Review: Scooby Apocalypse #1

SDOAPOC_Cv1_dsThose meddling kids—Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and their dog, Scooby-Doo—get more ghost-debunking than they bargained for when faced with a fundamental change in their world. The apocalypse has happened. Old rules about logic no longer apply. The creatures of the night are among us, and the crew of the Magical Mystery Machine has to fight to survive—because in the apocalyptic badlands of the near-future, the horrors are real!

Take Scooby Doo and friends and put it through an Afterlife With Archie filter and you have this interesting take on the Hanna-Barbera classic cartoon. This new series, and direction is courtesy of J.M DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, and Jim Lee, with art by Howard Porter. Getting to the end, I was left pondering and still trying to think through what I though of the first issue.

Almost everything you’ve known is gone. Daphne and Fred are behind a low watched ghost/myth show, Velma works as a crazy whistleblower scientist, Shaggy is a dog whisperer for the same project, and Scooby is a project reject. In the first issue they come together in a conspiracy to remake humankind and the end is a bit of a twist that sort of harkens to some of the television show.

Other than the character names, and a bit of an homage in the design, the series has so little to do with what’s come before. Shaggy and Scooby are the closest to their classic takes, though something still doesn’t quite click for me with them. Where I always liked the pair, these two… I’m undecided on.

While there are many directions that could have gone, I’m not quite sure about this one. The Daphne and Fred combo of crappy ghost/myth chasers would have been a lot more fun, but from what I’m seeing so far, this feels like a weird Elseworlds version of an animated feature. It’s too much of a stretch for me to totally dig it right away, like I did Future Quest and something just doesn’t click. While the original Scooby was horror for kids, this just feels like it’s riffing ff comic series that have already tread in the similar territory and done it better like Michael Moreci’s Hoax Hunters.

The art by Porter is the highlight of the first issue. There’s some oddness around Velma’s height I still can’t quite figure out, but there’s some small details I like. Daphne has a certain build where she looks more built like she should be fighting MMA instead of just being an object to stare at. Shaggy’s arm tattoo is actually impressive for how much work is there. There’s a consistent style throughout and at points it’s very cool in the look of this world, the angles of some of the panels, and composition of them. A downside is the eyes of the characters, especially Shaggy and Fred, where they look like they’re constantly jumping out of their heads. I’d guess it’s how Porter (maybe it’s the coloring?) does the eyelids. It’s a weird thing to notice, but it popped out for me.

The first issue is definitely bold and interesting, I’m just very undecided as to what I think in the end. I’ll definitely check out the second issue to see where it goes, but the first issue is more befuddling than exciting for me.

Story: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Jim Lee Art by: Howard Porter
Story: 6.95 Art: 7.45 Overall: 7.1 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review