Saturday, August 27, 2016

DC Scooby Apocalypse #4 (Spoilers)

Review: DC Scooby Apocalypse #4
Submitted: Joshua Williams, Comic News Writer
24 August 16

The gang barely escapes their underground base that has been overrun with vampire-monsters.  Daphne, Velma, Fred, Shaggy and Scooby (the traditional Hanna-Barbera Scooby Doo, Where Are You team) decide to take a break, after their escape, in a ghost town.  Their thinking is: ‘this town is deserted, this should be a good place to rest.’ As night approaches, the town grows ever more crowded… crowded with the infected!  Let’s hope DC make Hanna-Barbera proud with their new story-arc, Scooby Apocalypse.

Scooby Apocalypse #4, written by Keith Griffen and J.M. DeMatteis, begins as Velma is suddenly awakened from an uncomfortable sleep.  She realizes she has overslept and is late for her turn to guard their camp.  Velma is surprised to find Daphne up to the task (with Scooby on guard) and on full alert as she approaches.  The conversation between our heroines heats up and heats up fast.  Daphne accuses Velma of co-conspiring with the Four (The Four are Velma’s employers, who operate several underground facilities and perform weird scientific experiments; their current experiment, however, went haywire) and partially blames Velma for what has happened.  As the comic unfolds, readers learn that our gang is being hunted.  Soon, our deserted desert town becomes very crowded and all of our beloved characters find themselves in extreme danger like we’ve never seen.

Griffen and DeMatteis have a difficult task at hand in making Scooby Apocalypse a success.  Giving Velma more of the spotlight is a great approach since she has always been the most intelligent.  It seems as though the gang will be going as far as Velma takes them.  With Velma at the forefront, what kind of tension will this put on the gang?  Griffen and Dematteis successfully incorporate a ‘nemesis’ dynamic between our two heroines.  Besides being pleasantly surprised by the others actions (in a good way, thus far).  Even as Daphne questions Velma’s intentions and believes Velma has undisclosed information about the recent tragic events.    As the reality of post-apocalyptic life sets in, Daphne’s instincts as a reporter begin to kick in.  What happened to the rest of the population?  Are Scooby and the gang the only survivors?  Velma knows there are several other bunkers similar to the work environment Velma recently worked in. 

The narrative of Scooby Apocalypse #4 definitely poses some problems.  There is virtually no action in this issue, just dialogue to move the plot along.  Therefore, readers would need to read some of the previous issues to make sense of some of the plot details.  While our non-traditional heroines take the reins in this issue, we get nothing from our leading men.  Besides cracking a few Hanna-Barbera style jokes from the 1960s and 70s, this issue offer almost nothing. 

THE VERDICT: As Scooby Apocalypse begins, the intense action of the first few issues instantly catch the readers’ attention.  However, creating new and different themes from such an old traditional cartoon naturally has problems.  Firstly, Griffen and Dematties do not use Scooby Doo really at all.  He has only a few lines; perhaps the introduction of Cyber-Scrappy, our puppy-villain, will pull more plot out of our main character.  Finally, the writers are faced with a very difficult task: creating a post-apocalyptic world.  The underground base… is that borrowed from Resident Evil?  The deserted town, on the other hand, seems a bit similar to the Walking Dead.  The Scooby Apocalypse is just kicking off, so readers can expect discrepancies and holes in the plot because DC intends to add a bit more gore and seriousness to a traditional kid cartoon; however, with the talent creating this story-arc, these issues should be smoothed out.  I expect them to do so, and to do so soon. 

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