Scooby-Doo Team-Up #39 – Sholly Fisch, Writer; Dario Brizuela, Artist; Franco Riesco, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Scooby-Doo Team-Up has been leveling up over the last year or so, finally feeling free enough to ditch the structure of your average Scooby Doo episode (ghost, chase, unmasking) and get into bigger mysteries with a more epic scale and some great use of DC icons. This issue takes the gang back in time and pairs them with the Justice Society of America in a story that is probably the most packed installment of the long-running series. The story begins in the present day, with the gang attending an opening of what is assumed to be a time capsule – only for it to turn out to be a literal Pandora’s Box that contains an army of monster-ghosts that plan to destroy the Washington Monument. Doctor Fate shows up to spirit the gang back in time to the source of the conflict – a plot by Nazi-aligned supervillain Vandal Savage to sabotage the US war effort using these ghosts. One thing that’s interesting about this issue is how unafraid it is to be political. The story is largely about racism, sexism, and fascism and how heroes both costumed and not can work together to stop it.
There are a LOT of characters in this issue, as the two teams of heroes break up to tackle the individual threats from ghosts and Nazi spies. The issue uses some interesting fusions of DC continuity, including Hippolyta as the era’s Wonder Woman (finally, with the help of ally Wildcat, putting an end to the tradition of WW being the team secretary.
The addition of Ma Hunkel as an unexpected ally made me very happy, but the best segment of the issue was undoubtedly the one where a saboteur tries to incite ethnic conflict among neighborhood children, leaving Velma, Dr. Fate, and Dr. Mid-nite to try to restore peace. In this turmoil-filled era, we need a comic like this, and Scooby-Doo Team-Up is quickly becoming one of the most underrated books in the DC slate.
Now let’s get characters like the JSA back where they belong – the DCU needs them. This issue works both as a kid’s first JSA comic, and as a tribute to the characters’ long history for DC Comics fans.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.