Jun 8, 2016

Comic Review: Scooby Apocalypse #1

In case you missed the news, DC Comics has launched a series of comics featuring beloved cartoon characters being updated, rebooted, re-imagined, whatever you want to call it. The first was Future Quest which crosses over Johnny Quest, Space Ghost, Herculoids, the Galaxy Trio, Birdman, and more into a shared universe.

Scooby Apocalypse is next up to bat and was released a couple weeks ago. Naturally, there's been a lot of skepticism, to put it lightly, about all of these books. We geeks don't like people messing with our beloved childhood icons...until we see someone do it right and then we forget how much we hated the idea when we heard about it.

Let me lay it out and then I'll get into my thoughts.
Spoilers ahead, if you care.

It's sometime in the future and Daphne is the host of a failing paranormal reality show that's been shuffled off the knitting channel at 4am. Fred is her cameraman and secretly pines for her. They're at the Blazing Man Festival to meet up with a government lab scientist, Velma, promising a big story that might get them back on top.

Meanwhile, Shaggy, who works at the same facility as a dog trainer, has snuck out smartdog prototype Scooby to the festival for a bite to eat. The all come together and Velma takes them through the underground facility amid a ton of exposition.

The all new Scooby gang
She eventually leads them to the facility's super-secret Safe Room where she explains the true agenda of the Project Elysium: seeding the planet with nanites to make people not only less violent, but more submissive. The nanites have already been spread and wait to be activated by the scientists from the Safe Room. Suddenly, the room goes into lockdown.
Someone has activated the nanites!

As the gang wonder what has happened, we cut to a splash page of the above ground world where there's an all-out monster war including werewolves, mummies, gill-men, winged demons, and some suspiciously familiar looking xenomorphs.

There's a 6 page backup story titled "When Shaggy Met Scooby" that shows Shaggy's first day on the job as dog trainer and how he basically prevents Scooby from being killed by the successful, more aggressive smartdogs.

I think this issue suffers from the same thing as a lot of pilot TV episodes: they have to drop a lot of exposition to get things ready for where they're going. But it also helps get in some background on where these familiar characters are in this reality. Shaggy looks more hipster than hippie. Scooby is a failed prototype with implants that allow him to speak but he doesn't speak as well as the other smartdogs, keeping his trademark speech pattern.

I'm not a big fan of the art style. No wait, now that I went back and looked it over, it's the faces I'm not digging. I much prefer the cartoon style of Jim Lee's cover art than what's in the book. But maybe "more cartoony" won't fit the tone of the book once it gets rolling. It does have a Teen rating after all.  The character design is about what you'd expect for the slightly future forward gang and keeps the color schemes they're known for. Fred now sports a neckerchief instead of an ascot. Strangely absent from this first issue is the Mystery Machine, but I'm sure it's coming. How can you do Doo without it?

The story has me...intrigued. We've got a secret government project and what looks to be all sorts of monsters coming up. It probably won't be for every Scooby fan but for now, I'm interested to see where they go with it and if nothing else, there's monsters.

3 out of 5 Scooby Snacks


  1. Not sure how I feel about shaggy's new look lol. I picked up last month a Scooby-Doo team up with Aquaman that I still need to read. But I think I will pass on this one.

    1. I'm going to stick with it for a couple issues to see if it gets good. I looked at Wacky Raceland last night and it seems like it's a mess. The concept is good but with so many characters it's hard to figure out who is talking some times.



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