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Scooby-Doo #75

Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2003
By: Ray Tate



"Ghost to Ghost TV"
"Lean, Mean Mystery Machine"

Writers: Earl Kress; Bobbi Busch
Artists:Scott Jeralds(p),Scott McRae(i);Joe Staton(p),Davd Hunt(i); Sno Cone?(c)
Publisher:DC

In this issue of Scooby-Doo, the classic models morph into their current incarnations from What's New Scooby-Doo? the best animated treatment of the source Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?.

The mediocre grade does not reflect displeasure in the changes. True, I will miss the neckerchiefs--Fred and Daphne were two of three people who could do justice to such a fashion accessory. Earl Kress' story is simply a little too cutesy with the parody names of famous VJs, and the motive does not make any sense.

Much stronger is Bobbi Busch's missing adventure in which she shows the gang updating the Mystery Machine. The brilliant plot inverts the Scooby formula, and you almost feel sorry for the criminals. Almost.

While Scotts Jeralds and McRae do a decent job for the first story, Joe Staton, even when staying on-model, simply gives us the best artistic treatment for Scoob and the Gang. There's a definite change in the visual characterization, which Mr. Staton accepts and embellishes. It's a little startling to see Velma in a jumpsuit--however briefly--and even more jarring seeing her covered in grease. The expansion of her role from pure ratiocinator to techno whiz in hindsight however seems natural especially when Mr. Staton assures with subtle nuances that this is still Velma.

Daphne's role has alway grown through out the entirety of various incarnations of the Scooby-Doo cartoons. Her want to solve the mystery has always been genuine, and she was always more than Fred's girlfriend. Daphne in what seemed to be the end was the only original member of Mystery Inc. who still debunked spectral hauntings that were really just spiced up real estate frauds. Bobbi Busch follows suit by giving Daphne a pivotal role in the story.

Ms. Busch does not forget Fred. It's amusing that she positions him as "the man behind the curtain." Fred always has been the leader of Mystery Inc. Part of leadership is delegating responsibility, and it's very impressive that he trusts his team to do their best. There is no sexism in his delegations, and there never has been. One of the messages in Scooby-Doo and why so many spin-off incarnations have been lacking due to a shift from that message is that man or woman, no matter the age, you can also root out the truth. The comic book as well carries that message and makes it one of the most mature on the rack.



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