It’s a quiet day in Gotham City… until bank robbers strike. Batman makes the scene and, seeing the Mystery Machine, assumes he can bank on his pals Daphne, Shaggy, Velma, Fred and Scooby-Doo to lend a hand.
Nope. The bandits dump their masks and get away. Soon Batman – with the aid of trusty manservant Alfred – is examining masks left by the fleeing robbers.
But what could keep the Mystery Incorporated gang from aiding the Caped Crusader? We flash back to a recent encounter the team had with mysterious mystic Madame Xanadu….
Aha! Longtime DC readers will recognise this plotline as a Dream Girl classic… she seemed to be forever warning the Legion of Super-Heroes about a vision she’d seen predicting the death of a member (probably it was just the one story that I read to death). Writer Ivan Cohen sets up an intriguing riddle that isn’t the toughest to solve, but there are decent clues so it feels like we’ve done some work along with Batman. As well as an appearance by Madame Xanadu, there’s a reference to John Constantine – well, I think that’s who Alfred’s unseen ‘magic expert in London’ has to be – and fun with an enthusiastic Commissioner Gordon.
There’s also a cameo by a coffee bar employee named Maynard.
If I’m remembering my Scooby lore correctly, the Mystery Inc chums were based on the cast of TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis – also a DC comic – with Shaggy emulating Bob Denver’s Maynard G Krebs, so it’s fun to see them in the same panel. I love this kind of thing.
The only off-note is this moment…
Alfred’s British roots aren’t that evident – being a very proper Englishman, he would rather cut out his tongue than utter the Americanism ‘gotten’. Ugh, it pains me just to write it.
I think we can forgive that, I mean, it’s lovely just to see the phrase ‘full stop’ in a US comic. As for the script’s other incidental pleasures, I’ll let you discover them for yourself.
Back after doing a gorgeous job on the third instalment of this 12-issue run is Erich Owen and, if anything, his full-colour work here is even better. The characters remain on model while exhibiting a few new facial expressions and bits of body language, the backgrounds are incredibly detailed and the sense of motion better than pretty much anything else you’ll see this month.
There’s also a nice sight gag nodding to Scooby’s beginnings, back when he was going to be called Too Much.
Regular letterer Saida Temofonte does her thing, providing perfectly placed fonts with nary a spelling error to be seen. There’s a cute title design to boot. The steady hand on the editorial tiller belongs, as ever, to Kristy Quinn.
With every page a pleasure, I can’t recommend this issue more.
One thought on “The Batman & Scooby-Doo! Mysteries #6 review”
I enjoyed the story but I like the other artist much, much more.
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