Review – ‘Scooby Apocalypse’ #32: The Truth About Fred

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Scooby Apocalypse #32 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Scooby Apocalypse #32 – JM DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, Heath Corson, Writers; Pat Olliffe, Penciller; Tom Palmer, Inker; Gus Vasquez, Backup Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist

Ray – 7/10

Ray: As Scooby Apocalypse continues well past when anyone expected this dark-and-gritty Scooby Doo revamp to last, it starts to develop some gems of an interesting idea. The follow-up to the death of Fred Jones and his resurrection as a nanite-infected intelligent zombie has added a dark edge to the series, and the opening segments of the issue involving Fred forcing a scarred Daphne to have dinner with him as he tries to convince her that he’s still human are very effective. Fred is essentially claiming to be a hybrid between human and nanite that’s evolved more than the monsters, and he makes a great villain because you almost believe him. The subplots back at the mall encampment aren’t as compelling, as news of Velma’s pregnancy gets out to the society. The celebration is cut short when Scrappy crashes through the window to let everyone know about Daphne’s predicament.

Daphne’s seen better days. Via DC Comics.

The second half of the issue has a tense car chase that nicely crosses the line into absurdity—this book is at its best when it embraces its nature as a B-movie in comic book form. But the ending falls flat due to the return of some major villains that seem to cut an important plot suddenly short. I wouldn’t be surprised if not all is as it seems. But the real highlight of the issue is the backup, with Heath Corson taking over for DeMatteis and Giffen on Atom Ant. This hilarious story continues as Atom Ant and his living plant rival are escorted by their new trainer G’nort to a primitive planet filled with tigers. When G’nort gets captured, it’s up to the two oddball superheroes to save the day. This backup has been the best thing attached to the book, serving as a perfect fusion of DC continuity and deep cut references and Hanna-Barbera absurdity. Kind of surprised it wasn’t its own one-shot in one of the crossovers.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

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