Mystery Inc. reunites with the Dynamic Duo for the second installment of this series, and the problem is bigger than ever: there’s a ghost in the Batcave! Can Batman, Robin, and the gang spook the spectre out of their subterranean space? Let’s find out! As is the practice with this book, since the print books are collections of stories that are digitally released in two parts, I’ll be referring to the collection as “the issue” here, and the individual chapters as “chapters.”

Also, up front, I want to address the question on all of our minds: there is, unfortunately, no Bat-Milk in this issue. From here on out, I will be counting the issues of this book that do not feature Bat-Milk and cookies and keeping a running total.

Now, without further ado…

 

The Writing

Sholly Fisch helms the sophomore issue of this series, and she delivers a really solid follow up to Ivan Cohen’s first story. The plot, while not as catchy as “Scooby-Doo time travels to find Batman’s gloves”, is still intriguing enough to hook the reader. After defeating the Joker, Batman, Robin, and Mystery Inc. head back to the Batcave to hang up their newest trophy: a ceramic bust of the Clown Prince of Crime himself. Robin gives the gang a tour of the Batcave’s trophy room, but they’re interrupted by… a ghost?!?!

That’s right! There’s a ghost in the Batcave, and it wants the Dynamic Duo gone. This “Spirit of the Cavern” seems fishy, however. How come Batman and Robin have never seen this ghost before? Why wait until now? Maybe it’s not a ghost at all! Fred, any theories?

Thanks, buddy.

This brings me to my absolute favorite thing about this book. The humor is absolutely on point again, and it perfectly captures the tone of a Scooby-Doo/Batman crossover. There are lots of nods to staples of the Bat-canon, and lots of jokes about just how absurd the Caped Crusader’s life can really get. Plenty of moments jump out to make you smile, and the entire thing feels like one big love letter to Batman.

Overall, the plot resolves itself very well. Just like with issue #1, there are lots of little details at the beginning of the story that come together at the end for the big reveal. It’s a cute way to keep these stories, well, mysteries, and it’s always nice to see Batman and the gang do some deducing.

The finale, however, lacks the originality that made the first story as interesting as it was. There is a line at the end that (I cannot believe I have to say this for a Scooby-Doo book) I’m going to put in spoiler tags, because it caught my attention. As always, there are FULL SPOILERS in this box, so don’t click if you want to experience it for yourself.

Spoiler
So, there’s a part in the end where Joker is being arrested, and this interaction occurs:

I can’t tell if this is a nod to the old Scooby-Doo Meets Batman movie or what, but if it’s not, is there something bigger going on here?

I’m going to start this tangent by fully admitting that I am probably reading WAY too into this, but last issue dealt with time travel, and all three characters in this scene share a strange sensation of déjà vu, so is there some kind of time shenaniganery going on?

Probably not, but imagine…

The Art

The art in this issue is great. My absolute favorite thing about this series has been how cartoon-y everything feels, and that certainly is not lost here. Scooby and the gang still feel like they walked right off the screen, and Robin’s look has been altered to look more like The New Batman Adventures, enhancing the cartoon feel of the book. Unfortunately, and I don’t know what exactly it is, Randy Elliot’s art doesn’t seem to blend the Dynamic Duo with Mystery Inc. as well as Dario Brizuela did in issue #1.

I’m not quite sure what’s bothering me here, but one of these groups looks like they should be in a different book. There’s just something off about it I can’t place my finger on. This art is not bad at all, and it doesn’t ruin the book, but it is something that stands out.

Silvana Brys’ colors really shine through here as well. Bright colors are bright an pop off the page whenever they need to, but there’s no hesitancy to darken and mute them as well. An absolute treat for the eyes.

The real star of the show, however, is Sadia Temofonte. The lettering in this issue is so much fun, there’s lots of weird bubbles, small and faded text, and creepy monster speech that keep your eyes entertained the whole time you’re reading.

Recommended if…

  • Same as last time, it’s Batman and Scooby-Doo. It’s hard to go wrong when deciding to pick this book up.
  • This book is perfect for kids who love either Batman or Scooby-Doo, and it’s a wonderful place to get a young reader started.
  • You want to indulge that inner child.

Overall

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries is a wonderful series. It’s so much fun to read, and makes you feel like you’re sitting on the floor on a Saturday morning, right in front of your parents’ TV, watching Scooby-Doo Meets Batman for the 400th time. Which is something we definitely all did. I had a normal childhood. Seriously, though, this book is perfect for all ages, and a delightful break from reality with some wacky mystery-solving hijinks. I’m very excited to read more.

Score: 7/10


Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.