Thursday, March 09, 2017

Reader's Diary #1457- Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis (writers), various artists: Scooby Apocalypse Volume 1

Archie Comics set the bar pretty high for subversive takes on their iconic characters beginning with the zombie-filled Afterlife with Archie. Now it seems everyone's getting in on the action. There's a socially satirical Flintstones, a gay, southern-gothic Snagglepuss, and an apocalyptic Scooby-Doo. Surprisingly almost all of these are meeting with critical and commercial success.

While I wouldn't go as far as suggesting that Scooby Apocalypse is as great as Afterlife with Archie, it is nonetheless pretty darn good.

Looking at the cover the most pressing concern is the hipster version of Shaggy. It's one thing to be subversive but it's quite another another to completely ignore the appeal of the original. Shaggy, I thought, used to be appealing for his total lack of awareness, not one to be caught up in dressing cool or current trends. This one has a hipster beard (complete with styled moustache), jewelry ear plugs, tattoos, and skinny jeans.

I can't say I ever came to accept this artistic decision, but I will say that the writing itself was good enough that I at least temporarily forgot about it. It's a bit of an origin story explaining how the gang all get together, as well as Scooby's ability to talk (however rudimentary). But the larger story is a sci-fi end-of-times story, complete with monsters and mind-controlling nanites (microscopic robots).

If it's not perfect, it is a lot of fun. In this most important way, it is very true to the source material.

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