SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #2 (DC Comics)
- W: Keith Giffen/JM DeMatteis
- A: Howard Porter
After the surprising success of Scooby Apocalypse #1 I was a little worried about how the second issue would measure up. I enjoyed the new take on the characters as well as the writing and art so much that I was kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Was the first issue a fluke? Would it continue the same level of excellence and intrigue by building on this mysterious new H-B world and concept presented in the first issue?
The answer to all those questions is a resounding “Yes!”
Once again the creative team of Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis, and Howard Porter (with colours by Hi-Fi) bring us an exciting, dramatic, monster-filled issue that raises just as many questions as it answers and gives our intrepid heroes a dollop of action to change the up the pace a little bit.
Also, monsters. Lots of crazy-ass monsters.
The issue starts with the gang trapped in the Safe Zone we left them in previously. Things on the outside have gone to hecll and they need to assess the situation and, most likely, make their way out of The Complex.
It’s a pretty simple story where the team needs to move from Point A to Point B and avoid or overcome any and all threats inbetween. It’s a classic horror or action movie trope and Giffen and DeMatteis use it to full effect here. The whole issue has a kind of Half-Life feeling to it as they navigate their way through the doomed facility. The mystery of what is actually going on remains strong, and the fact that Velma knows more than she’s telling also creates a nice thread of tension within the group. Their nerves and resolve are fraying and each successive encounter threatens to tear the gang apart as it draws them closer together in equal measure..
Because we are unfamiliar with the world of Scooby Apocalypse and just and just how far the creative team is willing to push things, it adds a level of tension you wouldn’t normally get in a Scooby-Doo story. Sure, none of the principal characters are going to die, for example, but within this ongoing narrative there are countless opportunities to introduce crazy twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. Also, just because we know these characters won’t die is no guarantee that the gang is going to come out of The Complex and instantly stay together. There is definite friction within the group and it would make total sense if, after escaping, they went their separate ways for a bit.
I find that really compelling.
I also wanted to bring up the monsters, again. Howard Porter really goes to town and brings forth an array of creepy beasties for the gang to face off against. The first of these that they encounter is a former colleague and only friend of Velma’s, Dr. Eric Kramer. He is really one of the best and most threatening creature designs in the issue and it sends a clear message to the reader that this book has teeth (no pun intended). I mean, people are being eaten. ‘Nuff said.
A couple of final shout-outs before I close out the review. I love the nervous habit they gave Velma of pulling on her turtleneck collar whenever things get tense. It’s a small visual tell of how the character is feeling and, seeing as she tries very hard to be in control and hide her feelings to the group, it’s a nice characetr thing to throw in there. Also, they make mention of a Dr. Krebs which made me smile as it’s a clear reference to the character of Maynard G. Krebs from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and the template upon which Shaggy was originally based back in 1968-69.
So, Scooby Apocalypse #2 is another great read that pushes things forward, raises the stakes and the bar, and has me anxiously awaiting the arrival of #3. If you haven’t been checking this series out yet, what are you waiting for?