Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #25
I really love this series. Writer Sholly Fisch does a terrific job telling stories that work as straightforward Scooby-Doo adventures — where the kids have to unmask fake ghosts, while Shaggy quakes and Scooby wisecracks — while tickling us older readers hip to the references.
This issue title, “Ghosts Are Not Healthy for Dogs and Other Living Things”, may give you a hint of what’s being satirized this time around. The Scooby crew have come to Karma Corners, a town populated by a bunch of ex-hippies still living the lifestyle and slinging the lingo. Mayor Goodvibes explains that “a bunch of us dropped out of the outside world’s rat race … [to] leave the squares and money-grubbers behind!” The only problem is, they’re being haunted by the ghosts of their parents, who are trying to guilt them into getting real jobs and haircuts.
This is funny enough, except the book is a team-up, and as you can see from the cover, a couple of superheroes will appear. It’s not today’s Green Lantern and Green Arrow, though, but the pair circa the 1970s “Hard-Traveling Heroes” era, the story that (as publisher DC puts it) “first brought relevance to comics!” Artist Dario Brizuela does a good job smoothing out the superheroes so they fit into the more streamlined, cartoon-influenced look of the Scooby gang.
As they explain to the kids, they’re “on a road trip to look for America”. (Shaggy responds, “I hope I didn’t fall asleep and wake up in Finland again.”) What follows, to someone who read those comics that tried really hard to be meaningful and “with it” a little too late to buy into them, is hilarious. Whether it’s making fun of no one knowing Green Arrow’s villains (a page you can see in this review) or his propensity to say “hideous moral cancer” too often, this comic was funny and did not take itself too seriously.
More importantly, it’s the kind of humor that can only come from someone who also read and loved those same stories. It’s not mean, but it does a good job of pricking the balloon. Whenever I read this comic, I just want to repeat the good lines (and there are many) to whoever’s nearby. I loved the twists and turns, with a false ending that leads into another reveal, and the guest stars. This was some good comic reading. Even if you go through it over and over, as you might with a kid.