As the resident Scooby Doo lover at Batman News, this book was made for me. That doesn’t mean I’m going to let it off the hook for some of its shortcomings, but regardless of quality I am grateful for its existence. So, let’s get right into it!
I’d like to get my principal complaint out the way right from the start. This comic is rather stylistically generic. This is a problem with most Scooby-Doo comics and the main reason I rarely read them. There is an unnecessary adherence to a standardized art style. Scooby-Doo films and animation regularly employ fresh art styles instead of coming back to this standard over and over again, so why should comics be any different? To be clear, my complaint is not regarding the appearance of the art itself. I love the classic style. However, forcing artists to adopt this style when drawing Scooby or choosing artists who can only mimic this look is throttling creativity. I understand trying to appeal to the greatest number of Scoob fans but I can’t believe many people will be sticking around if they can expect the exact same thing every time they open up a new comic.
Furthermore, If the argument is that Scooby-Doo comics are aimed at young kids, my opinion will remain the same. Children may be willing to accept what is put in front of them because they don’t know better, but I would advocate for expanding their horizons rather than feeding them the same metaphorical food for every meal. I can imagine a situation where a unique artist like Dani draws a Scoob comic and an impressionable eight year old’s mind is blown. This leads them to explore the vast expanses of comics and art.
Or we could give them the same basic art style over and over again resulting in more people falling off Scooby-Doo comics and never getting into comics or art as a whole.
Okay, that was long winded but it needed to be said. Now onto the specifics of this comic. Just like last year’s Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries this is a fun comic and it definitely does what it is meant to. One thing I really appreciate about this comic is the amount of ground covered in its twenty-one pages without feeling rushed. Granted there are a few too many characters running around (always a problem with crossovers) but the plot is fleshed out very well for such a limited number of pages. It isn’t really clear why this had to be a crossover comic, as batman could have defeated the villain without help but the gang does make themselves useful.
It’s fun to see Daphne and Fred get physical. Definitely not something we see very often.
I know I’ve already been highly critical of the art style but Dario Brizuela is clearly skilled. It does take a good artist to render characters like the Scooby gang so accurately in someone else’s style. It helps that the colors are very strong as well. The palette is vibrant and varied which perfectly suits the clean and simple linework.
Oh and the Knight has an excellent new costume.
- You like Scooby-Doo, Batman, or both!
- Last year’s series your thing
- Standardized comic adaptions don’t bother you
While I have some problems with this comic’s core identity, It doesn’t change the fact that it’s always a good time when two of my favorite franchises cross over. I can recommend it to most anyone but it remains to be seen whether it has enough depth to be particularly memorable for most.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this issue for the purposes of this review.