Sunday, August 20, 2023

Comics Review: "THE BATMAN & SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERIES #8" and the Replacements


STORY: Sholly Fisch
ART: Erich Owen
COLORS: Erich Owen
LETTERS: Saida Temofonte
EDITOR: Kristy Quinn
COVER: Erich Owen
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (July 2023)

Ages 8+

Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger

“Scooby-Doo Scooby-Don't?”

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries was a 12-issue comic book limited series that DC Comics published in 2021 and 2022.  The series brought the characters from both the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? and Batman comic book series together.  Over the past five decades, Mystery Inc.Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma, have joined Batman and (often) Robin to solve mysteries in various animated television series and comic books.

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries sold well enough that DC Comics began a second series in October 2022.  The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #8 (“Scooby-Doo Scooby-Don't?”) is written by Sholly Fisch; drawn and colored by Erich Owen; and lettered by Saida Temofonte.

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #8 (“Scooby-Doo Scooby-Don't?”) opens at Gotham Stadium.  It's the site of the latest ghostly appearance of the fearsome “Bat Spirit,” and Mystery Inc. is on the case... but not so fast, Scooby gang.

Batman has a new team of ghostbusting partners, Ranger and the Wraith Wranglers!  They're like an alternate version of Mystery Inc.:  Duke (Fred), Sensei (Daphne), Specs (Velma), Rondo (Shaggy), and Ranger (Scooby).  So does Batman still need Scooby and company?  No, and he doesn't want them around.

Still, Mystery Inc. are the quintessential meddling kids, and they never take “No!” for answer.  Plus, they know that there is something strange beyond the supernatural about the “Bat Spirit” and its drive to protect “rare bats.”  In the meantime, a mysterious figure is watching Mystery, Inc.  This story includes appearances by Robin, Batgirl, and a formidable Teen Titans villain.

THE LOWDOWN:  As a child, the most important characters in my life were Batman and Robin and Scooby-Doo and company.  I am still excited about the worlds of Batman and Scooby-Doo coming together.  One of my favorites is the recent animated film, Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018).  Obviously, The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries is one of those comic book series that are perfectly made for me.

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #8 is an offbeat tale.  For one thing, it is the first Scooby-Doo comic book that I have come across that references other teenage detectives that starred in 1970s Hanna-Barbera animated television productions:  “The Funky Phantom” (1971-72), “The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan” (1972), and “Goober and the Ghost Chasers” (1973).

Sholly Fisch is one of my favorite writers of Scooby-Doo comic books, and “Scooby-Doo Scooby-Don't?” is inventive tale, especially in its surprising depiction of Batman.  I was also delighted to see Robin in a surprising role, and the villain is a nice twist.

Erich Owen's art looks like he drew figures and later inserted computer-rendered backgrounds.  That doesn't distract from the story, but it does seem odd in places.  Anyway...

All in all, The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #8 is a good read with some surprises.  See you next Bat-time and have a Scooby-Dooby-Doo day, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of the union of the worlds of Batman and Scooby-Doo will want The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries.

[This comic book includes a seven-page preview of the DC Comics original graphic novel, “Bruce Wayne: Not Super” by Stuart Gibbs and Berat Pekmezci.]


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


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