While I felt there were some problems with the first issue, I did find the start of Scooby Apocalypse to be rather interesting. It changed a lot of things up, for better or for worse, but still kept some of the original flavor from the series in it. Now that the setup is done, let’s see where this series goes from here. Is it good?
Scooby Apocalypse #2 (DC Comics)
Well, the end times have arrived. People have turned into bloodthirsty mutants and are eating people. The Mystery Gang (even though they are not the Mystery Gang yet) must escape from the government complex they’re stuck in and find out what is going on in the world now. Possibly, they may even find out what caused this massive outbreak that seems strangely unrelated to the whole nanite situation Velma warned everyone about.
My overall impression of this issue is about the same as the first: good, but flawed. Starting with the story, Scooby Apocalypse #2 picks up directly after the last issue and gets straight to the point with the gang trying to survive the mutant apocalypse. There’s a tiny bit of setup and exposition, but the story feels much more eventful and there is a lot of things happening. It continues to build a mystery about what caused the incident–it’s interesting for sure, even if the gang still hasn’t come together as a team yet or even made it beyond the complex.
This issue’s tone seems to have two sides to it. On one hand, this comic seems to have a comedy slant, which helps keep the mood from getting too dark. For instance, Velma says “Jinkies” and Shaggy says “Zoinks,” which only confuses Daphne since she doesn’t know what either of those words mean. That stuff is fine, but then there’s this other side to the comic that’s much more serious and has a dark look at the situation going on around the characters. Dealing with death, forcing to kill what were once humans, and mourning lost friends are frequent events in the issue. Again, that stuff is fine as well and helps us invest in our characters escaping their situation. However, the two moods don’t mix well at all here and feel too jarring.
Nothing about this feels ominous at the sightest.
Taking a look at the writing, the dialogue feels improved here–less exposition (not that there’s no exposition, mind you) and more character and personality. For instance, there are a lot of moments where the mood or characters are somber and the dialogue really does captures the pain of a character and you can really understand what they’re feeling. It also does humor pretty well and the banter between the characters can feel nice, like when Daphne or Fred play off people when discussing their job.
The characterization is good, even if everyone feels a touch different there. Daphne is perhaps the most different in this particular issue, far more take-charge and in-your-face if she gets mad and frustrated. It’s a bit odd to see her like this, but it works given what we’ve seen of this particular version of the character. The pacing is fine and the story is always on the move, so nothing feels too slow at any point. The only odd thing I would say is when the creators are referencing the series as a whole and the use of characters’ catchphrases. Most of the time, it sounds very forced and awkwardly placed, like in the final page where everyone shouts their catchphrase at the same time (except for Fred, since it wasn’t really the time to say “Let’s split up gang!”).
The artwork by Howard Porter continues to have the same qualities and problems as it did in the first issue. Porter still does a great job constructing layouts and filling every panel with lots of detail in the environment and in its characters. He does great capturing the emotion and mood that each character was experiencing for the most part, even if one or two expressions seemed off. And new praise for this issue, the mutant designs are pretty good. Maybe they’re not the most original I have ever seen, but they do stand out and look decent. However, body proportions still suffer at points by looking unnatural on the human characters and it can be a tad difficult to read what Velma is feeling or expressing at times. Plus, something I didn’t mention in the last review is that some of the panels seem to be missing word balloons since some characters look like they are saying or expressing something in a few panels. It’s really odd and occasionally distracting.
I can’t imagine being able to say not only Jinkies 10 times quickly, but to say it that much all at once.
Is It Good?
Scooby Apocalypse #2 is a decent follow-up to the first issue, pushing the story forward and leaving behind most of the exposition. While its writing is okay and the artwork is good, it suffers from trying to be two different things at once with its odd tone and awkward references to the franchise. It’s certainly interesting to read, but it needs a bit more improvement before it becomes something really special.