Batman Strikes #1 Review aka: Superman Meets the Quik Bunny

Reviewer: Paul Sebert
Story Title: N/A

Written By: Bill Matheny
Pencils: Christopher Jones
Coloring: Heroic Age
Lettering: Pat Brossaeu
Inks: Terry Beatty
Editor: Joan Hilty
Publisher: DC Comics

Ok, Ok”¦ don’t tell Daron this but well, I conveniently forgot to pick up the first issue of Batman Strikes. Furthermore I have yet to catch an episode of Warner Brothe’s new Batman cartoon, so rather than review a comic I haven’t
read based on a show I haven’t watched. I thought I’d try something new.

But again, just don’t tell Daron.

I’ve noticed that just about anyone who takes the comic book industry seriously believes that it is vital in the medium’s interest to attract new, young readers. However whether it’s the current Johnny DC line, or the Marvel Age family of books, comic fans generally treat any book aimed at a younger audience regardless of it’s quality like it’s bubonic plague.

Why is this?

My best theory is that many comics fans developed a distaste for “kiddy” comics during the 80s and early 90s in which both Marvel and DC took a crack at younger readers with hastily licensed crap, often hammered out with a
complete disregard for quality. Oh sure there was an occasional charming gem like Scott Shaw’s “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew” or “Steve Skeas’ “Peter Porker: The Spectacular Spider-Ham” but for the most part what was
aimed at younger readers was licensed junk like DC’s Atari Force” or Marvel’s Harvey-ripoff Star Comics line.

So this week, let’s take a look at a relic of a simpler time. Yes, this week we’ll be reviewing:

Superman Meets the Quik Bunny

Cross-promotional freebie comics have been an industry standard for years. From bonus issues included in newspapers, to candy-bar wrapper UPC send-in promotions, to school educational hand outs, both Marvel and DC have given dozens for free comics to younger readers. Sadly though, most of these comics are alas little more than oddball novelties. Take the strange case of Superman Meets the Quik Bunny for example, a book that was given away to kiddies who collected UPC labels from the popular chocolate milk drink Nestle Quik. (Later renamed NesQuick, for reasons unknown by me.)

For a novelty comic of dubious quality, this particular piece of work had a rather star-studded cast and crew putting it together. It was written by current DC Comics senior editor Mike Carlin, and drawn by two certified
silver-age legends Carmine Infantino and Dick Giordano. It certainly looks good, better than most hand-out comics of the time, however the story is pretty much as much nonsense as you might expect.

In a nutshell, our story opens up with Superman swooping in to save a young child in a suddenly flooded Metropolis. Meanwhile in a tranquil unaffected suburb, a group of multicultural children known as the “Quik Club” are building their own tree house, which looks like something that would happen if Frank Lloyd Wright had created The Jetsons. The kids slap high-fives, and celebrate as we the reader are left to wonder just how these children were able to complete this structure. Suddenly the Quik Bunny dashes in and everyone enjoys a nice glass of chocolate Nestle Quik. That’s the only kind
you’ll see in this issue. Strawberry Quik gets no love in this high-tech clubhouse. The Bunny suggests the kids watch some cartoons on the
clubhouse’s big-screen television, when they see a special report on Superman’s daring effort to save people from the storm. When one of the kids
Miguel worries that Superman might get hurt, so naturally the Quik Bunny suggests that the kids help Superman. After all Ronnie’s an expert in
Geography, Patty is in the school’s science club, Miguel is an expert in languages and communication, and Maureen is a computer whiz. If this is not enough qualification to form a superhero team?

The kids agree, and as luck would have it the clubhouse also turns into a helicopter. Seconds later the club is in Metropolis. Meanwhile The Weather Wizard, traditionally a Flash villain gloats as apparently this storm is his doing. He then sends a bolt of lightening flying at Superman, and to save our hero we the reader have to guide the man of steel through a rather easy maze to the other side of the city. As soon as Superman escapes, we cut away to the Quick Qopter *groan*, to see the children trying to figure out how this improbable storm started so quickly, particularly when the weather report said today was supposed to be sunny. And we all know TV weather reports are 100% accurate. To determine the cause of this calamity Maureen’s
computer spits out a Jumbles-style word puzzle. Considering the villain was revealed on the last page, it’s pretty easy to figure out.

The Quik Bunny manages to figure out the puzzle, and the flying contraption swoops in to inform Superman that this storm is the Weather Wizard’s doing just as our hero spots the arch-foe. Superman finds nothing least bit odd
about a group of kids in a rocket-powered helicopter clubhouse, and winds up getting frozen in a block of ice by the villain. The kids swoop in to save the superhero just after our hero just as The Weather Wizard flies off on a cloud to Washington DC. Superman zips away at super speed and our heroes decide to help him again. Unfortunately the Helicopter isn’t fast enough to keep up with The Man of Steel, so Patty decides to turn the clubhouse into a
helium balloon. Which as we all know is faster than a helicopter because it coasts along air currents”¦ yeah. SCIENCE kids.

Anyway Superman swoops in to Washington DC, where a Tornado, clearly the work of the Weather Wizard is quickly approaching. Superman concludes that if the storm strikes the nation’s capitol, the United States will be thrown
in chaos. “Then the Weather Wizard will try to step in and rule the most powerful nation on Earth!” Of course it all makes sense that the American people will elect whoever destroys the nation’s capitol. How else can you explain George W. Bush?

Anyway there’s a spot the difference between the two panels game, as everything is blown into the air by the Weather Wizard’s tornado. Superman
rapidly tries to catch the debris when he spots the Washington Monument about to topple over. Superman drops everything and swoops in to avert
disaster as the Weather Wizard laughs and gloats “Nobody’s ever tipped over the Washington Monument before! I’ll go down in history!!” I have no idea how this is supposed to help him take over the United States.

Just as Superman is about to give in to the combined weight of the falling monument and the winds of the tornado, the Quik Club’s balloon arrives and flies to the safety of the Tornado’s eye. Scientifically sound strategy or no, one would think a balloon would be the least desirable vehicle for maneuvering in this manner of storm. To discover the Weather Wizard’s
location, Maureen’s computer spits out another puzzle, where this time the reader is asked to shade in the letter Qs on crosswords style grid.

The Quik Bunny downs another glass of Nestle Quik and suddenly jumps out of the balloon, where he begins running circles around the Weather Wizard. This is apparently enough of a distraction for the Weather Wizard’s tornado
to stop and”¦ Arrrrrgggh! I can’t take it.

Really I’ve survived the first two issues of X-Force, I reviewed a dozen issues of Venom for Spider-Fan, and I’ve even read Get Kraven”¦ but I can’t do this. The sheer inanity of Superman Meets the Quik Bunny has destroyed my mind. If you honestly want to see, how the rest of the story turns out Click Here. Just don’t tell anyone I sent you, and particularly don’t tell Daron. In a nutshell the rest of the wackiness involves more easy puzzles, a mummy, an even more ridiculous vehicle for the kids to travel in, and lots and lots of glass of chocolate Quik being enjoyed by all.