Writers: Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis (script), Keith Giffen & Jim Lee (story and character designs)
Artist: Howard Porter
Published by: DC Comics on May 25, 2016
Summary (from amazon.com):
Those meddling kids-Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and their dog, Scooby-Doo-get more ghost-debunking than they bargained for when faced with a fundamental change in their world. The apocalypse has happened. Old rules about logic no longer apply. The creatures of the night are among us, and the crew of the Magical Mystery Machine has to fight to survive-because in the apocalyptic badlands of the near-future, the horrors are real!
Back when this was first announced, I was intrigued. A new Scooby comic? Sounds groovy! Then I took one look at the cover and boy was I appalled. How could they produce this abomination? What are they trying to do? Ruin Scooby-Doo? After stewing for a few days about the redesigned characters, I decided to take another look. Maybe I was just being melodramatic and it won’t be as bad as I think. I took another peek. Nope, still need a few more days. Eventually I went back and decided, you know what, this isn’t so bad. Actually it could even be really interesting.
Out of the five redesigned characters I like Daphne, Fred, and Velma while I found hipster Shaggy to be hard to look at. Scooby looked fine to me if not a bit older than I’m used to. The emoji bubbles flowing from his eyes threw me, but I’ll give the comic a chance to explain. With Velma being so petite I thought she was a child genius, which I thought was a really cool re-imagination element. I have been informed that NO Velma is NOT a child and I definitely jumped to a conclusion on that one. But, come on, with that petite stature along with the video game console robot thing I fell she can very easily be mistaken for a child. So yeah, I’m a little disappointed on that one but oh well.
Another total misconception that I had was that this would be about zombies. Yep, I’m one of those people. When I hear the word “apocalypse” I immediately thing “zombies.” I’m definitely not well versed in the horror genre. Which brings me to my last point; I know NOTHING about the horror genre. No kidding, when it comes to horror I’m an absolute baby. Scooby Doo on Zombie Island was stretching my horror meter. Basically, I don’t know anything about the horror genre and I don’t even like it. So why am I trying something like this? It’s simple: Scooby’s in it. Also, I need to broaden my horizons.
For a person who typically isn’t into the hard-hitting sort of comics I found this issue to be very enjoyable. The artwork is bright and colorful despite the serious topic and everything is easy to follow and with every panel serving its purpose well. There’s a lot of exposition describing the mechanics of the apocalypse and no actual action sequences, but a good foundation is needed for a good series.
All the characters are vaguely recognizable except Daphne. Shaggy still likes to eat and Velma is still the braniac of the group, but Daphne’s no longer the danger-prone, fashion centric damsel in distress from her earlier years. Instead she’s the bad temper, prone to violence, failing TV host of “Daphne Blake’s Mysterious Mysteries.” I can’t say that her new personality won me over. For one, I didn’t like her violent outburst toward Fred nor her extremely egotistical attitude. I can’t say I’m excited to see much more of her, but on the other hand this kind of personality leaves a lot of room for growth. When she starts working with the mystery inc. group then she may soften up (I hope).
The ladies are obviously the center stage in this issue as most of the time is spent with Velma talking and Daphne reacting. Scooby and Shaggy get a nice little five page story at the end describing the way they met. It’s actually a really sweet story and gives a lot of depth to Scooby and Shaggy’s relationship.
In addition to the seriousness of the oncoming apocalypse, there are some well-placed light-hearted moments throughout. The writers do a great job of mixing humorous moments into the darkness of the scenes. Gone are the puns that Shaggy is known for. Instead there are some inside jokes for fans of the previous incarnations of the series, for example Fred’s mole people comments.
My biggest complaint is that the characters in the pages of the issue don’t really look like the characters on the cover, which was amply disappointing. After finally getting used to the character designs on the cover they switched it up in the actual comic. Shaggy doesn’t have his full lumberjack beard (which is actually a huge improvement), Fred is a bit chunkier than the cover, Daphne is a lot angrier looking, and Velma is much taller and more filled out than the cover makes her appear. Overall, I found them to be negative changes except for with Shaggy, which was a major improvement.
The goal of issue #1 was obviously to set up the team and create the foundation for the rest of the series. This issue has whetted my appetite for more and I fully intend to stay with the series. In fact, yesterday after finishing issue #1 I subscribed to the rest of the series so I didn’t have to scramble around for the issue (like I had to for this issue). If all goes well I should be receiving issue #3 in the mail next week. Got to say, I’m pretty excited for it and to see where the story will go.
For a preview of the first issue: http://www.comicbookresources.com/comic-previews/scooby-apocalypse-1-dc-comics-2016