JETSONS #2 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Pier Brito
While interesting characterization and deft science fiction elements help save JETSONS #2, a rushed plot lessens the overall experience. Is it still worth your time? I say yes, though you may want to read JETSONS #1 before deciding.
85 %
Space Age Blues
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The Science-Fiction genre has had many uses in its long existence. However, the main purpose behind these stories is always to illustrate the possibilities of the future. Whether a dystopic Armageddon or a utopic future society, science fiction exists to drive the decisions of the real world. In fact, even Hanna-Barbera’s THE JETSONS animated series gave viewers a glimpse of a future defined by ease and perfection of technology.

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What set THE JETSONS apart, though, was its focus on the real life behind the machines. A human family, with all of its foibles and victories, still defined the plot. Society was perfect, but the people within still had flaws. Thankfully, DC Comics JETSONS #2 carries this self-same focus, with a world-ending twist.

Following a series of apocalyptic dreams, Judy Jetson must hurry to the hospital after a workplace accident injures her father. Meanwhile, Elroy Jetson and Lake Cogswell must battle for their lives when their school platform loses levitation. As the manufactured landscape careens into the vast oceans, something wakes deep beneath the waters.

The sphere, a cosmic object that collided with Earth centuries earlier, has reactivated. With the safety of Earth’s last remaining humans at risk, Judy and George Jetson join a team of scientists and engineers to dive deep beneath the surface to investigate what these changes mean.

Death Defying Science Fiction?

THE JETSONS #2 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

When JETSONS #1 released, I was notably skeptical. Having grown up with Hanna-Barbera cartoons, I was scared that DC wouldn’t pay deep enough homage to the source. Thankfully, their unique take on the JETSONS formula managed to take the most important elements of the original show (i.e., the focus on family) and translate them into a BLACK MIRROR-esque world. The story was interesting only so far as the characters made it interesting. Still, the plot clipped along at an easy pace, giving readers a deeper focus on specific events.

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Sadly, I can’t say the same for JETSONS #2. Don’t get me wrong. The plot as a whole is interesting enough to keep me reading. The cataclysmic failure of science and the race against time give this story a welcome shot of adrenaline. However, the pacing is completely off. The plot bounces between story points without pause.

The school tumbling into the irradiated waters below should have felt like a grand, tension-filled moment. Whether it’s the bland dialogue or the fact that the situation fixes itself by simply disappearing, there’s no real tension here. JETSONS #2 is built of several good moments but, as a whole, it feels disjointed and unfulfilling.

A Future Family

THE JETSONS #2 page 8. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Jimmy Palmiotti’s plot may have left me wanting, but his characterization doesn’t. As I said, his dialogue throughout is a little panned and unrealistic. However, it’s the focus on people that makes this story work, despite its flaws. I loved the opening sequence, with Judy seeing these horrifying visions (potentially of the future), and then her writing it off.

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While this scene doesn’t get the page-time it deserves, we still learn so much about the character. She wants to go to film school and is able to use her dreams as footage. Despite the twisted and amazing ramifications of the science fiction, the fact that this somewhat minor player has deeper motivations shows an attention to detail that other writers should learn from.

One of the best aspects of this story is how comfortable it feels. The family aspect truly grounds this story in a world of high science. When George gets hurt in the early pages, Jane rightly berates his boss. It doesn’t matter that she’s on a space-faring mission to stop a coming asteroid. It matters that her husband is in the hospital, and she can’t do anything about it. The plot definitely needs some work, but the characterization from start to finish comes across as a full and fulfilling arc.

The Future of Art?

THE JETSONS #2 page 12. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Pier Brito handles the art again in this issue, and again, I am strangely drawn to his aesthetic. There are definite aspects that turn me away from his style. Certain anatomy choices come across a bit awkward on the page. Still, the overall aesthetic works. The characters have a nice mix of their old cartoony selves and new details to ground them in the more realistic setting.

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While the art style differs greatly from the show, the costumes hearken back to that era. Meanwhile, the environment in itself feels like a JETSONS setting. Set pieces like buildings and cars seem to be ripped straight from the show. Not only that, but visual easter eggs (like a machine with the show’s start year 1962 on the side) make this is a rewarding experience for fans.

Final Thoughts: JETSONS #2

JETSONS #2 is a good comic book, but issues with plot keep it from being great. I really wanted to love this issue. The science-fiction setting comes across as every day amidst this space-age family, and the overall characterization makes up for the substandard dialogue.

However, I felt like Jimmy Palmiotti rushed too quickly through this story. If you enjoyed JETSONS #1, buy this book. It’s story points will be necessary for future references. Just don’t use JETSONS #2 as the basis on which to continue this series.

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