Scooby Apocalypse #1 Review

...Seriously? You’re making this? Come on, DC, I know you can do better. I’ve gotten volumes of Scooby-Doo Team-Up at the library. Okay, then. Let’s get this started. Rip off your nostalgia blinders, it’s Scooby Apocalypse #1.

First off, I have a few issues with the art. I don’t necessarily have a problem with making realistic versions of the Scooby gang. It’s just that the drawings look really ugly. Fred and Daphne are the most normal-looking out of the bunch, just with different costumes. I don’t terribly mind Velma’s re-imagining, apart from her goofy glasses and unnaturally small stature. Scooby, on the other hand, ranges from mildly ugly to ferocious and hideous.

Shaggy’s redesign is by far, the worst. I understand that the creators of the comic want to modernize them in accordance with the new universe. Making Shaggy into a ‘stereotypical hipster’ just seems inappropriate. He was always meant to be a semi-hippy, so why not keep the almost-beard? The new version has a Dick Dastardly mustache and a huge beard. Maybe they just ran out of razors.

I just don’t see why this needs to exist. Well, perhaps that isn’t accurate. This can be done perfectly well, but I just don’t see why the comic needed a revamp. The Scooby-Doo franchise has undergone many different makeovers, almost all unique. The series has had celebrity guest stars in The New Scooby-Doo Movies, kiddie versions in my nostalgic childhood favorite A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, a playful remake in What’s New, Scooby Doo?, a controversial series focused mostly on Scooby and Shaggy being superspies in Shaggy And Scooby-Doo Get A Clue!, and, most recently, a stylized reboot/parody in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo.

In fact, Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated proved that a darker re-imagining of the franchise isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It proved that you can successfully make a serialized mystery starring the classic characters, but balanced with familiar jokes and staples. This, on the other hand, seems practically mandated to cram in things appealing to young readers, no matter how unrealistic. Scooby wears a gadget that allows him to speak in emoticons. I can imagine an executive thinking, "These kids with their Twitters and their emojis, let's add that in to be relate-able! Hey, let's call up the film division, I have a swell idea! Marvel has a shared universe, DC has a shared universe, Universal had a shared universe, let's get into the game!" No, I am not kidding.

There have been early reports of a cinematic universe based on the Hannah-Barbera franchise. It would start off with an animated Scooby-Doo film in 2018, give or take a few months. According to early reports, it will be called S.C.O.O.B. and have the gang working for some kind of company. I can’t wait to see Yogi Bear team up with Secret Squirrel. Wait, wouldn't a HBCU film just be Wacky Races: The Movie?

The new comic seems to be dark just for the purpose of being dark. If you want to have a unique spin on the franchise, then more power to you. However, it’s important to keep in mind the reasons for why people enjoy the franchise. No matter how scary the monsters are, they’re called the Scooby Gang for a reason. They’re all friends, which Scooby Apocalypse seems to throw out the window. Velma is misanthropic, seeing the majority of people as useless and Fred and Daphne constantly bicker.

The one bright spot in the issue is Shaggy and Scooby’s relationship. It’s essentially the same as the usual version, except that Shaggy was hired to be a trainer for the Smart-dog prototypes. And I can’t believe that’s a sentence I just typed in a Scooby-Doo review. It’s adorable seeing them having fun and eating a lot of food. There’s even a genuinely funny moment where Shaggy is complaining about gluten-free pizzas. Overall, I think that I would like the series more if it had the regular Scooby-Doo adventures, just in a potentially apocalyptic scenario. Make it like the later episodes of Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated or outright make it a parody. If I do keep reading it, it’ll be for Shaggy and Scooby.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or the Harry Potter books.