"The Terror of Transylvania"
"The Perilous Pendulum"
Artists: Robert Pope(p), Scott McCrae(i); Scott Jeralds(p), Dan Davis(i); Tim Leavins(p), Davis(i), Heroic Age(c)
I hate it when Scooby-Doo sucks. I hate it even more when Scott Peterson is behind the black hole. Scott Peterson is no novice to mystery. He contributed an impressive detective run of animated Batman adventures, but he doesn't create a single worthy conundrum for Mystery Inc. to solve that meets the all-ages readership's expectations. I can't even imagine kids let alone adults being remotely interested in this issue of Scooby-Doo.
This issue of Scooby-Doo exemplifies why readers scoff at the book. They don't believe the writing in Scooby-Doo can offer wit and intelligence. They don't believe the book can offer a fun puzzle to solve. They don't believe that the book can offer any depth of characterization, and if they read this issue, it would just reinforce this misplaced belief.
The first "mystery" plants the gang at a vampire's spooky old castle, but the trappings prove to be utterly benign. There's no real estate scam to break. There are no clues to uncover. The gang, even Velma, behave utterly perplexed. They don't even try to solve the mystery. They become carried away with the appearance and assume all is as they see. This is about one hundred-and-eighty degrees away from the central message of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? Every effect has a cause. Every mystery has rational explanation, and it pays to be a skeptic.
Then we have "Mad Science." It's nothing. It doesn't have reason to exist. The gang in flashback, mind you, investigates the villagers' claims of "things going too far." Once again, we have a completely harmless scheme with not a single ulterior motive requiring a call to the police--which is how Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? often ended. I'm not saying that Scooby-Doo needs to religiously stick to formula, but damn it, it has to provide drama; woefully lacking here.
Perhaps the story with the gang strapped to a table under a swinging pendulum will do the trick. Nope. I'll give Peterson this much. The way in which they extract themselves from the "trap" is within the characterization of Mystery Inc. and Scooby-Doo. However, he doesn't provide a good enough reason to explain how they happened to be in the predicament, and again, it's nothing. Completely benign. The false phantoms and masked monsters of Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, really attempted to get Mystery Inc. out of the way. Here all three stories amount to misunderstandings rather than crime. Bah!
What did you think of this book?
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