Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Scooby Apocalypse #3 Review and *SPOILERS*

Rime and Rime Again

Scooby Apocalypse #3
Terror Incognita!
Written by: Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis
Art by: Howard Porter, Dale Eaglesham, Hi-Fi, & Nick Napolitano
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: 07.20.2016

I still remember the uproar when this title was announced... it's rare that so many childhoods are wiped out with one stroke of a pen.  This didn't really affect me, as I never really dug the old Scooby-Doo... in fact, the only iteration of the gang I liked was the (admittedly lackluster) A Pup Named Scooby-Doo from the late 80's!  With that now stuck in my head, I'm hoping that somehow Red Herring will be revealed as the mastermind of the Nanite plague!

This issue opens with with the Scooby gang finally at the wheel of the Mystery Machine... they're burning rubber across the wasteland that is the Nevada desert.  Not everything is coming up roses, however, as Fred is down and out in the back.  He's stable, thanks to Velma... but still not looking all that hot.  To find out how we got here, we're going to have to flashback.

We flash to the end of the previous chapter, and observe the gang as they attempt to escape the compound.  I'm torn whether or not I feel the morality bits here are a nice touch or a bit hackneyed.  I'm all for Daphne and Fred struggling with... well, slaughtering these monsters, knowing that they were once innocent human beings... but, I dunno.  There's a bit of genuineness missing from their internal conflict(s)... like, they are only saying it because they think that's what they should be saying.  Know what I'm saying?

Back in the present, Fred's finally up and about... and the team approaches a vantage point where they can see the smoldering remains of a city.  This is where Velma really begins to shine.  There's no way she can completely assuage herself of guilt here, as she was part of the program that created the nano-whatevers... but it's as though she's purposely coming off somewhat aloof to the entire thing.  As though, if she doesn't voice her guilt aloud, it's not really there.  There is one panel where she begins to question her role in all of this... but it doesn't go all that much farther.  You get the feeling that she will, before all is said and done, explode into a trembling mess of tears and regret.

We pop back into flashback mode and see the second half of the great escape.  Shaggy's driving acumen really pulls the team's fat out of the fire, and he actually receives some acknowledgement and validation, which was very nice.  It is during this bit that these four... five if we're including Scoob, start to really look like a unit.  They shed their more selfish exteriors, and begin to engage in more altruistic behavior.  Whether this is out of necessity, or if we're just starting to see the "real them" remains to be seen.  Very well done, nonetheless.

We wrap up the day's adventure by stocking up on some food that can be filed under "things that would survive a nuclear attack" and the group is finally given a few seconds to breathe.  This moment will likely prove to be short-lived as we see they're being watched by our next pointy-toothed "monster of the month"...

Overall, I liked this one a lot more than the previous two.  Dialogue was better, and the story just felt like it flowed quicker... but maybe not as smoothly as I'd have liked...

Perhaps I'm a bit dense, but the in-and-out of the flashbacks kind of made me lose my place during my first read through.  It went over my head how and when Fred "got better".  We go from a flashback where Daphne is forcibly shoved into the Mystery Machine... to the present, where Daphne is asleep in the back of the Mystery Machine... but, that scene occurs after the next flashback and the opening pages of the story?  Like I said, maybe (probably) it's just me... I still, however, thought it was worth a mention.

Bits and Pieces:

A definite improvement... I might go as far as saying it's finally hit its stride with this issue.  The characters are all becoming more likable as we get to know them better... almost in spite of themselves.  The art continues to be a highlight, where even if you're not a fan of the redesigns... they are at least nice to look at.

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1 comment:

  1. They had to at least address the morality question because we would bitch if they didn't. Did anyone else notice the original Mystery Machine down in the parking lot on page 13? This issue seemed really long to me!


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