Batman and Scooby-Doo needed a win after last month’s fiasco. Personally, I desperately needed this series to wash the sour taste out of my mouth. So, does issue 10 fulfill that need? Let’s see!
In short, this issue is “not bad.” There aren’t major flaws in this story and this isn’t a case of death by a thousand paper cuts either. Instead, we get a book that gets the job done and gets it done well but fails to make an impression or an interesting move.
Conceptually, we are given a plot that is arguably the “most Scooby-Doo” of any we’ve yet seen in this series. It almost clings to the most basic formula of the franchise: The gang is invited by a rich or gifted acquaintance (in this case Bruce Wayne) to take part in an event (a ship with a new satellite-free navigation system that doubles as a mystery cruise).
Then a villain attacks and is eventually unmasked, solving the mystery (pirates here; though as is becoming the standard in this series, the leader is a DC villain in disguise). Additionally, as this series progresses, Batman feels more and more like a member of the gang rather than his own entity. That isn’t a terrible thing as this series tends to juggle too many characters (this issue introduces two new heroic ones) and it allows Batman to take up less panel space and gives the story more room to flow. However, I can’t help but feel that Batman’s continued diminished role is resulting in this series not living up to its title. As a result of this, I feel like I just read a Scooby-Doo comic with Batman in it. Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t mean the story isn’t enjoyable but it does mean this story is less memorable than it could have been. There is so much Scooby-Doo content that has been produced and even more devoted to Batman. There is not, however, nearly the same number of Scooby-Doo/Batman crossovers out there. So, to me, the less a crossover leans into creating a synergy between the franchises, the less interesting it will be. Both characters existing in a story together is not synergy. Instead, I want to see writers finding unique ways to merge the essence of these characters into a single story.
Taken as a standard Scooby-Doo story, this comic works. It’s not the best Scooby-Doo story ever written but like I mentioned earlier, it gets the job done and the art is very much in service of that. Dario Brizuela is back to lend his well-drawn but mostly stock interpretation of the franchise. I do have to admire his eye for consistency and perspective. He also never misses an opportunity to put some background detail into his panels and oftentimes adds more figures than most artists would bother with. I’ve said this in previous reviews but I just wish he had a bit more of a defined style that felt unique. His Batman does hint towards something. The below panel is actually pretty striking but most of the time I just don’t see it.
It’s possible he’s not allowed to deviate too much from the standard but that doesn’t change the unfortunate fact that this artwork is fairly generic. That said, after the last issue it’s a major relief and I don’t want to play down the amount of work needed for an artist to get to this level. I’d just like to see it taken another level higher.
- You need a palate cleanser after the previous issue
- Pirates are your thing
- You like Scoob better than Batman anyway
I can’t complain too much. Here we have one of those issues that misses the potential that this series has and settles for good enough. It’s an enjoyable enough read but I think most people will forget about it as soon as they close the back cover.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman-News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.