Writer: Keith Griffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Howard Porter
Published by: DC Comics on June 15, 2016
Summary (from dccomics.com):
The apocalypse continues as Scooby and the gang explore a mysterious facility that may hold the key to their survival. Little do they know that a particularly powerful puppy and his gang of mutated mutts are waiting in the shadows—and they’re ready to attack!
The debut issue of Scooby Apocalypse left me wanting more and this issue delivered. There’s still a little bit of exposition but, in general, there’s a lot more action and much more is happening. The highlight of this issue would probably have to be the characterization of Shaggy, Daphne, and even Velma. I’m still not digging the new Daphne and I still think she’s a hothead, but she’s given the first kill and its effect on her is huge. She can’t quite get over the idea that the monster that she just shot the brains out of used to be an actual human being. It makes me feel kinda sorry for her, until she punches Velma in the aftermath claiming everything’s Velma’s fault. In issue #1 Daphne punches Fred, in issue #2 it’s Velma. I’m betting that in issue #3 it’s going to be Shaggy, then issue #4 Scooby. When Daphne was punching Velma she was holding an assault rifle and I remember thinking that she many actually shoot Velma, which shows you how unstable I think Daphne is. Velma also has to deal with some horrid emotions. Velma’s coworker, who was her “friend…or at least the closest to it a person like [her] can ever get,” is transformed into a mutant and the shock is too much for her—she flees and leaves the gang behind.
For me Shaggy was the best portrayed throughout this issue because he has to deal with Becky Davis, a co-worker/possible love interest, taunting and attacking him and his friend, the maker of the Mystery Machine, being mutilated by the monsters. That’s rough, man. He shows the most emotion on his face, where I feel Daphne just looks perpetually angry and Velma has a glass façade on.
I also was immensely pleased with the placing of the gang’s catchphrases, the introduction of the Mystery Machine, and the beginnings of bonding with Mystery Incorporated. First, adding the characters catchphrases gave me a sense of the original show and I was laughing when Velma ran away from a monster repeating “Jinkies!” a million times.
Second, the introduction of the Mystery Machine felt very natural and very mysterious. The gang isn’t fully aware of what the Mystery Machine can do and, as a reader, I’m looking forward to seeing all the cool sci-fi stuff the van will do in future issues. Especially considering the Mystery Machine’s a heavy duty vehicle that looks like it could withstand a war. As for the Mystery inc. gang, I feel some of them are beginning to bond through all the trauma inducing moments. Daphne seems to still be stand-offish toward everyone as does Velma, but Fred has already come up with some nickname for Shaggy and Shaggy defends Velma to Daphne. It isn’t much, but it’s something. Of course, my favorite canine also jumps in to save the gang on multiple occasions, showing his brave side.
Overall: an improvement on the last issue. The series seems to have sped up a little, the characters are beginning to look more than one-dimensional, and the large looming mystery behind the apocalypse is building itself up nicely. I can’t wait to read issue #3. It should be in the mail!