Thursday, August 10, 2023

Comics Review: "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #123" is in Festival Season


STORY: Derek Fridolfs; Sholly Fisch
PENCILS: Valerio Chiola; Robert Pope
INKS: Valerio Chiola; Scott McRae
COLORS: Valerio Chiola; Candace Schinzler-Bell
LETTERS: Saida Temofonte
EDITORS: Courtney Jordan; Adam Ansari (reprint)
COVER: Derek Fridolfs with Valerio Chiola
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (October 2023)

Ages 8+

“Swede and Sour”

Welcome, dear readers, to my continuing journey through the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? comic book series, which began publication in 2010.  I continue to renew my subscription so that I can continue to review this series for you, dear readers.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #123 opens with “Swede and Sour,” which is written by Derek Fridolfs and drawn by Valerio Chiola.  The story finds Mystery Inc.Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma attending Coolsville's very own Swedish festival, “Välkommen.”

However, a “draugr,” an undead creature from Scandinavian sagas and folktales, is also attending the festival.  This draugr, which appears as an undead, reanimated Viking, is ruining the festival.  Can Shaggy and Scooby solve this case with the help of a smelly fish dish?

As usual, the second story, “A Midsummer Night's Scream,” is a reprint story and is written by Sholly Fisch and drawn by Robert Pope and Scott McRae.  [This story was originally published in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #49 (cover date: November 2014).]  The story finds Mystery Inc. attending the “Shakespeare Outdoors” festival's production of William Shakespeare's beloved play, “A Midnight Summer's Dream.”

Now, some of the play's most famous characters have come to life and are raising magical havoc.  Can Mystery Inc. solve the mystery and Shaggy's donkey head?

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #123 has as a theme summer festivals.  “Swede and Sour” is a surprise.  Valerio Chiola's pliable compositions give this kooky story a sense of motion, so Derek Fridolfs' story results in an odd treat.  Still, I don't think this “draugr” was played to the hilt.

“A Midsummer Night's Scream,” the reprint story, is this issue's better story.  Sholly Fisch is one of my favorite Scooby-Doo comic book writers (as is Fridolfs).  This Shakespearean riff is beginning to end kooky.  It is one of the most unexpected Scooby-Doo comic book stories I've ever read, and it offers the best “bad guys” I think I've ever come across in this series.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #123 is a fun read and also an exceptional issue.  So grab your “Scooby Snacks” and read it, and maybe watch a Scooby-Doo movie, later.  And until next time, Scooby-Dooby-Doo!


[This comic book includes a seven-page preview of the DC Comics original graphic novel, “Fann Club: Batman Squad” by Jim Benton.]

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

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