|SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP - HALLOWEEN SPECIAL EDITION No. 1, December 2014|
Super-hero team-up titles are nothing new in the world of comics. Indeed, arguably some of the most popular books of the Seventies and early Eighties were series which routinely paired up one of the publisher’s most popular characters with a seemingly endless array of lesser known partners. “Marvel Comics” had its best-selling “Marvel Team-Up” and “Marvel-Two-In-One”. Whilst fierce rivals “DC Comics” produced “Brave And The Bold” featuring Batman. Unfortunately more modern-day attempts to reboot these Bronze Age magazines have not proved overly successful with both “Marvel Team-Up” in 2005 and “Brave And The Bold” in 2007 being cancelled within the space of just a few years.
With “Scooby Doo Team-Up” however “DC Comics” have attempted to not only once again tap into this genre but also return to the roots of the medium and simply make the stories straightforward stupidly satirical fun as a result of some outlandish couplings. “Man Bat And Robbin’” being a terrifically jolly case in point as Hanna-Barbera’s meddling kids join forces with the Caped Crusaders and rekindle the somewhat ‘campy’ humour of the 1972 animated film “The Dynamic Scooby-Doo Affair”.
Indeed this Halloween special edition is absolutely full of the sort of Seventies in-jokes and self-depreciation which made the 1969 cartoon series such a hoot. Whether it be Fred’s exclamation “Holy triple vision!”, a fearless Shaggy erroneously yanking on the enormous ears of the Man-Bat in the misguided belief that the villain is a man in a mask, or Batman and Robin being labelled “Meddling Super-heroes”. Nods to the lengthy and rich histories of all the colourful characters concerned abound. It even contains a few references to some of the other movie-length Mystery Inc. team-ups of that time, notably with the Harlem Globetrotters and singers Sonny and Cher.
Obviously to incorporate so many kooky gags, Sholly Fisch’s storyline is almost painfully ‘run-of-the-mill’ as Scooby, Shaggy and Batman tackle the snarling Man-Bat, reversing his terrifying transformation with a handy antidote, and teenagers Fred, Daphne, Velma and Robin ‘rope’ three bat-masked thieving opportunists in a local shopping mall.
But any such shortcomings to the script are easily forgiveable and there is always the appeal of Dario Brizuela's pencil work to please the eye. For coupled with the bold and bright colours created by Heroic Age, the Argentine artist’s superb drawings really capture the cartoony look of the American animation studio’s crime-solving creations, as well as the Dark Knight, Boy Wonder and Man-Bat.
|Writer: Sholly Fisch, Artist: Dario Brizuela, and Colorist: Heroic Age|