Scooby Apocalypse #20 – Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis, Writers; Ron Wagner, Prnciller; Andy Owens, Inker; Howard Chaykin, Backup Artist; Hi-Fi, Wil Quintana, Colorists
Ray – 3/10
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!
After the best issue of the series last issue, a twisted Twilight Zone homage with a potentially benevolent mutant that met a terrible fate despite Cliffy’s friendship, this issue pulls back almost to the point of not having a plot at all. It’s supposedly a Christmas issue, but there’s no holiday cheer to be found as the team continues to wander through a deserted wasteland. No monsters this issue, at least not living ones, but that just means the characters get a lot of time to hang around, moping and sorting out their issues. They come across a deserted lab and Velma goes in to try to do some tests and synthesize a cure, while everyone else just mills around. That’s mainly an excuse for everyone to rehash the same character beats they’ve been dealing with since the beginning.
Chief among these – Fred’s crush on Daphne that Daphne’s oblivious to, Daphne and Velma’s sniping and arguing that always seems to backslide away, Cliffy’s longing for Scrappy-Doo, Shaggy’s infatuation with Rufus Dinkley’s ex-wife (I keep on expecting the other shoe to drop with this character). They try to team up to give Cliffy something resembling a decent Christmas, but it’s ruined when Velma shows up with news that the plague is irreversible and humanity is doomed. This issue (and series as a whole) seem to be going for a Walking Dead vibe, but that’s not a selling point for me.
The backup combines Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole with the distinctive art of Howard Chaykin, which is about as good a fit as you’d expect, but I know more about these rodents’ espionage rivalry than I ever expected to.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.