"Scooby Apocalypse #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by DC Comics
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Illustrated by Howard Porter
Colored by Hi-Fi
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 25th, 2016
Scooby-Doo has come a long way since his creation in 1969. He's had a number of TV shows, a couple of movies, and the dog even met Batman. Now he faces his toughest challenge yet: The end of the world. DC Comics has rebooted the talking Great Dane for a new gritty reality. He still has some rudimentary speech, but now he's aided with a headset that shoots out emojis. I'm sure that will come in handy when the dead rise.
Scooby Apocalypse takes its time laying out this new version of the characters. If you were expecting Fred and Daphne to start shooting zombies, you're going to have to wait a little longer for that. They're currently struggling to get “Daphne Blake's Mysterious Mysteries” out of its exile at the four AM spot on the Knitting Channel. Velma is working at some top secret government lab and Shaggy is a hipster dog trainer.
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Out of all the redesigns, Shaggy is the one that's easiest to hate. You've probably seen a guy that looks just like him toiling away at his bullshit app idea on a Macbook in Starbucks while nursing an overpriced latte and judging anyone that walks by. That's not the personality of the character, but it's definitely his appearance with a sleeve tattoo and facial hair that screams “I don't have a real job!” His heart's in the wrong place though, and he clearly cares about Scooby.
The others, aside from Scooby's new accessory, are actually pretty cool and fit with the overall idea of the characters. One example is how you never really see Velma's eyes. Her glasses are so thick that you can't even see her pupils through them.
The apocalypse part of the story doesn't come in until the very end. The final page is a pretty impressive spread of fire and chaos. Artist Howard Porter fit in a ridiculous amount of variety in this panel that's sure to please any fans of monster movies old or new. The colors from Hi-Fi really make the whole thing pop too.
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Scooby Apocalypse is a reboot that arguably no one wanted. There are some decent ideas in here, and they could stand on their own without being latched on to the Scooby-Doo name. This is an attempt to make this group of mystery solving co-eds and their talking dog cool. By doing so, it's subverting what made them a piece of pop culture to begin with. At no point during this series will Shaggy pull off a monster's mask to reveal an old-man janitor who was behind this all along. Instead, he might lose a limb or be forced to eat one of his friends to survive. Actually, I'd totally read that. At the bare minimum, you can pick up this book to see Velma get compared to Hitler. No joke.