Scooby Doo Team-Up #45 – Sholly Fisch, Writer; Dario Brizuela, Artist; Franco Riesco, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Sholly Fisch’s all-ages team-up series has been going strong for over five years now, but it still manages to make every issue different. This time, the creative team dips their toes into Jack Kirby’s Fourth World with a story focusing on Mister Miracle and Big Barda. No suicide attempts or war crimes here, thankfully, but Apokalips is as monstrous as ever and Scott Free’s escape skills are on full display. It starts with the Mystery Machine gang attending one of his performances and being amazed by his near-death escape. But soon, an army of Apokaliptan monsters invade their base and capture refugee Big Barda – along with Daphne and Velma, who get swept along into the Boom Tube. Fred, Shaggy, and Scooby team up with Oberon and Scott’s young apprentice Shiloh Norman, and hop a Mother Box ride into the grimmest location you’ve ever seen Scooby Doo hang out.
Where this title always excels is in its deep-cut references to DC continuity. I don’t even know the last time we saw characters like Wondrous Willik or Dr. Bedlam, but they’re given major roles as part of Granny Goodness’ army here. She’s brainwashed Daphne and Velma into Female Fury recruits, and is holding them hostage in exchange for Scott – she wants to destroy him in a failed escape in front of all of Apokalips. The stakes are high this issue, much higher than the usual issue of this fun title, but it’s a great all-ages distillation of the Fourth World. There’s no unmasking this issue, but what it does have is one of the best surprise twists for how the heroes escape I’ve seen in awhile. The characters in this book have been used primarily in a mature-readers title in recent years, so creating this alternate version to get younger readers into the work of Kirby is one the book’s best feats.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.