This issue starts off with Mr. Slate being the pretentious jerk he’s accustomed to being. Firing Fred and the rest of the crew, for a little extra profit. You see Fred In the wake of his unemployment, feeling worthless sitting at home unable to go to work. He prides himself on being a hard worker, and without that, he feels depressed. In the hopes of cheering up her distraught husband, Wilma buys him a new bowling ball, and offers him a night out to take his mind off of recent events. The night doesn’t provide Fred with much relieve, but luckily the next morning, Mr. Slate gives Fred and the crew all their jobs back.
Now, what I found to be the most enjoyable part of this issues, was the back story involving the armadillo and the rest of the household appliances. In the beginning of this issue you see all the appliances taking a load off after a long days work, and really enjoying each other’s companionship. After Wilma buys Fred the new bowling ball, which is an armadillo. The old one must be disposed of for the garbage company to haul away. The other appliances have trouble coping with thought of their old friend rotting away at the dump, so they devise a plan to rescue their pal, and bring him back to the house. Mark Russell does another brilliant job in this issue, bringing a the perfect amount of humor and intellect to the reader. What was really amazing to see was, how a depressed Fred seemingly tosses aside his bowling bowl for a newer model, while he sulks in the decision Mr. Slate made to toss him aside for a better model. Russell’s ability to show that contrast in the midst of humor, is incredibly brilliant.
The art work has been consistently great through this entire run with Steve Pugh at the helm. He’s able to take an old child hood favorite, and make it a more visually mature, and life like. I think Russell and Pugh compliment each other perfectly, and make a great duo.
Conclusion: I've come to realize that you'll never be disappointed with a Flintstones issue from Mark Russell. It's consistently well thought out, and put together month after month.