Comic Review: Superman/Top Cat Special #1 (DC Comics)

DC Comics is working with Hanna-Barbera again, teaming DC characters with classic cartoon favorites. Superman and Top Cat join forces in one adventure this month. Top Cat, star of his […]

DC Comics is working with Hanna-Barbera again, teaming DC characters with classic cartoon favorites. Superman and Top Cat join forces in one adventure this month.

Top Cat, star of his own animated series in 1961-62, was based on the East Side Kids, from the 1940’s and The Phil Silvers show, from the late 1950’s. No matter, as today’s Top Cat bears little resemblance to the original anyway… and you would need to be in your early 60’s to have seen the Top Cat TV show back then.

Back to the comic; Top Cat has secured a job. He’s helping at Wholesome Goods, a large multinational grocery chain. But something nasty is happening at Top Cat’s local store: the salad seems alive! It appears that an alien race of Kale is being consumed by salad buyers!!

Enter Superman and a few villains, and we’re off into an adventure with lots of twists, turns, and cigar-chomping humor. Top Cat is quite the card. He’s got something to say about everything!

Dan Didio is the writer, and Shane Davis pencils the issue, with Michelle Delecki inking it. It’s a highly detailed visual style, which works to a point, but of course, suits Superman more than an animated cat. Some panels ache for a bit of exaggerated simplicity but stay firmly rooted in hyper-realism. A shame, actually. It makes this improbable team-up even less natural.

The backup story is quite good, with one caution; you need to purchase all four of the DC-HB team up books to read the entire story. It is continued story throughout all four. Having said that, this Secret Squirrel tale is delightful. It’s written by J.M. DeMatteis with loads of sly jokes and sarcasm, sprinkled liberally over a gripping plot: Secret Squirrel’s vacation is cut short, and his companion’s father’s likeness has been taken over by an evil genius.

I am really impressed with Tom Mandrake’s pencils and inks. His work here suggests the old Gene Colan-Tom Palmer team; a fun combo for a story about an animated squirrel. Consider buying the four issues just for the backup story alone!

DC-Hanna Barbera: Superman/TopCat Special #1, $4.99 for 40 pages of content, Teen

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!