Scooby Apocalypse #25 – JM DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, Writers; Ron Wagner, Penciller; Andy Owens, Inker; Sam Lofti, Backup Artist; Hi-Fi, John Rauch, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Scooby Apocalypse #25 is the most significant issue of the series, featuring a massive change in status quo from the classic series – which is saying something, given that the entire thing takes place in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. However, the problem is that the death that takes place here was spoiled months in advance, and as such feels less tragic and shocking than depressingly inevitable. The last issue saw Fred and Daphne finally get engaged just before heading off to explore the abandoned department stores where the mobs of monsters seem to endlessly emerge from. The story flashes back and forth between their search (told in muted grey tones) and a tense conversation between Fred and Daphne in what seems to be the present day. Given the weird dialogue and the fact that Fred is oddly clean and traditional-looking, it’s easy to figure out that Daphne is actually talking to his ghost.
What’s going on – whether this is just Daphne unable to let go, or if Fred’s ghost is actually sticking around, isn’t clear, but the final segment of the issue makes it seem more like the latter. Given how little I’m invested in the characters overall, I was expecting this story to fall flat, but Giffen and DeMatteis manage to work some genuine pain into the dialogue. It would have worked a lot better with some more intimacy – do we really need to cut away to Velma and Shaggy arguing over whether Daisy can be trusted? Again? The scenes that work, though, work a lot better than I expected, and it’s kind of frustrating to see it hit these important marks and then pull back instead of really committing.
After a plot like this, it feels really out of place to have four pages of an absurdist story involving a super-spy squirrel fighting an evil opossum who steals people’s brains. Probably should have skipped an issue and let the main plot have the sole spotlight for a month.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.