Amidst all the craziness of the countdown to the big “Final Crisis” event, we take a sharp left turn away from anything else I’ve been reading about and journey into a completely alternate (and for me, unknown) universe: that of Captain Carrot and his amazing Zoo Crew.
Surely pulled from the deep, dark depths of comics obscurity, Captain Carrot follows the adventures of Rodney Rabbit, a rabbit who eats magical carrots to turn into a bunny superhero and who lives in a world devoid of any humans. Instead, animals are the sentient, dominant species on the planet, and stories play out much the same way they do in any other DC comic, but with animals in all of the roles.
A throwback to the 80s and the characters’ original appearances, this trade is broken down into two parts. The latter half includes classic Captain Carrot storylines from the 80s, including a run-in Rodney had with Superman which ultimately led to his gaining superpowers. The first half is a contemporary storyline, showing Captain Carrot and his crew reuniting after years apart to defeat the nefarious Starro from flooding the entire world.
As far as stories go, it’s pretty straightforward. Half the fun of the comic is trying to spot the animal version of any number of DC characters. A word of warning: if you hate puns, steer clear of this comic. It is incredibly pun-heavy, and will no doubt drive you insane with the sheer volume of puns splashed across each page. That being said, if you enjoy puns, this book will be right up your alley. There are silly, “punny” names for animal versions of popular characters like Superman and Batman, but the story also draws upon slightly more obscure characters for the sake of humor.
The “New Dogs” are only in the story briefly, but their appearance garnered a chuckle out of me, so I’d say it was worth it.
I had no idea how this storyline played into the rest of the DC universe until I read the last few pages. Fleeing their world due to the oncoming flood, the animals are accidentally transported to our own Earth, where they encounter a handful of our heroes. Unfortunately, they’re no longer the same cartoon-ish characters as before:
The animals are still rational and self-aware, but they don’t seem to be able to communicate with the League (because apparently somehow in all of this hooplah, talking animals is where we draw the line of believability??) The story ends on this note, so I have no doubt in my mind that the Zoo Crew will pop up in a future trade. What their role will be in the overall story though, I haven’t the foggiest.
These stories are innocent and enjoyable enough, though certainly easily overlooked. There was nothing groundbreaking or fascinating about the stories. Unless you want to read the backstory to however these characters tie into Final Crisis, or are fascinated with slightly more obscure DC comics from the 80s, you can probably safely skip this one. Still, I’ve read far worse, so for as silly and unassuming as this comic is, it’s really not all that bad.
Added bonus: the comic presents us with what I believe to be a fairly accurate representation of what Mistah J would look like should there ever be an impending worldwide flood: