DC Comics 2016
Written by Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis
Illustrated by Howard Porter
Coloured by Hi-Fi
Lettered by Nick Napolitano
The world is a monster madhouse, and Scooby and the gang have been fighting for their lives, for every sunrise, for every moment. But they’ve had enough-it’s time to stop reacting and start solving the mystery of who turned all of humanity into mindless hordes of bloodthirsty creatures. A single clue leads the gang and their Mystery Machine to Seattle, on the trail of one of the four scientists who infected the world with nanites. Where to start? Velma has a plan, and watch out, because whenever Velma has a plan, things get very dangerous very fast.
The whole idea behind this series is simply divine. J.M. and Keith have taken the characters we’ve known over the years and brought them to a place where meeting for the first time puts them in a unique situation. Instead of longtime friends who unmask bad guys in costumes they’ve managed to survive an Apocalyptic plague and the monsters are real. Velma a scientist involved in creating the plague makes complete sense. That Shaggy is a dog trainer and he’s been working with Scooby who is a genetically modified dog who has accelerated intelligence and speech explains much. Daphne being a reporter with Fred as the lovelorn camera man well that takes the straight to DVD movies and brings us up to date. Virtual strangers brought together by chance have to learn to work together and see if they can not only survive but find a way to reverse what’s happened and save the human race. No big deal right?
The characterisation here is phenomenal! Daphne is outspoken and self assured and isn’t afraid to bolster her own ego and blame Velma for what’s happening. Unrelenting in her anger at how her life is at the moment. Gotta admit though she’s gone from broadcasting the lowest rated show on the Knitting Channel to something of a war correspondent and done it in stride. There are moments that are kind of hysterical amidst the madness that does make you laugh out loud. Velma’s admonishing of the gang for forgetting her, when she did the same and then her and Scooby yeah it’s just a funny interchange.
Howard and Hi-Fi really take the new direction and bring to life with superb interiors. The attention to detail in the characters, clothing, and the backgrounds with the shading highlights and light sources are astonishingly good. The page layouts featuring angles and perspective to control the flow of the story and mix that blend of fantasy and reality in the best possible ways. These are the kids as they should be in the here and now with today’s modern culture and the creativity and imagination in them and those they face showcase a range of talent that needs to be noticed.
Can five misfits form the bond of friendship and loyalty needed to survive the Apocalypse? We’ll see in the meantime each issue brings them closer together as they are forced to face new creatures, new threats and mutated people who come in all shapes and sizes. If this were the latest set of straight to DVD movies they’d be a huge hit with audiences because this is smart, intelligent writing with absolutely stunning interiors.