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Not-So-Funny Animals: Graeme goes to the Zoo (Crew) from 10/10

Graeme McMillan

Maybe I’m missing something, but I can’t tell if CAPTAIN CARROT AND THE FINAL ARK #1 is a bad comic or a parody of a bad comic that’s way too close to the real thing.

That’s not to say that it doesn’t have its good points, of course, primary among which is the art by Scott Shaw and Al Gordon, which is both appropriately cartoony and chunky, clear enough to follow the action but not enough to be bland. Visually, it’s a well-done funny animal book, and there are points where you think that the story’s trying to go in the same direction (Mostly, when there are innumerable animal-related puns on the names of people and places: At the Sandy-Eggo Comic-Con, for example, you can see writers Giraffe Johns and Shark Waid! And DC’s – which stands for Detective Chimp, as you’d expect – mature readers imprint is called Birdigo! Oh, my aching sides), and then there are points where you’re not really sure what direction the story is going.

The plot of the issue, such as it is, seems to revolve around not just the hunt for a pretty generic badguy (The Salamandroid), but also some (maybe fake? I really have no idea) past continuity that’s related in exposition-heavy flashbacks that pretty much stop whatever action and momentum the story has going dead. It makes for a reading experience that’s not only uninvolving, but also just plain confusing – Who is this book being written for? The parody of the washed-up superhero team and political stuff (such as it is) seems to be written for an older fanboy readership, who’ll also appreciate the allusions to creators like Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones. And if the cover and pre-release promotion is to be believed, the series ties into Countdown, which… well, just seems like a sure way to sink the book for anyone but the core DC fanbase. But does that fanbase really want to read funny animal books with puns that seem to skew to a younger audience?

It’s a strange book, then; something that tries to appeal to different people in different ways and ends up unsatisfying to everyone apart from the creators. Eh is the best I can give it, and that’s pretty much because I’m sure that I’m missing something fun about the whole exercise.

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