For such an action-packed issue, it’s astonishing how there can be so much focus on the relationships between the characters in Scooby Apocalypse #15.
Velma, Daphne and Scooby-Doo are forced to team up with the maniacal Scrappy-Doo and his pack to fight off an oncoming wave of monsters. However, Scrappy’s scheme of vengeance can’t be brushed aside easily, and before long their private war becomes personal. Meanwhile, Fred is keen to get into the thick of the action despite still recovering from his broken leg and Shaggy’s protestations. But what about Scrappy’s ward and only friend, the young boy called Cliffy? Will he become Mystery Inc.’s latest member, or is he destined to follow in the footsteps of Scrappy?
With the pressure on, it’s clear that Shaggy is chafing every time Fred starts up with his macho bravado. Velma, for all her faults and mistakes, is finally told by the team to give her guilt a rest for once. Scrappy’s overwhelming hatred for Velma is balanced by his concern for his pack and by Cliffy’s insistence that he’s a good dog, once again raising the question of his story being one of redemption. It’s moments like these which make this book such a consistently solid read. Then there’s the sense of humour…
Please note, Scooby Apocalypse #15 isn’t a funny book in any sense of the word. It isn’t a comedy. Instead, it punctuates moments of drama with comic relief and vice versa. It’s a system which is used to great effect and has been throughout the whole series. There’s always been an odd connection between horror and comedy, and here it’s on full display. A playful opening narrative box mocks the title even though we’re seeing a potential bloodbath fight between Scooby and Scrappy. It’s a tricky balance, but it works.
And then there’s Velma losing her glasses. For long-time fans of Scooby-Doo in any incarnation, it’s a classic moment and here it’s timed perfectly.
Matching the writing once again is Dale Eaglesham’s art, which not only looks wonderful but manages to perfectly convey the chaos or calm of every page just through panel layouts. By overlapping jumbled tiles at skewed angles and having images tear through neat panel borders, it’s hard to not get swept up by the fast pace of the story. It’s almost a shame because the attention to detail is impressive. Meanwhile, Ron Wagner’s art in the backup story deals in a striking use of shadows and negative space, much like the legendary Kelley Jones.
It’s another great issue, and it certainly won’t disappoint the fans.