In Gotham City, Batman has a riddle for his old pals in Mystery Inc.
Remember those cute purple gloves the Caped Crusader wore in his earliest adventures? They’ve disappeared, swapped out of a museum exhibit for a pair of modern knock-offs. Suspecting they must have been taken at the time, Batman sends Velma, Shaggy and Scooby into the past via Prof Carter Nichols’ hypno-ray. Immediately, they notice something different.
‘Meanwhile’, back/forward in the present, Batman, Daphne and Fred are following up a clue in Gotham Bay, courtesy of the Batsub.
What a delight it is to have Scooby-Doo in the DCU (you can have that title for free, DC) again, following the 2019 cancellation of the superb Scooby-Doo Team-Up. While having Batman around every episode wouldn’t be my choice, who’s to say we won’t get guest stars?
Then again, if the all-Batman stories are as much fun as this DC Digital debut – to be collected in the first print issue any day now – I’ll be pretty happy. Writer Ivan Cohen dips into various eras of Batman history, from the Golden Age to the Silver and Bronze Ages through to Year One via the Hanna Barbara New Scooby-Doo Movies.
I loved the nod to Gotham’s wacky skies of old, while Scooby shows real smarts with his concern about time ‘rharadoxes’. And the title – wait for it – is Glove Story!
Mind, the mystery was a bit complicated for me – a name-dropped character from Detective Comics #27 had me scrambling for Google, and business with a ‘zombie’ was initially a headscratcher. Sometimes things need spelling out for those of us whose brain cells have gone with age.
The ending is something I didn’t see coming, but it’s perfect, and perfectly rendered by longtime Scooby-Doo Team-Up artist Dario Brizuela – I can always hear the classic background music as Velma, Shaggy and Scooby tiptoe across the panels. Franco Riesco has fun varying the colour palette across time, while letterer Saida Temofonte impresses with her undersea word bubbles and sound effects.
I like the cover of the first chapter a lot, too, giving us a very Scooby take on a classic Batman image. The second instalment, as is usually the case with DC’s digital offering, repurposes an interior panel. It’s fine.
Overall, this is a great start to the new Scooby-Doo and Batman Too (you can have that as well, DC!) book, I look forward to a long run of team-ups starring the world’s greatest detectives, human and doggy.