The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #12 review

I knew this day was coming – the day of the 12th and final issue of the superb limited series teaming the fine folk of Mystery Inc with the Caped (well, mostly) Crusaders of Gotham City. Alleviating the pain, though, is the fact that this is a surprise celebration. It turns out that 2022 is the 50th anniversary of the debut of TV’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies, the second episode of which guest starred Batman and Robin. So here’s a party and everyone’s invited. The whole blamed Batman Family shows up for this issue, which begins with Velma, Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo called to – where else? – a haunted hotel. But it’s not ghosts who are spooking people.

You guessed it… it isn’t just the heroes who are partying this issue – a battalion of Bat-bad guys have gathered to put the ‘con’ into ‘convention’.

Like, double zoinks.

Having wandered into the crowd, the gang have no choice but to try to blend in.

Unfortunately, having met members of the Gotham Rogues Gallery every month for the last year (and on various occasions before that), our heroes are recognised. Their only hope? That a makeshift Bat Signal rigged up by Fred and Daphne bring Batman and Robin swinging through a window!

Never mind.

I can’t recommend this issue highly enough. Sholly Fisch constructs a story that makes total sense in a world in which both Batman and Scooby-Doo regularly get together to solve mysteries. The gags perfectly fit character and situation, with Fisch’s deep familiarity with Gotham history informing the story in ways that won’t have newer readers feeling excluded. All you need to know for a scene involving Cluemaster and Signalman, for example, is their names, which are right there.

As for the guest heroes, there’s everyone from big names like Nightwing (sporting his old horrendous mullet… OK, that’s tautology) to one-off wonders The Bat Squad. The only good guys who don’t show up are the original Batwoman and Bat-Girl, and continuity be darned, it turns out they could have easily roared in on their Bat-cycles. Oh well, it’s not like this issue isn’t 100 per cent entertaining without them.

And a big part of that is the skill of longtime Scooby artist Dario Brizuela, who seamlessly blends everyone Gotham into Mystery Inc’s visual landscape. I defy anyone to see this art and not hear the classic Scooby-Doo music cues, or running-in-midair sting. There’s not a bad panel in the book, and many brilliant ones – the fight scenes are especially wonderful. Who could have predicted that a frame involving Crazy Quilt and big screen breakout character Mr Polka Dot would make my day?

The art is coloured with typical verve by Franco Riesco, while longtime letterer Saida Temofonte is a big boon to the book – the title design is especially cool. And how great is Brizuela and Riesco’s cover?

It’s true that DC publishes too many Batman books, but this hasn’t been one of them, giving us true all-ages entertainment guaranteed to get anyone grinning. I do hope it returns for another season, with editor Kristy Quinn at the wheel of the Batmobile once more. In the meantime, Shaggy and Scoob, there’s a convention hall of Scooby snacks to get through…

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