Scooby Doo Team-Up #41 – Sholly Fisch, Writer; Scott Jeralds, Artist; Silvana Brys, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: It’s time to return to the world of Hanna-Barbera, as the Mystery Machine crew teams up with adventuress Penelope Pitstop and her friends in the Ant Hill Mob. Like all the Hanna-Barbera issues, this story has a denser and wackier feel than the DC ones, often falling more on the side of slapstick than anything. Still, the world of Penelope Pitstop is maybe a bit more compelling than the likes of Hong Kong Phooey. The teenage heiress who seems to find herself in one deathtrap after another is actually a lot more capable than she seems to be at first glance. This issue breaks from Scooby Doo tradition by unmasking the villain at the start of the issue – it’s Penelope’s arch-nemesis the Hooded Claw, who is also actually her guardian, Sylvester Sneekly. The scuzzy lawyer wants to get his hands on her fortune, which he stands to inherit if she meets an unfortunate fate. (This isn’t Fisch’s fault at all, but the character of Sneekly has some unfortunate implications these days, between the giant nose and the obsession with money)
The Ant Hill Mob are one of the oddest Hanna Barbera creations, and they’re going to be introduced to a lot of people with this issue. These tiny gangsters, each associated with a specific trait like sleeping or having a lot of pockets, are obviously oddball takeoffs on the Seven Dwarves. I think they maybe try a bit too hard to be amusing, but I did like the little conversation about reformation and ex-cons that happens here. The Mystery Machine crew strikes a rare false note when they assume that these former criminals are the #1 suspects behind the monster terrorizing Penelope, and that allows Hooded Claw to get the drop on them. Despite no real mystery in this issue, there’s a clever twist involving Penelope’s trademark outfit and a switch of identities. This issue isn’t quite on the level of the best of this series, including the recent madcap story featuring DC’s oddest heroes, but it’s definitely a cut above some of the other obscure Hanna-Barbera stores.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.