Scooby-Doo #39

Posted: Saturday, August 12
By: Ray Tate
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"Two Heads Are Better than None"
"The Chocolatier Chortled"

Writer: John Rozum, Bill Fingerman
Artist: Joe Staton, Erik Doescher(p), Dave Hunt, Mike DeCarlo(i),Paul Becton(c)
Publisher: DC

Plot: The kibble includes a phantom bicyclist and a chocolate-covered ghost.

It's my sad duty to report that this issue of Scooby-Doo has all the meatiness of a day-old charred soup bone drained of its marrow. I shouldn't feel too disappointed. I've recommended practically each issue even when the book was published at another house. No title I suppose can have a perfect run, but this issue involves a pair of ghosts who could have spooked nobody during the woeful, cancerous Scrappy-Doo era.

What was John Rozum thinking? He knows better. He was a writer for The X-Files comic book series. He knows Kolchak on television already faced an updated Headless Horseman in the form of a spectral biker who cleaved his victims with a machete. He knows that compared to a decapitated motorcyclist, a headless bicycler is going to look pretty damn tame. He knows that Shaggy has no business entering a bike race for kids. He knows that even Shaggy shouldn't be afraid of headless Huffy-rider. Toss a big stick at the spokes, and Mr. Pumpkin-head will end up as pie.

Whereas I liked Joe Staton's sneaky tribute to Linus van Pelt, and there are two good Daphne poses by Joe Staton, even the delectable Daphne cannot save this debacle of a dirt poor race.

Bob Fingerman must have seen seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He must know what horror from a children's tale can achieve. Gene Wilder portrayed one of the most sinister figures in children's literature. Although a musical, the movie lost none of its threat. Think The Phantom of the Opera was the first to mix terror and music? Think again. So what do we Scooby fans get? A demonic, purple clad candyman? A scar-faced Erik? No! We are given a saccharine "faux" ghost who allegedly drowned in a chocolate vat! This is beyond weak, and quite frankly you would think portable stomachs like Shaggy and Scoob would overmatch this particular "spook," but for some reason the dynamic digestive tracts are afraid of a guy covered in chocolate.

The tantalizing odor of the sweet drawing Daphne and Velma toward the barrels of glop suggest they like the euphoric feelings induced by endorphins just like any other normal gal, but this subtext and the damn cute depiction of Daphne in the finale cannot save a very stupid story. Just out of curiosity is there any reason why the Amish needed to be here? Apart from providing the ridiculous clue, I think not!

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