Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch #1
Published by Charlton and © Hanna-Barbera Productions, May 1975
Title: “This Is War”
Synopsis: Chopper and his gang team with Baron Von Hufanpuf, but still aren’t a match for Wheelie.
Review: Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch #1 features an odd mix of short stories, with cars and motorcycles taking on human stereotypes. The stories are all OK, though none reach the level of clever found in the best anthropomorphic tales. This one features the best art of the four.
Title: “Country Cousin”
Synopsis: A jealous Wheelie gets into a country-music showdown with a hillbilly truck named Country Boy Car.
Review: These stories often feature questionable moral messages. This time out: Wheelie throws a jealous tantrum and wins the day!
Synopsis: Chopper’s crew gets into a showdown with another bike gang, but Wheelie wants to teach both groups a lesson.
Review: It’s not exactly clear why Wheelie gets involved in this story. Uppity do-gooders can make for kind of annoying protagonists.
Title: “Gataway Went Thataway”
Synopsis: Wheelie jump-starts notorious bank robber Gat Gataway, but Chopper and his gang think they should collect the reward money.
Review: Another tale with mixed moral messages, as Wheelie first sides with the robber, then convinces the him to turn himself in.
Grade (for the entire issue): C
Cool factor: The text illos by a young John Byrne are really this issue’s saving grace.
Not-so-cool factor: Uncredited stories. Who did the art for these odd little stories? (The Grand Comics Database credits them to Joe Staton, but Staton does not list them in his bibliography.)
Notable: This issue includes a text backup story titled “Jungle Stories,” written by Michael J. Pellowski with illustrations John Byrne.
Character quotable: “AH-GOOG-AH!” – Wheelie, sans Chopper Bunch
Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on March 11, 2009.