SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #1 (DC Comics)
- W: Keith Giffen/JM DeMatteis
- A: Howard Porter
I was highly skeptical about Scooby Apocalypse when I first heard about it but my curiosity got the better of me when I saw who the creative team were that DC pulled together for this. I have been a fan of Giffen and DeMatteis for decades (both creators being responsible for some of my absolute favourite comic book stories of all time) and I really enjoyed Howard Porter’s work on Justice League 3000 so I figured the least I could do is check it out for myself. See what these guys have done with one of my favourite animated properties.
The story kicks off one year ago in Paris with Velma standing on a balcony and pontificating on the state of the world. “Idiots. The world is going to hell in a handbasket and they’re coating it in a worthless, romantic veneer.” She says that we’re all “skipping merrily” into oblivion and she appears to have some sort of plan to do something about it. She releases what appears to be some sort of chemical or biological agent into the air and looks off, uncertain about the future.
Cut to the present and we meet the next two of our cast, Fred and Daphne. They are attending the Blazing Man Festival in the hopes of meeting a whistleblower who will help get their show, Daphne Blake’s Mysterious Mysteries back on the radar. As they wander off, we are introduced to the two character that would essentially make or break this whole enterprise if they are handled poorly: Norville ‘Shaggy’ Rogers and Scooby-Doo. I’m still trying to figure out why Shaggy has the weird moustache but I was impressed with this interpretation of the characters. Again, there’s some mystery about their role in the grand scheme of things, Scooby appears to be an enhanced animal of some kind, and we find out that they work for the same organization, The Complex, which finally ties all of our characters together and sets them on a trajectory to eventually meet.
Not much really happens in the first issue other than setting up the new characters and paradigm of the series but I think that’s okay here. Considering the creative team is reimagining a beloved franchise it makes sense for them to ease the audience into it. Give us a taste of who these characters are, how they will operate in this world, what their environment is like, and the most basic question, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in this story?
Now, they’re a little more vague on that last point as Velma works for who we are told are ‘ze bad guys’ and we are led to believe that her actions at the beginning of this issue are connected to the events at its end. This puts Velma in a bit of an awkward position and leaves the reader wondering how all of this is going to play out, which is exactly what you want as an audience. You want the familiar mixed in with the new. These are all characters that we know and love but we don’t know the finer points of their characters and that’s where the drama will come from. Well, it’ll come from the characters and from the fact that the issue ends at the start of an apocalypse caused by the release of a nanite plague turning all of the people in the world into monsters leaving our cast holding the ball.
It’s compelling stuff and Giffen, DeMatteis, and Porter have gotten off to a really good start with this new iteration of Scooby-Doo and the gang. I want to see more of our cast, I definitely want to know more about the story and where it’s all leading, and I very much look forward to seeing more of the wonderful artwork being done by Porter with colouring provided by Hi-Fi Color.
Also, make sure to watch for a few easter eggs that the creative team have sneakily inserted into the issue.
At this issue’s conclusion I couldn’t help but think of a classic line from the show; “Well, gang, it looks like we have another mystery to solve.” Here’s looking forward to issue #2.