The Weekend Reading List: Scooby Apocalypse Volume #1

“Scooby Apocalypse Volume #1 by Keith Giffen, illustrated by Jim Lee and Howard Porter, and J.M. DeMatteis

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The Stats:

  • Publication Date: February 7, 2017
  • Graphic novel, science fiction, apocalypse, talking dogs, meddling kids and their dog, hipster Shaggy, BAMF Daphne, dorky Fred, socially awkward Velma
  • 3.7/5
  • WARNINGS: If you are someone who doesn’t think a good thing should ever be touched or reinterpreted, you probably shouldn’t read this one

From Amazon:

“Fred. Daphne. Velma. Shaggy. Scooby-Doo. Roaming the globe in their lime-green Mystery Machine, they’ve solved countless crimes and debunked dozens of sketchy supernatural shenanigans.

But what if the horror was real?

Something terrible has transformed our world, turning millions of people into mindless zombie hordes. And only five people—well, four people and one mangy mutt—have the smarts, the skills and the sheer crazy courage to stare down doomsday.

Can these pesky kids and their canine companion—using every incredible contraption in their arsenal—defeat the evil that has overwhelmed planet Earth? We’ve got only one thing to say about that: ZOINKS!

From comics mastermind Jim Lee and the superstar creative team of Keith Giffen (JUSTICE LEAGUE 3001), J.M. DeMatteis (JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK) and Howard Porter (JLA) comes SCOOBY APOCALYPSE, a whole new spin on the most beloved paranormal investigators in history. Get ready to give Scooby Snacks a whole new meaning! SCOOBY APOCALYPSE VOLUME 1 collects issues #1-6.”

Zo’s Review:

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo

The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo

What’s New, Scooby-Doo?

Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost

Scooby-Doo! and the Alien Invaders

…and many many more.

If you haven’t already guessed, there have been many series in the Scooby-Doo franchise. The lovable great dane has always held a special place in my heart – despite my dog allergies – and since it played a large part of my childhood, it’s a franchise that I cherish.

I know that big franchise such as Scooby Doo are always going through revamps but so far, most of the reincarnations seem to keep the same formula. However, with Scooby Apocalypse,  the story and its characters seem to be taken to a new level.

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Okay, let’s put it right out into the open: The monsters are real. There’s no dude hiding under a mask trying to steal hidden treasure; the gang is literally dealing with bio-engineered monsters. Now, having “real monsters” is nothing new to the Scooby Doo universe. In fact, some of my favorite Scooby Doo related shows/movies were where the monsters were real, whether that was either via the supernatural (Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost) or science (Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders). In this case it’s science. And in this universe, Velma is seemingly to blame for these monsters…

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Yep, you read that right. Velma has got a lot of explaining to do…

If you remember the original series, Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, the original gang fell nicely into pretty flat characterizations: Fred Jones, the nice guy, trap maker, and leader; Daphne Blake, the beautiful damsel in distress; Velma Dinkley, the smart one with stereotypical glasses (that she is always losing); and Shaggy Rogers and Scooby-Doo, the lovable goofballs/scaredy cats (er, dogs?) that will never pass up on food. Many different series usually stick to these basic characterizations and even Scooby Apocalypse  has the gang fall into some of their old characterization if only for brief nostalgic nods to the original series. However, what I really appreciate about Scooby Apocalypse Volume 1 is the depth that they have added to the characters but specifically to Daphne and Velma.

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Even as a young child, I always felt that they played Daphne and Velma against each other. I mean, as far as I can remember they never had an all out fight but it was definitely obvious that they viewed things in different ways. Though previous installments have tried to flesh out these two characters, especially Daphne, sometimes the level of depth for these two female mystery sleuths were lacking. In Scooby Apocalypse, the creators went much further than making Daphne just “the pretty one” and Velma just “the smart one”. They made them human. Daphne is a disgraced TV reporter with a hot temper and a very unforgiving version of justice while Velma is depicted as an anti-social brilliant genius who has never really felt like she belonged or was wanted by anyone and who includes a failed experiment that she was probably going to get rid of soon (Scooby) as one of her small number of acquaintances.

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It was very interesting to see these two characters play off of each other. In previous versions of Scooby-Doo, I always felt that most of the focus was always on Scooby and Shaggy. Though I love Scooby and Shaggy, it was pretty awesome to see Daphne and Velma take more of center stage, seeing their success and their faults both apart and together. In all honesty, I think that’s what really won me over in regards to this reboot along with the plot. In previous versions of Scooby-Doo, I always felt like each episode or movie was about the end goal: Who done it? With Scooby Apocalypse, I can actually see that it’s more about the journey, as cliched as it sounds.

Though Volume 1, containing issues 1-6, seem to focus a lot on Daphne’s and Velma’s backstories and character development, I am eager to see what the creators of this series has in plan for Fred, Shaggy, and Scooby (though I will admit, when I realized who from Scooby’s past was also in this series I giggled for a few minutes, mostly because I could only read their dialogue in their original voice actor’s voice).

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Anyway, despite Shaggy being almost unrecognizable (I mean, honestly, if you didn’t show him with the rest of the gang I would have just thought he was some random hipster character) and despite the plot being probably one of the darkest plot in the Scooby-Doo universe (probably not something you want little kiddies to read just yet), I was pleasantly surprised with how much I didn’t dislike this revamped version of Scooby-Doo and the gang. I don’t know how I feel about other creations of Hanna-Barbera being revamped (I know there’s a Flintstones revamp out there) but if they all have the same ability to keep the core of the original characters while also adding depth to them, I wouldn’t be too hesitant to check them out.

I received a copy of this book from the NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

What do you all think? Have you read Scooby Apocalypse Vol. 1 already? Have any other book suggestions that I should add to my Weekend Reading List? Leave your thoughts behind in the comments. Just be respectful please.

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