Posted: Saturday, February 16
By: Ray Tate
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"Don't Be Such a Dragon"
"The Devil and the Deep Boo Sea"
Writers: Robbie Busch; Terrence Griep Jr.
Artists: Joe Staton(p), Scott McRae(i); Karen Matchette(p), Sergio Garcia(i); Paul Becton(c)
Plot: A pair of mysteries featuring Rooby-Rooby-Roooooo!
In a departure from formula, Robbie Busch raises the scales for the first mystery in which the gang must foil a pretty decent dragon costume. Obviously if Joe Staton's drawing it, it will be masterful, but the dragon actually, within the context of the story could be considered frightening.
The means by which the gang discover the dragon's lair amusingly depends upon Scooby's stomach, and the identity of the dragon comes as a complete surprise. Though the solution will not seem fairplay at first, the dialogue indicates indeed a means through which the reader could have deduced the person beneath the latex.
Mr. Griep Jr.'s welcome return to Scooby-Doo includes a subversive deflection of the formula. Daphne and the guest-star have a history: one judging by Ms. Matchette's hilarious Daphne-expression that seems more resonant to him than her. This misinterpretation also leads to a warm reconciliation at the end of the story.
Scooby and Shaggy manage to outmaneuver Fred, and they remember their past adventures. The story doesn't seem to just take place from scratch without any recognition of what's gone before. The story however thwarts their plans to say safe and unafraid.
The mystery is a clever romp with the identity of the monster concealed in the dialogue--the only common trait shared by both shorts--and what most would consider a throwaway scene. In other words, this issue gives everything for which you can wish in a comic book whose value far exceeds its price.
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