly explains why he has become such a dark and self-loathing person.
While this is Dick Dastardly’s story from start to finish, both Penelope Pitsop and Peter Perfect get significant roles, and some of the other racers get moments to shine as well.
I commented in the previous issue about wanting to see more of the Gruesome Twosome’s car, and while Manco does an impressive job on the vehicle, on all the vehicles, it still remains the one that doesn’t quite capture me the way the original did.
I am very tempted to give this issue a perfect rating, that’s how much I loved it. I haven’t really talked much about the actual race that takes place, but it is replete with tension and grisliness, and has some good twists towards the end. The only thing that strikes me about this book is that it really feels more designed for adult readers. I think if I had read this story at the age at which I was watching Wacky Races it would have traumatized me.