Greetings and salutations, comics fans, and welcome back to Four-Color Bullet! The Bullet has been on a long hiatus as your courageous comics curmudgeon adjusts to some new life situations. But I am back, after digging my way out of months of comic books so I could bring you this week’s pick.
As hesitant as I was at first about DC’s retooling of the Hanna-Barbera properties, I checked them out anyway at the outset. With a cautious eye, I read Scooby Apocalypse and Future Quest and Wacky Raceland and The Flintstones. I’ll confess that I can’t stand Wacky Raceland, Future Quest is fantastic, and the others are pretty good, even the total script flip of the Mystery Inc. kids.
Scooby Apocalypse tells the story of a grown up group of mystery solvers, who, after being the only survivors in a release of nanites that have changed humanity into monsters, are trying to figure out what’s happened, find someone who can fix it, and survive the apocalypse. The gang has been fighting for their lives every step of the way, and now they have found a clue to the location of one of the four scientists that started this thing. But they end up trapped in a Mall-Mart by ravenous demonic creatures, and what comes next is the most suspenseful, action-packed issue of the series yet.
This series works for me on so many levels. First and foremost is the writers’ boldness in changing everything you know about the characters. JM DeMatteis and Keith Giffen have given us a Daphne who is clearly in charge of this thrown-together team. Fred wants to be take-charge, but he’s in love with Daphne and is content to be led by her. Velma is a scientist who worked at the complex where the nanites were released, Shaggy is a dog trainer at the same complex, who is assigned to work with Scooby-Doo, a cybernetic “smart dog” who can talk like a three year old, with the help of floating emoticons.
Throughout the series, when Daphne and Velma get together, you know something is going to happen – and this issue is no exception. DeMatteis and Giffen have once again crafted an exciting story around the conflict between these two women, only this time we find them in the midst of a demon invasion. While these contrasting personalities do make for interesting banter, one has to wonder if they, or more importantly Daphne, is doing this to cope with the whole apocalypse. Having to face off against monsters suddenly becoming real, the Gang maybe being the last humans, having to kill monstrosities that were once human and of course, the need of finding other survivors would bring anyone to the brink, but it seems to have affected our newshound the most. She does touch on this in the story and being an investigative reporter makes her naturally suspicious, but then add Velma’s working for the scientists, of course, she is the natural outlet for her frustration.
However, this storyline has been with the series since the beginning and it is getting a bit tiresome, but at the same time, the same paranoia keeps the story fresh with a new conspiracy theory every month. I’d like to see less infighting, and more of the Gang’s real objective: finding the truth behind the Elysium Project. But, by doing so they also add more fuel to Daphne’s fire and thus we have become enveloped within the current vicious cycle.
Artist Howard Porter thrusts us into this demanding world with all of his high action panels. Then add Hi-Fi’s amazing grasp of colors and we have an eye=pleasing visual presentation. The drab opening scene is the calm before the storm and then we have the first wave of monsters – accompanied by the neon blue of the light behind the swarm, taking all of their primal anger out on the Gang.
Scooby Apocalypse was my sleeper hit, and every issue is as good or better than the others, minus my concerns listed above. It’s fun and constantly entertaining, and this issue was no exception. And in my opinion, that’s what comics are all about. If I drop my hard-earned $3.99 American on a comic, it had better be enjoyable. Scooby Apocalypse is doing just that.
Before I wrap this up, I’ll say this about myself and the Krypton Radio team: this Internet sci-fi sanctuary is a labor of love. All of us, from Willow Leafstorm to Gary DaBaum to station manager Joltin’ Gene Turnbow to yours truly, have day jobs and varied responsibilities, in addition to making sure that Krypton Radio is the fan source for news, reviews, and things geeks can use. Heck, when I’m not reading the week’s best and worst in comics, I’m a pharmacy technician at a local hospital. So our commitment to you the fan, I hope, is obvious. There’s nothing else like us in cyberspace, and we want to keep it that way, and be useful to you folks. Our adoring public. So if you haven’t considered sponsoring us please do. You are just as important, heck, more really, to this station’s success as we are. If you like us, invest in us. if you don’t like us, tell us what would help you like us, then invest in us.
And that’s it for this one. Hang tight, Kryptonics.