Last time, we scratched the surface of an ill-advised attempt to make the ThunderCats franchise darker and edgier. The sexism, gore, and terrible storytelling of the first two issues pales in comparison with the final half of the miniseries. As always, I must share my pain, so let’s explore issues 3-5 of ThunderCats: The Return.
I don’t know why, but many people really seem to want kids’ entertainment to get re-imagined in a dark and gritty way. That’s one of the main complaints people seem to have about the upcoming ThunderCats reboot, which looks sillier than the original. While adult clamor for a darker version of ThunderCats (often ignoring that the awesome 2011 reboot was more mature and didn’t last more than one season), it’s worth noting that there is danger in going dark just for the sake of getting grim and gritty.
The ThunderCats franchise serves as a good example of why “more mature” often isn’t and why dark and gritty doesn’t necessarily make for better storytelling. See, the early 2000s had a ThunderCats reboot of its own in comic form. The resulting miniseries, ThunderCats: The Return is probably one of the worst comics I’ve ever read.
I don’t like to suffer through bad comics alone. So let’s take a look at this train wreck together, shall we?