The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #6 review

The Dynamic Duo and Mystery Inc have been teaming up a lot lately, and they start reminiscing about their first meeting. In a meta-moment, different people have different views – was it the adventure in Scooby-Doo Team-Up #1, the story from TV’s Brave and the Bold, the earlier New Scooby-Doo Mysteries tale… Batman reckons he has the answer. Long before a bat flew through the window of Wayne Manor, teenage Bruce Wayne sought out noted detective Harvey Harris, hoping to become his student.

The disguised Bruce and the seasoned ‘tec come to a deal – if he acts as babysitter to the younger kids, he can come along on cases. Fred reckons he already has a mystery to solve

A painting has been stolen from a museum by a monstrous chap standing 15-feet tall. Detective Harris oversees as the kids look for clues.

When the gang eye a likely suspect getting into a van, Harris gives chase, Bruce tags along, but both are thoroughly derailed by the sudden appearance of rich kid Daphne’s butler.

Oh, the irony. And there’s more in another thoroughly delightful story from writer Sholly Fisch and artist Scott Jeralds. The Easter eggs, in-jokes and references to old Scooby adventures, Batman stories and the wider DC Universe come thick and fast – you don’t need to get all the nods, but they certainly enhance the story if you do.

I love that Fisch goes right back to 1955’s Detective Comics #226 and Edmond Hamilton’s story ‘When Batman Was Robin’ for his inspiration, telling a different version in which the proto-Mystery Inc gang got there first. In this version, Bruce isn’t dressed in the original Robin outfit, presumably because then the present day gang would have worked out long ago that they’d met Batman as tweens. I’m good with that, because it would be a shame to miss out on this well-plotted, inventive, amusing team-up.

And while the story springs from a Fifties classic, it takes in a massive span of Batman history, from Detective Comics #33 right through to the last decade.

Fisch’s deft script is matched by the able art of Jeralds, who blends the adorable Mystery Inc designs of A Pup Named Scooby Doo with the Fifties stylings of Dick Sprang and Charles Paris. There’s even a spot of Bob Kane in there. Carrie Strachan’s bright colours and Wes Abbott’s sharp letters add to the zing of an issue edited by Michael McAlister.

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #6 is a feast for Batman historians, Scooby-Doo fans and anyone who likes a cracking comic. I can’t recommend it highly enough, and really hope this 12-issue maxi-series becomes an ongoing.

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