DC’s series of crossover one-shots with the Looney Tunes has been generating buzz for months, and in June we finally got to check them out. I was interested from the beginning to see which continuity would win out: would the Looney Tunes get a dark and gritty reboot, or would the DC heroes wind up dodging anvils, pianos, and other fine Acme products?
While I can’t speak to the results of all of these pairings, I can say that Wonder Woman and the Tasmanian Devil actually fit together quite nicely. Writer Tony Bedard worked to find a natural way of including Taz into a Wonder Woman adventure and was largely successful by taking Diana back to her Amazonian roots. Taz works wonderfully as a creature of myth working alongside the minotaur as a guardian of Daedalus’s labyrinth.
The one-shot includes a longer story, The Devil You Know, and a retelling of the Trojan War entitled Trojan Horseplay, both written by Bedard. The first is a light-hearted adventure in which Diana enlists Taz to help save her sister Amazons from the sorceress Circe, while the latter is more of a dream sequence in which Taz and the other Looney Tunes are up to their usual shenanigans while Diana makes a token appearance as Helen of Troy.
The art team for The Devil You Know, Barry Kitson (pencils), John Floyd (ink), and Dave Sharpe (color) has an interesting take on Taz’s design as a part of the DCU. Attempting to keep somewhat to his cartoonish origins, he’s depicted as a muscular rather top-heavy monster with a heavy underbite and huge fangs. At one point in the story, he dons armor and starts to look a little more like the CG version of Scooby Doo from the 2002 movie, but actually seems to have a fuller range of expressions than without it.
The artwork for Trojan Horseplay is a lot closer to the Looney Tunes style and is done by Ben Caldwell. However, it does reduce Wonder Woman to a Betty-Boop-ish pinup (acknowledged in the second-to-last panel by saying the story would receive an “‘F’ from Professor Bechdel.”
As far as the Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil Special is concerned, the kid-friendly nature of both properties gets to shine and results in an enjoyable, nostalgia-inducing read. If you were looking for something more intense, maybe try the Yosemite Sam/Jonah Hex or Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian issues.