(DC Comics, 2014)
Review by Kenneth Kimbrough
Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artist: Dario Brizuela
Colorist: Heroic Age
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Like any fan of the Bronze Age, I have a soft spot for team-ups. Brave and the Bold, Marvel Team-Up, DC Comics Presents… You name it. I’m there. As such, I’ve always loved it when Scooby-Doo teamed up with Batman, especially in The New Scooby-Doo Movies, a series also produced in the 70s. (Surprise!) It makes me so glad that we essentially have an ongoing series based around this very concept.
The appeal of Scooby-Doo Team-Up, like most all-ages DC titles, is that the writers can slip in all sorts of nods to DC history—something that the television format may not allow, and to some extent, current DC continuity doesn’t even allow. I doubt we’d ever see the likes of Mister E, Roy Raymond, or Kaye Daye in an animated series. Yet here they are, in this very comic. But I may be getting ahead of myself.
The plot of this issue revolves around Scooby and Ace the Bathound foiling a plan by the Scarecrow to immobilize the Mystery Analysts of Gotham City—which includes Batman and the aforementioned detectives—and to rob a nearby bank while the detectives hallucinate their greatest fears. The plot is fairly standard, and you can tell Fisch wrote this with children in mind. That’s fair. But is it fun? Absolutely.
Part of the fun for me is finding all of the visual gags and in-jokes. Along with every named character being plucked anywhere from 30s and 40s pulps all the way to Silver Age backups, there are plenty of visual callbacks to works like The Dark Knight Returns or even covers by Carmine Infantino. I’d love to list them all, but that would just spoil the fun. I did also like that Scooby gets to wear a costume. I can’t resist dogs in superhero costumes, which may explain why I have such an affinity towards Batman and Superman’s respective menageries. Also, Thorgi is the best. Just look at him.You want me to put down the hammer?
I wish I could say more about the art, but it’s fairly close to the standard Hanna-Barbera style. There’s not much room for innovation and experimentation, but I don’t really expect that. I will say, however, that I’m not a fan of Batman’s look here. Perhaps he’s too muscular or too square-jawed, but something just doesn’t mesh with his appearance in contrast to everyone else’s. Though I’m beginning to suspect it might by the eyes.
If you find that this is a light week, I’d say this is worth the $2.99 cover price. It’s a quick, fun read. And sometimes that’s all you can ask for from a comic. And there’s this.
Follow Kenneth Kimbrough on Twitter: @KKimbrough44