Scooby-Doo and the gang are celebrating their 50th anniversary in style as Scooby-Doo: Where Are You? reaches issue #100. This entertaining milestone containing two complete mysteries, and writers Sholly Fisch and Jack Briglio with artists Walter Carzon and Roberto Barrids flawlessly capture the spirit of the Saturday morning cartoons you grew up with.
This book isn't just a simple homage to the past, however. Instead, it blends the most iconic aspects of Scooby-Doo with updated elements in a wonderful arrangement for modern readers. The Scooby gang is exactly as we remember them, with the same outfits, speech patterns, and unique characteristics that made them such icons, but the creative teams flesh out the world with updated takes on the settings, mysteries, and the supporting characters that the Scoobies encounter. The combination works as timeless rather than time warp, ensuring the book appeals to every generation.
Scooby-Doo mysteries follow a clear formula, per the original cartoons, and the stories here do not disappoint. The kids arrive at an event and a mystery ensues. Scooby and Shaggy run while Fred, Daphne, and Velma sort out clues in their wake, Velma puts everything together, and the bad guy is ultimately revealed.
Knowing that formula doesn’t make the stories any less entertaining. The writers mix up the rhythm of the fast-paced story while the artists use overlapping panels in an admittedly dialogue-heavy title to get in all the action as well as the witty banter. The artwork is consistent and true to the lighthearted approach of the cartoons. Of course, these stories are predictable, but where that would beg criticism in another title, it’s expected and enjoyable here.
The real fun for the reader is the reveal of the creative circumstances that surround the mystery. In the first story, it’s a return to Scooby’s obedience school for a reunion. Seeing Scooby converse with other dogs is a Scooby Snack-esque treat , as is discovering the clues along with the team. In the second story, the kids meet reality show version sof themselves that causes moments of self-doubt that swiftly fade away as the clues add up. The issue isn’t about deep thoughts and provocative philosophizing, it’s simply fun storytelling.
If it’s been a while since you checked out a Scooby-Doo comic, this one is well-worth picking up. By the time you’re done, you’ll be convinced of the need to share these books with kids, and you might even want to start stocking up on back issues to hand out on Halloween.