By Sam King
Scooby Apocalypse is a series I have been following for a while. For me, it has simply become a guilty pleasure. Last issue we saw the death of Fred Jones (no spoilers really, since DC plastered everywhere that it was going to happen). This issue covers the aftermath of his loss and seems to start taking the series in a new direction.
As mentioned, last issue Fred found his story coming to a close. Daphne had finally conceded her feelings for him and agreed to marry him, only to have him die moments later in her arms. Afterward, she goes back to recover his body, but this issue we learn that his body was nowhere to be found and they assume he became monster food. Daphne is a killing machine, especially now that she doesn’t have Fred around to kind of balance her out. Her grieving process includes going out into the wilderness and shooting every monster she comes across. The rest of the remaining gang has set up a post at the mall where Fred died, dubbing it Jonestown after him. Some survivors have managed to make it there. Velma manages the settlement while others are in charge of resource management. Daisy is still around, telling Cliffy what to do. Scooby is still with Cliffy, being a dutiful canine companion.
This issue marks a turn from everything the series was before. It started as a survival mystery, that turned into a post-apocalyptic survival trek without much mystery. Now it is a story about starting over and trying to build from wreckage, while still surviving. The gang had been continuously on the move, trying to seek hope, but now they have become stationary, anchored in one spot by the loss of Fred. While they had plans to try and settle into the mall, the idea really seems to have solidified after Fred’s demise. They had talked about settling, but inevitably continued to move on. It has now been six months since the incident and Shaggy and Velma have found solace in one another, progressing their relationship to a more intimate, personal level. It is unclear how Shaggy moved from Daisy to Velma, and it seems to surprise him more than anyone else when questioned about his relationship with Velma. We also meet new characters who are part of the settlement and have had losses of their own. The cliffhanger end bringing back an old vengeful character could pose some upcoming trouble, but until next issue, we won’t know for certain how it will play out. However, even if the outpost can't stand through it, having to take care of a higher number of people may lead to an interesting story for the gang.
The loss of Fred and the stationary placement of the gang changes up the tone of the series and makes me wonder where it going to head now. It is overdue for the series to start something new and the cover itself even feels very different from previous ones in the series. The tone and art style are very different on it, although the art style inside is still the same. While some covers have been done by various artists, all of them fit the overall style of the comic, until now. I am excited to see that this series might be getting some new life pumped into it, as it was starting to get a bit stale with nothing but aimless wandering once we found out Velma’s brothers would be no help and a cure appears impossible. I was sad about the loss of Fred to a certain degree, but if this rejuvenation is what happens when staple characters leave, I would like to see more of it. That or it would be nice to finally have an end or a light at the tunnel. This series seems close to running its course and overstaying it’s welcome if it doesn’t keep moving in a new direction. It isn’t classic Scooby-Doo and the novelty has been slowly wearing off.
I am not a fan of the Secret Squirrel bonus story that has been running at the end of each issue. I’ve long become bored with the character, so I don’t even feel the need to remark on that aspect. The opossum from last time wants to get in Secret Squirrel’s pants and he no longer seems as reluctant about the situation. The story is getting too drawn out and I’d like to see it come to an end instead of having to trudge through it every time a new issue comes out. I can trudge through some slow parts when the Mystery Gang is involved, but Secret Squirrel has no weight with me.
Is this a great story? No. It is a fun novelty that should just be taken as light fun. However, because there is finally some shift in the gang’s behavior and some potential creeping back in, I am going to rate this one higher than I would previous issues. It isn’t the best comic you could pick up this week, but if you have been following the story from the beginning, I feel like this is a good turn for the series to take. Six months is a long gap to cover, but things may finally be looking up despite the sensationalized tragedy we got lost month.
Scooby Apocalypse #26