Title: Deathstroke/Yogi Bear Special (2018) #1
Words: Frank Tieri
Art: Mark Texeira
Colors: Jeromy Cox
Letters: Wes Abbott
Publication Date: October 31, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “In Yellowstone Park, legends speak of a spirit bear referred to as “the Yogi,” which few if any have actually encountered. Real or not, when a bear seems to have graduated from stealing picnic baskets to kidnapping actual campers, Ranger Smith decides it’s time to stop this menace—so he calls on the services of Slade Wilson—a.k.a. Deathstroke—to get the job done. Plus, part one of a Secret Squirrel backup story written by J.M. DeMatteis.”
Fair warning, the publisher’s summary has absolutely nothing to do with the book that was actually published. It’s Yogi who hires Deathstroke, and with the help of Ranger Smith, they try to find Boo Boo who has mysteriously gone missing. They didn’t even get Jellystone right.
Despite the missed direction of what I guess was the original concept of murderous rogue Yogi, we have an excellent story here. Frank Tieri captured the humor of the original cartoon and mashed it up with Deathstoke’s carnage that is both funny and action packed. Somehow he also manages to get this unlikely combination to make sense too.
Mark Texeira doesn’t hesitate to just go for it either. He takes the liberty to make Yogi look like a real bear, very grizzly-esque in fact, which adds to the story in much the same way that Tieri did in his writing.
And a final note: there is also part one of a Secret Squirrel story that continues in a different mash-up, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to find it.
The Bottom Line:
As ridiculous as this pairing sounds, the creative team actually makes it work, and provides a funny and action packed story. Honestly, DC has put out regular titles that are less believable.