Scooby-Doo! Team-Up volume 2


By Sholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela, Scott Jeralds & various (DC Comics)
ISBN: 978-1-4012-5859-7 (TPB/Digital edition)

The links between kids’ animated features and comic books are long established and, I suspect, for young consumers, indistinguishable. After all, it’s just adventure entertainment in the end…

Although never actual comics workers, animation titans and series-writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears co-originated dozens of cartoon shows which ultimately translated into multi-million comic book sales, joy and glee for generations and a subtle reshaping of the world’s cultural landscape. They popularised the superhero concept on TV, through shows like Superman, The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show and Thundarr the Barbarian, consequently employing former funnybook creators such as Doug Wildey, Alex Toth, Steve Gerber, Jack Kirby and other comics giants. For all that, they are most renowned for devising mega-brand Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

Over decades of screen material, Scooby-Doo and his two-legged sidekicks Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Freddy became global icons, and amidst mountains of merchandise and derivatives generated by the franchise was a succession of comic book series. They started with Gold Key (30 issues beginning December 1969 and ending in 1974), through Charlton (11 issues 1975-1976); Marvel (9 issues 1977-1979); Harvey (1993-1994) and Archie (21 issues, 1995-1997). The creative cast included Phil DeLara, Jack Manning, Warren Tufts, Mark Evanier, Dan Spiegle, Bill Williams, and many, many others.

In 1997, DC Comics acquired all Hanna Barbera properties for its Cartoon Network imprint, which was for a very long time the last bastion of children’s comics in America. It produced some truly magical homespun material (such as Tiny Titans, Batman: Brave and the Bold and Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!) as well as stunning interpretations of such television landmarks as Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Ben 10 and vintage gems such as The Flintstones and Scooby Doo…

In 2013, the pesky mystery-solving kids fully integrated with the DCU via a digital series of team ups that inevitably manifested as comics books and graphic novels. Compiling online chapters #13-24 of Scooby-Doo! Team-Up, which were then released as #7-12 (December 2014-May 2015) of a physical comic book, this second captivating compendium consists of a wild parade of joint ventures from writer Sholly Fisch, blending the best of both worlds – animated screen and folding paper…

Lettered throughout by Saida Temofonte we kick off with ‘Scooby-Doo, When are you?’, visualised by Scott Jeralds & colourist Franco Riesco as, way back when, Professor Alfred Einstone’s new time machine plucks the plucky kids of Mystery Inc. back to the Stone Age. Unable to return the future kids stay with the professors neighbours Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, but it’s not long before they are all embroiled in scary hijinks after a trip to the theatre leads to a clash with The Phantom of the Operrock…

After joining forces to expose a property scam and prove rich businessmen  are evil in very era the visitors are sent home thanks to the power of super alien the Great Gazoo, but he slightly overshoots them…

With hues by Wendy Broome, the amazed investigators are ‘Future Shocked’ to materialise far ahead of their own time in the home of George Jetson and his post-atomic family, just in time to save George’s job as a Space-Age Specter targets Spacely Sprockets and bitter rival Cogswells Cogs. With the profit motive not applicable to this case, Velma soon deduces who’s really behind the ghostly goings on before a lucky coincidence finally restores our time travellers to their own milieu…

In modern day Metropolis, the Daily Planet is plagued by Great Caesar’s Ghost in ‘Truth, Justice, and Scooby Snacks’ courtesy of Fisch, artist Dario Brizuela, and colourist Franco Riesco. Knowing his limits, Superman calls in the gang to help Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White solve the baffling case and unmask a sneaky super-villain behind everything.

However, when Red Kryptonite turns the Action Ace into a monster and the reporters pitch in to help, their temporary technologically-induced superpowers accidentally end up in Scooby and Shaggy. Good thing Superdog Krypto is around to help…

Another classic Hanna Barbera feature returns as ‘Quest for Mystery!’ sees the ghostbusting teen in competition with boy adventurer Jonny Quest and his monster-hunting family. When the cursed Keeler Ruby is stolen and a mummy marauds through a museum, sinister mastermind Doctor Zin is unmasked after Jonny’s genius dad Dr. Benton Quest is abducted. Of course, even Zin’s Island of Monsters proves inadequate against Shaggy and Scooby’s talent for inducing fortunate accidents…

When warring nations seek to sign a peace treaty, the spirit of warrior King Leopold disrupts the ceremony and spy agency International Sneaky Service consults Freddie, Daphne and Velma for a solution. With Scooby and Shaggy in tow, the kids get on the case with top ISS operative Secret Squirrel (and Morocco Mole!) to unmask an old enemy disrupting peace for profit in ‘I Spy Something… Boo!’

The never-ending chase closes for now with a return trip to Batman’s hometown and clash with ‘Gotham Ghouls’, with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy setting a trap for the gang. Happily, it’s just a means of securing their assistance against a spook singling the bad girls out for personalised torment. However, once the kids start looking, they soon see that the haunting is not supernatural in nature, and it’s not one persecuting phantom, but two…

Despite being ostensibly aimed at TV kids of a certain vintage, this fast-paced, funny and superbly inclusive parcel of thrills deliciously revisits the charm of early DC in stand-alone mini-sagas no self-respecting fun-fan should miss: accessible, entertaining, well-rendered yarns for the broadest range of excitement-seeking readers. This is a terrific tome offering perfect, old fashioned delight. What more do you need to know?
© 2015 Hanna-Barbera. All Rights Reserved. Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Secret Squirrel and all related characters and elements are ™ and © Hanna-Barbera (s15). Superman, Batgirl, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and all related characters and elements are ™ & © DC Comics.