I think that this issue of Scooby Doo fell victim to “formatitis,” which is a term I have just come up with, meaning when a work is so tied to a certain format, that it insists on sticking to said format, even if it is to the detriment of the work itself.
In this issue, writer Darryl Taylor Kravitz came up with a plot that was good enough to sustain a full 20-page comic book story. However, Scooby Doo’s format is that of three stories, usually a lead story of 8 pages, and two follow-ups of 6 pages. This is basically the same exact format that has become so successful for Archie Comics. The big difference is that, while Archie Comics never give their lead story 20-pages, they DO occasionally allow the lead story to double up and take the place of one of the back-up stories.
In any event, Kravitz had a very interesting concept for his story, where the gang is on the tail of the neat villain, the Science Ghoul. As a distraction for his getaway, he appears to use a “duplication ray” on Scooby Doo, resulting in TWO Scoobies! Scooby Doo and Scooby TWO! What the gang doesn’t know is that Scobby Two is secretly working FOR the Science Ghoul! And while it looks like he’s a great detective (and makes the original Scooby feel left out), he’s actually intentionally steering the gang in the wrong direction.
Neat concept, no?
However, with the story only lasting 8 pages, there’s basically nowhere for Kravitz to go with it, so he basically just abruptly ends the story.
Ah well…nice art by Scott Neely.
The backups are both drawn by Vince Deporter, who has a nice, zany style, and he draws little kids really well. I’m not a fan of his design on Velma, though.
The first backup is written by former Bat-Editor Scott Peterson, who I forgot had the same name as that wife-murderer. It is a nice little story of a “ghost” haunting a kid’s clubhouse.
The second backup, by Scott Cunningham, was not so good. It had a nice villain (baseball-themed!), but the mystery was one of the worst mysteries I’ve seen in a comic like this. The idea of a mystery like this is to give SOME sort of clue to who the crook is – Cunningham gave NO clue. The only reason they figured out who it was was due to some off-panel snooping by Velma into which member of suspects just got out of jail. Not good.
Anyhow, I wouldn’t recommend this issue of Scooby Doo, although writer Darryl Taylor Kravitz could have done a good issue all on his own, if only they would have been flexible with the book’s format!
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