New Zoo Review


Captain Carrot and the Final Ark #3

I was really, really worried about this issue. I thought for sure that DC would decree that, like most of their comics with connections to the much-despised “Countdown” series, it would end in a bloodbath. I’m glad I was wrong.

Anyway, after their undersea adventure, the Zoo Crew has lost their powers, except for Pig-Iron, who is able to save the whole team when they fall off a building. And the whole world is flooding, thanks to the plots of Starro the Conqueror and Rash Alpaca. How can the day be saved when there’s just one superhero left on the planet? Rodney decides to contact the Justa Lotta Animals team on Earth C-Minus… by creating a comic book?! Everyone gets busy loading Gnu York’s flood survivors onto a multibillionaire’s cruise ship called “Boa’s Ark”.

By the time the JLA shows up (including Batmouse, Green Lambkin, the Crash, Zap-Panda, Elongator, and Hawkmoose), a plan is in effect to transport the ship and the survivors to Earth C-Minus, but Starro interferes. Pig-Iron throws himself overboard with Starro while everyone else makes the interdimensional jump… but then the ship runs into the New Dogs, including Orihound, Lightstray, and Muttron. In the confusion, the ark and the Zoo Crew fall into one of the New Dogs’ Kaboom Tubes… and end up on our familiar New Earth. But with a very unexpected twist — the Zoo Crew and everyone else on the ship have been turned into normal, non-cartoon animals! What now?!

Okay, I was actually surprised that there were so many good things about this comic. It’s funny, with lots of good goofy puns — Rodney’s plan to contact the JLA is wonderfully Silver-Age, and the New Dogs deserve a comic all of their own. It’s also dramatic, as the looming end of the world cranks up the suspense a lot more than you’d expect from a funny-animal comic. Of course, it’s wonderful to get to see Scott Shaw!’s fun artwork again — why no one’s ever thought to give him a good all-ages comic, I don’t know. Best of all, rather than an end to the Zoo Crew, I think this series has actually set them up for a return. Sure, they’re not in their familiar cartoon bodies and their powers have been suppressed, but that could be changed easy. Even Pig-Iron’s sacrifice could be reversed without too much trouble (and it should be, because he and Fastback have always been the team’s two best characters).

Verdict: Thumbs up. I think all three issues are currently in stores now, or you can wait patiently for DC to release this (and hopefully, the rest of the Zoo Crew’s ’80s archives) as a trade paperback. But either way, go pick it up.

Comments are closed.