Things Get Real...
Written By: Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Howard Porter, Hi-Fi, & Nick J. Nap
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 15, 2016
I really wasn't sure what we were getting into when DC announced their revamped Hanna-Barbera line of books. At first, like most of the internet, I thought it was a gag... maybe an April Fools type of thing. The more I thought about it, I started to come around... after all, Giffen and DeMatteis are responsible for some of my very favorite comic book runs, and I've always enjoyed Howard Porter... what could go wrong?
Well, what I found in the first issue of Scooby Apocalypse was a Giffen/DeMatteis story wearing a coat of Scooby-Doo paint. Not bad, per say... but perhaps a case of two good things bringing out the not-so-good in one another. I like tuna fish and I like Skittles, but put 'em on the same crusty roll... your tongue will demand emancipation.
Let's see if the second chapter of Scooby Apocalypse finds the sweet spot...
Picking up where we left off, our team is assembled. We begin to actually meet the cast here on a deeper level. Velma's cold and collected facade begins to wear off after seeing what's become of one of her co-workers... the person who she described as the closest she could ever get to a friend. Daphne and Fred share many moments of almost what I would consider a passive-aggressive passion. We get the impression that they share feelings for one another, yet are fighting them for whatever reason. Shaggy, as in the first issue, is the most likable "human" character... really, just a dude tied up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Adding complexity to the characters is all well and good, however, I'm not quite sure if these folks were ever primed for fleshing out. I can't help but to feel as though I'm being unfair... I'm struggling to separate this take from the source material, however, when dealing with the reimagining of an established property it's difficult to do.
|This ain't happening on Saturday Morning TV...|
We follow the makeshift team through the compound as they observe it being taken over by the monster-fied researchers and scientists. It is interesting being there to witness the gang's reaction(s) to all of this, and their almost reluctance to bond in the light of it. Outside of Shaggy and Scoob, we get the impression that these are all very selfish (and to an extent, unlikable) people. However, when the chips are down, and they find themselves in mortal danger they are able to act in extraordinarily altruistic (and brutal) ways...
The art is, as expected, amazing. It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that this looks straight out of Porter's Justice League 3000/1 playbook, and really captures (and perhaps improves upon) the Jim Lee redesigns of the Scooby Gang.
Bits and Pieces:
Try as I might, I cannot figure out why this story needed the Scooby Doo characters to be told. At its core, it's not a bad issue, in fact I feel it's quite an improvement on the first. This got quite a bit darker than I would have imagined, and I can't help but feel that in some part the creators are purposely aiming for the Millennial-standby "my childhood is ruined" reaction.