Speed Buggy Gets an Origin in this DC / Hanna-Barbera Crossover Featuring The Flash

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Flash Speed Buggy

From MY MOTHER THE CAR to TURBO TEEN, the idea of the human/automobile hybrid has been an inconsistent and, honestly, weird trope that nevertheless pops up now and again.

And while the Hanna-Barbera series SPEED BUGGY had a sentient, anthropomorphic car, Speed Buggy himself wasn't a person trapped in the vehicle so much as he simply was the vehicle.

That story gets a revamp with THE FLASH / SPEED BUGGY #1, one of the many pairings of DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera heroes hitting shelves this week. When The Flash -- Wally West -- stops Kilg%re at S.T.A.R. Labs, he gets an assist from a man in a racing car -- Dr. M. Blanc. (Editors Note: Mel Blanc, the inimitable voice actor, provided the vocals for Speed Buggy in the cartoon series.) Blanc has been building a device that taps into the speed force and channels it into his vehicle. Flash is very concerned about this, because whenever people try to harness the Speed Force, things go very badly.

And things do. When Flash agrees to help Blanc test his device in a race, they blow through time due to the intervention of Savitar. The accident has somehow fused Blanc and the vehicle into one so that the vehicle has Blanc's sentience. Savitar declares his intervention worked to his advantage, as he is flanked by Reverse Speed Buggy and Speed Demon Buggy.

And the battle is joined! Speed Buggy is as fast as The Flash (maybe), and helps take out the bad guys and prevent the apocalyptic future from coming to pass.

But Blanc has layers to his history -- a young daughter he has neglected due to his research. His daughter, Debbie, works as a mechanic with her friends Mark and Tinker. After defeating Savitar, "Speed Buggy" gifts himself to the crew, without revealing his true identity to his daughter. And as a nice epilogue, nearly all the DC and Hanna-Barbera characters are on hand to witness the start of a charity race -- Flash vs. Speed Buggy, once around the world.

Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth do a fine job at bringing Speed Buggy and his crew into the DC Universe while remaining true to the spirit of the character. And while many of the H-B crossovers simply are incompatible with the DCU for the long term (without introducing whole cities of anthropomorphic animals... oh wait... Gorilla City...), Speed Buggy is one that I could see fitting into continuity without having to make too much of an adjustment to the status quo. And it would be a welcome addition, with a whole new audience, appealing to the nostalgia of older readers while maintaining an appeal for younger ones.

How about it DC? Speed Buggy in the DCU?

4.0 / 5.0