DC finally released a couple of their reimagined cartoon comics, one of which Scooby Apocalypse, I expected to hate based on nothing but the title. And Shaggy’s hipster new look. But did it actually deserve the hate?
Scooby Apocalypse #1
Plot/Breakdowns: Keith Giffen
Dialogue: J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils/Inks: Howard Porter
Letters: Nick J. Nap
Asst. Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Editor: Marie Javins
Based on a concept by Jim Lee
My preconceived notion that I would hate this book continued almost until I actually cracked it open. Before I even paid attention to the creative team on the cover, I sent a picture of it to a non-comics reading friend. The actual conversation went like this..
Here’s the thing though… This is Giffen, DeMatteis, and Porter. The teamed I loved so bad on Justice League 3000 (I loved it so bad).
A team that has proven itself at taking a futuristic, slightly bent spin, on an existing concept, and making it really freaking fun. If you are going to make this book, this team is the perfect group of meddling kids to pull it off.
This issue sets up everything it needs to, establishing who these characters are in this new world. Misguided, brilliant, and wracked by guilt, mad scientist Velma Dinkley. Fred and Daphne are the cameraman and host of the buried at 4am mystery show, Daphne Blake’s Mysterious Mysteries. Scooby is a genetically modified ‘smartdog’ although a considered a failure for his limited vocabulary and lack of killer instinct. And Shaggy is a dog-walker with a bond with Scooby.
All the characters meet around a Burning Man type music festival, and are drawn together, setting them up to be together when the titular Apocalypse occurs. It’s pretty damn fun stuff. The only things that I don’t really get are Scooby’s headset for projecting emoji’s that Shaggy can see with his contact lenses. What use is there in that? Even in a military context, “Wait, I’m getting something, smiley face with heart eyes, skull, poop, fist-bump… Uh, call in air support?” And a bit with Daphne popping Fred in the face, that’s not accidental, and makes her look a bit abusive to Fred.
It’s a big first issue, and it’s a fun book. I really had a blast with it. Pleasantly surprised is an understatement. Good stuff!
Future Quest #1
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artists: Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner (pgs 1-19, 28-30) Steve ‘The Dude’ Rude (pgs 20-27)
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: ALW Studios’ Dave Lanphear
Asst. Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Senior Editor: Marie Javens
Special thanks to Darwyn Cooke
Future Quest is a collection of Hanna-Barbera characters, played straight, and I had no preconceived notions going into this one.
Frankly I’m not attached to Space Ghost when he’s not Coast-to-Coast, or that familiar with Birdman, when that name isn’t preceded by Harvey. And I did watch Johnny Quest as a kid, but have no real attachment there either.
This has everything it needs to be a fun, action comic. And having Doc Shaner and Steve Rude on a book like this is perfection. Especially with Jordie Bellaire on colors.
The book, with playing things straight, and the retro-futuristic design from the cartoons ends up taking things back to a Tom Strong type vibe, that is both appropriate and welcome.
There isn’t much else to say about it. It’s gorgeous, fun, and looks like it’s going to be a solid action book all around. Pick it up!