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Scooby Doo Team-Up #1:
Rhe Rave Rand Rhe Rhold...

For Fanboys, the single greatest of the New Scooby Doo Movies came not when the gang of Mystery, Inc. encountered Jerry Reed -- though it did spawn a strange sub-fandom -- but when they helped fight crime in Gotham City. Yes, Scooby Doo once faced down the Joker and the Penguin and lived to tell about it.

That meeting gets an allusion when the Scooby gang investigates reports of a huge bat creature and find instead Batman and Robin. Fred acknowledges that they went through a weird period when they met celebrities practically every week.

Writer Sholly Fisch doesn't let coy nods get in the way of his story. Just take it for granted that once upon a time, Scooby Doo had a team-up cartoon. So it's high time he got a team-up book.

And it's a welcome addition to the always fragile DC Nation Kids' line of books. Kids love Batman. Kids love Scooby Doo. Let's see what happens when they collide.

What happens is a story that stays strangely true to both sides of the equation. The Batman and Robin here aren't the Dark Knight and the sensational character find of 1940; they're both definitely the Hanna-Barbera versions that dominated the early 1970s on Saturday mornings.

But there's nothing wrong with that. The basics were all there. Though kids won't get it, there's also something nice about artist Dario Brizuela paying homage to Alex Toth's designs for Super Friends, while also keeping the Scooby Gang purely on model and integrating Bruce Timm's work when the real bat creature shows up.

Someday the kids will grow up and appreciate it, assuming they spend a lot of time re-reading this book over and over.

And it is the kind of book worth that. The stakes are reasonably high without being overly real world to bother kids, and Fisch also implies that this unlikely combination of characters will have more adventures together. (Next issue, in fact, the only logical thing to happen does -- Scooby and Ace the Bat-Hound will team up to take down the Scarecrow.)

The only thing wrong with this book is that the cover says it's a mini-series, instead of an ongoing. There's still time to change that, DC. Because the kids should come running to this book like Shaggy to a fresh box of Scooby Snacks.

Scooby Doo Team-Up #1 should be available at your local comics shop, such as Earth-2 Comics in Sherman Oaks and Northridge, CA, and Illusive Comics & Games in Santa Clara, CA.


Derek McCaw



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