"Ghoul's Night at the Opera"
"A Town Called Vladsburg"
Two outstanding stories split this issue of Scooby-Doo. In the first, the Gang go to a punk rock musical to investigate a haunting. Vito Delsante and Mick Purpura turn the story into a musical. Not an easy thing to do when the comic book is actually a mute object. The writers create melody in the dialogue and include refrains leading to the numbers.
As to the mystery, Delsante and Purpura give the readers plenty of suspects, and hide the culprit well enough. The ghoul reveals himself in the denouement, and they add a novel twist to the typical curse spat by all the frauds the gang have uncovered.
Tim Levins and Dan Davis dramatize Mystery Inc. in a boisterous form that suits the subject matter. They also create some imaginative designs for the punk players of the opera, and the on model Shaggy, Scooby, Fred, Daphne and Velma investigate fully dressed sets that help sell the cadence.
The second story by Paul Kupperberg is a straight-forward Scooby-Doo fairplay mystery. The author gives clues to the reader, creates a plausible history behind the vampire and lays out the Gang's thought processes. Mystery Inc. is in fine form, and the conclusion injects originality into the formula of the unmasking.
Artists Scott Gross and Jorge Pacheco vary their characters from the Hanna-Barbera originals ever so slightly. More importantly, they switch the angles of the point of view panels to curtail static storycrafting.
These two exceptional Scooby snacks will please any Scooby fan, and kudos must also be given to Heroic Age for an overall attentive coloring that serves to create an eerie mood in the second story.
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