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‘Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla Special #1’ (review)

Written by Heath Corson
Illustrated by Tom Grummett
Published by DC Comics

 

Because exactly no one demanded it, Nightwing teams up with Magilla Gorilla in the latest Hanna-Barbera / DC Comics Special.

Writer Heath Corson takes Dick to visit his agent in Hollywood for a new opportunity and movie pitch.

Consider this an unaired and unpopular Rockford Files story starring Hanna-Barbera’s Magilla Gorilla. I remember the name certainly but not The Magilla Gorilla Show that aired from ’66-’64.

This time, Nightwing and Magilla share an agent in Melvin Peeples.

We’re given the impression that Magilla is a big huge action star in many monkey themed Hollywood movies and he certainly has the illustrious Villa Gorilla to show for it.

In fact, he wants to produce a feature script based on The Flying Graysons and needs Dick’s permission. Dick turns it down.

Later that evening Mel Peebles is found murdered and Magilla is being set up. Nightwing and MG escape and Dick calls on Babs to help him with the forensic work.

As the plot unfolds, we get a peek into MG’s rivalry with Grape Ape, Madame Xanadu makes a cameo in a Magic Castle, and the boys get into a right proper fistfight.

Nightwing’s secret identity is not safe to a big primate like MG that relied on smell, but they also use their collective instincts to discover the real murderer of the mentoring Peeples.

I can’t decide why they are doing these crossovers, besides exploiting old intellectual property for cash and see if Hanna-Barbera fans will make it to the store each week, but who knows. Nightwing fans will find Dick true to form as this Future Quest storyline touches on other books.

With The Flintstones and to a different and lesser extent, The Jetsons, writers have found a way to reframe these characters in an interesting and subversive way. I don’t believe these DC crossovers to be as deep as those books, nor do they need to be. I think this is a trade game for DC to collect these all at once for the consumer that might be sold on the concept.

As far as Elseworlds are concerned, I’m not blown away by the stories nor do I think the characters are designed that well for modern stories. Sure, the reveal of Magilla Gorilla was cool but it’s hard to be excited about these specials.

Perhaps someone is following along to piece together this Future Quest timeline but I can safely say I won’t be too sad when these crossovers make their way into the eventual quarter bin and stop clogging up the shelves.

 

 

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