Scooby-Doo Team-Up #39
Scooby-Doo Team-Up is the most fun comic I read, and #39 is no exception. The Mystery Inc. gang teams up with the superhero team Justice Society of America, which requires time travel.
I was amazed at how much Sholly Fisch managed to pack into this issue — a modern day supernatural mystery, the trip back in time, and best of all, a structure that mimics the original JSA comics. Typically, given the size of the team, a threat would be introduced, and then the team would split into various pairs in following chapters before reuniting for a big showdown at the end.
This demonstrates how much Fisch knows about the characters he writes, which is what makes this so impressive. Plus, it’s silly to see, for instance, a header that says “The Atom, Green Lantern, and Fred”.
Artist Dario Brizuela does a great job with both the cartoony Scooby gang and the more traditional superheroes. One of the most fondly remembered comic runs of the Justice Society was the 1992 series illustrated by the gone-too-soon Mike Parobeck. Brizuela gives the heroes a similar, streamlined look that’s nicely evocative.
That’s the cool thing about this comic. It brings back all kinds of welcome memories while not requiring the reader to know any of it. But for those who do, it’s in keeping with the best parts. Each smaller team-up, for instance, is introduced with the classic character logos.
This is a book made to read aloud and share with someone. I annoyed KC when I got my hands on it by repeating a favorite wisecrack or neat bit every couple of pages. The first one came two panels in, where a guy holding a box marked “Do Not Open” is blathering about it obviously being a time capsule and wanting to open it. Or how Scooby says “Roctor Rate!” or saves the day even when asleep.
My biggest complaint is that Fisch is too true to continuity in making the Wonder Woman who’s a JSA member Hippolyta, Diana’s mother. But he teams her up with Daphne to give Wildcat a lesson in what women are capable of, and he hints at righting a decades-long wrong in the way they treated Wonder Woman as the group’s secretary.
Johnny Thunder learns that women can work defense jobs before teaming up with Black Canary and Ma Hunkel! And Velma saves the day by out-thinking the villain’s evil plan.
The heroes fight saboteurs, save a war bond drive, protect scrap for reuse, and best of all, teach kids that “no matter what color or religion we might be… we’re all Americans!” Which sadly is still needed to be heard by some misguided souls. They don’t have the excuse of listening to an undercover Hitler Youth this time, making a 1942-set story relevant to today, particularly with its message of Hope.