Nostalgia is often used to cash in on a particular property that has a loyal, if older fanbase. With that said, as someone who has never liked anything Scooby-Doo related and has no nostalgia to filter Scooby Apocalypse through, I am quite surprised I enjoy this book as much as I do. Issue #3 picks up after the meddling kids narrowly escape The Complex, though not without a loss of fluids. Fred suffers the worst of the attack and needless to say, Daphne isn’t taking it well. Something Velma finds out personally via their verbal sparring bouts.
Howard Porter and Paolo Pantalena share art duties here, and the idea of switching artists for flashbacks and present scenes works really well here, if only to differentiate the past from the present. It helps that the art styles mesh really well, so there’s no jarring transitions.
Eventually, our blond cameraman is back on his feet, and after probably the worst proposal ever, we actually see a bit more of the classic gang tropes show up as Shaggy, Scooby, and Fred go shopping/looting.
As the art and the last two issues have made clear, this isn’t your daddys’ Mystery Inc. That’s shown not just in the redesigns of classic characters like Freddy and Velma, but in their personalities which, have been a bit two-dimensional in past takes. Freddy isn’t just the leader, Daphne isn’t just “danger-prone,” Velmas’ more than just the smart one, and Shaggy is more than just the hippie. Scooby is more or less the same, but he’s a dog so…eh.
Freddy is often shown as unsure of himself, Shaggy can be assertive, and that’s what separates Scooby Apocalypse from a lot of other Scooby-Doo related material. On the flipside of having all this character means you have to get a lot out. This issue in particular jammed a lot of text into panels where things likely could have been shortened.
Jim Lee & Keith Giffen have a solid story here. As of now this book has no set number of issues, so they, along with J.M. DeMatteis can afford to lighten the text on some pages. If that means the series runs another book or two, if it continues to be this good I doubt anyone will be complaining.
This issue put a lot on my plate as a reader, but it's like Jell-O: always room for more apocalyptic, jiggly goodness. For a property that usually gives you a group of best friends to instead be present you with this haphazardly thrown-together group of people who at mostly tolerating each other at this point has been fun. The relationships that fans are familiar with are hinted at, but also in the process of developing which makes this a fun read whether you're an old or new fan to the series.
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