I really hesitated about requesting an ARC of this graphic novel. Based solely on the cover I did not anticipate liking it (sorry…judging a book by its cover – I do it). But it was my enjoyment of the graphic novel Future Quest that pushed me in to taking a chance on this.
Unfortunately, I did not care for it.
We are either in a dark(er) version of the present day, or just slightly in the future. Velma is a unsocialable scientist working for her brothers developing some pretty sinister tech. Scooby, a cybernetic hybrid dog, is a result of some of that tech, gone slightly awry. Shaggy is a Gen-Y’er with a passion for animals and the underdog, and is hired by the lab to be an animal trainer. Daphne is a documentary producer and Fred is her wimpy, whipped cameraman.
Fred and Daphne show up at the lab and are given a tour by Daphne just as the shit hits the fan. An assortment of viral-lab-created monsters over-run the lab, the city, maybe the planet. Scooby comes on strong, saving the day on multiple occasions, and Daphne is the strength behind keeping the group focused and strong.
I grew up with the Scooby-Doo shows and it’s really difficult for me to see these characters in any other way. These characters are, in many ways, so different that they could be any new character(s). There’s nothing about Shaggy, for instance, that resembles the classic Shaggy, other than his name and that he says, “Zoinks.” If Velma didn’t wear clothes that looked like the clothes she wore in the 1960’s and didn’t say, “Jinkies” we wouldn’t know that this was Velma. This is, for me, a re-boot that doesn’t work.
Because there is all-new back-story to tell on each character, the book takes quite a bit of time to develop the action and even there it’s a pretty repetitive scenario. Monsters come and attack, they are repelled, the group talks. Monsters come and attack, they are repelled, the group….
There is an interesting plot developing, featuring a pretty dark version of Scrappy-Doo. This might be the only reason to stay with the story, though I’m not sure it’s a strong enough reason for me.
The art is fair – again, it’s difficult to really assess because it’s intentionally deviating from the known quantity of the Scooby-Doo gang. I really, really disliked Fred’s appearance throughout, and I don’t think I can get used to the new look on Shaggy. Velma looks like the Velma of old, she’s just a much more anti-social and curmudgeonly character, while Daphne probably comes off the best by being more than just a pretty face, but a tough professional woman.
I wish I liked this better, but it shows that I should have trusted my initial instinct on this one.
Looking for a good book? Scooby Apocalypse, Vol. 1 is a graphic novel that moves the Scooby Doo gang into a dark future where the demons are real and not masked locals. This is not your father’s Scooby Doo.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 1
author: Keith Griffen
artists: Jim Lee, Howard Porter, J.M. DeMatteis
publisher: DC Comics
paperback, 200 pages