This month in The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Daphne gets invited to perform in a national talent show held in Gotham. The gang arrives to find contestants going missing and a mystery afoot! But is it any good? Let’s see!
There are both positives and negatives to comic books with a rotating creative team. On the plus side, it keeps the series consistently interesting with new perspectives and styles each month. On the other hand, it can be inconsistent in terms of quality. There have been a few issues in this series that didn’t quite live up to my expectations but thankfully most have been pretty consistent on that front. Unfortunately, issue #7 was not a good one.
Well, let’s be clear. I’ve read far worse comics in my life. This one did have its moments but it also had more downsides than upsides.
Right from the start, I’m not a fan of this issue’s premise. I don’t buy the idea that Daphne is winning a talent show with a Karate demonstration (and going to a national level). I’m really not sure why she would be competing in a talent show, to begin with. I think this whole story would have greatly benefited by switching this element up and sending Daphne to a Karate competition. Scooby-Doo as a franchise has a habit of using events and competitions as a setting but that doesn’t mean they should be entirely random. The gang attends events that they have some kind of personal connection to. A talent show just doesn’t fulfill that requirement.
Of course, Bruce Wayne is a judge at the talent show, which again feels kind of forced. It’s just a way for the gang to come in contact with Batman, which brings me to another point. I’ve praised previous issues for building a kind of subplot related to Batman and the gang’s frequent team-ups. Every issue stands alone but they also hint toward a bigger picture. This issue forgoes that. Batman is familiar with the gang but it’s a mere coincidence that they run into each other. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I’ve been enjoying their working relationship growing closer as this series goes on.
The villain’s motivation in this issue makes sense but he isn’t central to the story. The gang doesn’t even know who they’re facing until they catch him. In fact, this issue is missing a whole element of both the Scooby-Doo and Batman formulas. In Batman’s case, it’s the fight. In Scooby’s, it’s the chase. Technically, Scooby and Shaggy do run from the villain but we never see who they’re running from and the whole thing comes across awkwardly. We spend most of the issue watching Batman and the gang stumble around looking for clues and then they, quite abruptly, catch the villain. I suppose my principal complaint is how unrefined this issue feels. It gives the impression of the writer phoning it in. Everything is messy. To make matters worse this issue isn’t very funny. The jokes are often just as awkward as the plotting or they don’t stand out.
Dario Brizuela is back on art this month and it’s fine. It’s more of the same quality he has produced before on this title though this time he isn’t offered anything particularly exciting to draw. I can’t complain, but I also don’t have any particular praise to offer this month.
I do have one question though. What’s up with this Daft Punk helmet?
- It’s not terrible. You could do much worse.
- You’ve got some extra cash you don’t know what to do with. The book is still 2.99!
- Maybe you just want to own the whole series.
As I’ve said, this issue isn’t downright bad or anything. It just isn’t good. Given some of the highs we’ve seen so far, it stands out even more. So, I can’t recommend it but I would be shocked if next month I’m not back with a much more positive review. On average, this is a great series.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this issue for the purposes of this review.