The Smacking of Penelope Pitstop

‘Hay-ulp! Hay-ulp!’


The distinctive Southern distress call of Penelope Pitstop echoed through the 1968 Hanna-Barbera cartoon series Wacky Races and its 1969 spin-off, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. But Penelope’s perils never, alas, included any danger to her rear end (except insofar as it was connected to the rest of her). Or, putting it another way, she was never prevented from sitting down in the driving seat of the Compact Pussycat!


It seems that many a young viewer fell slightly in love with the damsel-in-distress racer, with the result that, in maturer years, those few with talent reinvented her in terms of the pinup genre.


But the most unexpected reboot came in August 2016, when DC Comics launched a comic book version of the series. But one in which Penelope Pitstop looked like this:


And, from the reverse angle:


Wacky Raceland is a bizarre hybrid of the cartoon series and the apocalyptic sci-fi genre best known in the form of Mad Max. The familiar characters now have much more human personalities, and their mission is far more serious than the mere winning of a race in their improbable automobiles. Even Dick Dastardly seems to buckle down to his share of saving the world, though he still has a few dirty deeds in his repertoire.


But the new Penelope’s not the shrinking violet of old: she retaliates forcefully, and so the initial smacked bottom never proceeds to consummation in the form of the threatened sound spanking. What a pity!

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