Review: ‘Scooby Apocalypse’ #1: Bland Armageddon

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Those meddling kids—Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and their dog, Scooby-Doo—get more ghost-debunking than they bargained for when faced with a fundamental change in their world. The apocalypse has happened. Old rules about logic no longer apply. The creatures of the night are among us, and the crew of the Magical Mystery Machine has to fight to survive—because in the apocalyptic badlands of the near-future, the horrors are real!This new monthly series takes Scooby and the gang to a whole new level and features character designs by comics superstar Jim Lee!

The second installment of DC Comics’ attempt to re-imagine Hanna Barbara characters tries to add a darker spin on those meddling kids. Of all three of the series announced this was the one which resonated with the fan base because of the wall concepts and character designs. Now, after all is said and done, a new cry will ring aloud as people read the issue and collectively proclaim: “Meh”.

Let’s ignore the whole hatred people had with the idea of “Shaggy is a hipster using terms like “Sheeple,”” argument and focus on what else this series has to offer. The issue is filled with exposition to explain this new world Scooby and the crew will be exploring. It can be easily summed up as Velma is working in a facility which did wild experiment including engineering Scooby (which is why he can talk) and the world will be full of monsters thanks to nanotechnology they release by the end of the issue. There! The premise is explained in one sentence instead of the eight pages of panels it takes Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis (who is actually credited as “Dialog and More Dialog”) to accomplish. They properly could have gone with a little less dialogue and come out alright and simplify it. It’s a series with a talking dog. There really isn’t a need for extensive explanations of how it all came to be. Readers are perfectly okay with notions like “Evil Research Facility” to explain what happened.. There is a small back up story about Shaggy’s first day at the facility and why him and Scooby are so close which is nice. Good to know as much as things change, Shaggy and Scooby will always be the best of friends.
Scooby Apocaylse

Howard Porter’s art is serviceable but a bit odd. Every character is drawn with shiny lips like they coated them with lip gloss. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t in every single panel. There’s a lot of good detail work in the wider shots but the issue is so full of panels with talking heads it’s hard not to notice this odd choice with character designs.

So there it is. The most wild and off the wall attempt to reinvent Scooby Doo in a while and it sadly comes off as bland. Maybe in the following issues with the plot established there will be more intrigue but for now there doesn’t seem to be much substance here.

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