I know that Scooby-Doo was never really about the mystery. If it was, there would be more than one blatantly obvious suspect every episode. But when I watched Scooby-Doo as a kid, there were the thrills of a mystery: the gathering of clues, the wondering how it all went down, and then the big reveal. The show basically existed for the laughs along the way. You know who the villain would be, which is what made Shaggy & Scooby’s melodramatic
fright all that more funny. Scooby-Doo shows aren’t really invested in the mystery but the feeling of a mystery and the formula worked. And Scooby-Doo Team-Up #22 has all the fun of a Scooby adventure but without any mystery in sight.
In its stead, this issue’s team-up follows more a superhero adventure, which is probably a welcome departure to regular readers. For me, a first-time reader, I was hoping for a mystery but that hardly ruined the fun. And what fun it is.
Writer Sholly Fisch’s script reads exactly like something out of the show, with the same jokes, punchlines, and trajectories. It’s a welcome throwback that works all the better thanks to Dave Alvarez’s classic-looking visuals that capture the low-budget glory that is Scooby-Doo. Backgrounds are minimal, characters sometimes look like they were cut-and-pasted into panels. The colours, too, are a similar palette. In a book that wasn’t so confident or meant for older audiences, this may come across differently, but here, with this book, it’s a delight.
While the story doesn’t follow a mystery, it does have many of the hallmarks of great classic Hanna-Barbera fun: silly jokes, over-narration, and one-note yet lovable characters.
dr review: This book is obviously not for a man about to celebrate his 31st birthday. It’s for someone a third his age, who still thinks Scooby-Doo has mysteries. And, in that, this book not only succeeds, it soars.