What’s new, gang?
Oh, me? Nothing much, just experiencing the joys of childhood again.
That’s right, Batman & Scooby-Doo are back, and while there’s regrettably (?) no Bat-Milk this time around, there’s wacky shenanigans aplenty for all who should want them. I grew up with Scooby-Doo, and I can’t count the number of times I watched the original crossover movie, so I’m super excited to be reviewing this series. Now, before we start, I should note that I own the digital copies of this book, which released as two separate chapters, but the print issue that came out today collects both of these stories. I’ll be referring to the collection as “the issue” here, and the individual chapters as “chapters.” So, without further ado, let’s split up and search for [Batman] News!
Ivan Cohen is taking the lead on the debut issue, and it’s a really solid opening. The jokes land, the premise is just goofy enough to evoke the camp of both 60’s Batman and Scooby-Doo, but the story itself has just enough of a grounded feel to it to have some interesting (and kind of worrying) implications for Gotham.
Our story begins as Mystery Inc. gathers at the Gotham Museum of Culture, responding to a call from Batman. It seems there’s a mystery the Dark Knight Detective can’t solve:
That’s right, the purple gloves on the original Batsuit have been swapped for fakes, and he needs the gang to track down the originals. How does he propose they do that? Why, time-travel, of course!
This first issue follows two groups– Batman, Robin, Fred, and Daphne in the present, and Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma in the past– as they search for any sign of what happened to the gloves.
The shining moments in these chapters come from Cohen’s mastery of the whimsical tone that comes with any good Batman/Scooby-Doo crossover. I mean, just look at this stuff:
Literal perfection. This book doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest, and it’s an absolute blast because of it. It’s the perfect combination of serious problem (someone robbing Batman from inside the cave?) and absolutely goofy solution (send Scooby and Shaggy through time back to Year One to find some gloves) that really makes this whole thing come together. The way the time travel plot works is great as well. It’s not overly messy, and I won’t spoil them here, but things that seem like throwaway lines or jokes come up later in the book and it’s astoundingly cool to see.
Dario Brizuela does the art for this issue, and it’s fantastic. All of Mystery Inc. looks like they walked off the screen and onto the page, and Batman and Robin, while not drawn in their style, remain visually cohesive with the rest of the cast.
The colors, done here by Franco Riesco, are also great. They pop off the page, and I’m always a big fan of art that doesn’t shy away from bright, loud colors. they really sell the whole cartoony vibe of this issue, and I think it works insanely well. The colors pull the reader in, and all of the art culminates in a wonderfully delightful Saturday-morning-esque experience.
- Listen, it’s Scooby-Doo meets Batman. If that doesn’t sell you on this book, I don’t know what possibly could.
- You have a young one in your life you want to introduce to comics.
- The campier side of Batman makes you happy.
This book is insanely fun. The whole time I was reading it, I kept feeling like that 8 year old kid sitting on the floor of my living room, popping my well loved copy Scooby-Doo Meets Batman into the DVD player for the 100th time. Scooby-Doo and Batman is one of those magical combinations that I don’t think will ever get old, and I hope it makes people happy for generations to come. Now, I don’t think anyone is going to be calling this high art (the cowards), but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a fun book meant for children, and it does its job fantastically. I loved this book, and I can’t wait for the rest of the series.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.