Review by Ian Keogh
There’s a surprise to this final volume of Scooby-Doo Team-Up when it opens with neither Scooby and friends, nor any DC superheroes, but Dick Dastardly and Muttley in flying machine mode, perhaps acknowledging their presence in Scoob! Dastardly eventually hires the meddling kids to catch that darn pigeon.
While Sholly Fisch aims squarely at those who were kids in the early 1970s, it won’t take much for younger readers to grasp the premise, and as seen on the sample art, Scott Jeralds has the characters running back in forth in suitable homage fashion. Fisch also addresses the lack of logic about Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines back in the day, conceiving a suitably ridiculous solution.
The other Hanna Barbera animated character featured is also quite the surprise, Fisch heading back even further to the early 1960s for Magilla Gorilla, as ever causing trouble in Mr. Peebles’ pet shop. The Mystery Machine turns up just as Peebles finally seems to have sold the gorilla (again), this time to Doctor Hassenpfeffer who lives in the eerie castle on Haunted Hill. Cue head-swapping hijinks drawn by Walter Carzon.
As ever, it’s the polished cartooning of Dario Brizuela gracing the appearances from DC superheroes, in this case Mister Miracle, Black Lightning, Metamopho and apparently the Flash. Fisch manages to include a full compliment of Apokalips villains in the first, and the social problems of Suicide Slum in the second, which plays on the 1970s nature of Black Lightning’s costume. Despite the Scooby gang being a good fit with Metamorpho, it’s the seeming Flash story that’s the highlight, though, even if Flash doesn’t appear. Fisch instead has Central City’s Rogues calling on the Mystery Investigators for help because their loot is being stolen by the Top, who should be dead. It’s a prime mystery and a packed story in which Fisch even manages to include a Shakespeare joke. Old-time Flash readers will figure out the mystery just before Fisch pulls the curtain back.
The book and series closes with a highlight. The reproduced cover gives the mystery away, but Batman is being plagued by alternate versions of himself, soon to be followed by assorted Scoobys putting in an appearance. Jeralds delights in drawing the ridiculous versions Fisch conceives, and Fisch has some imagination as he satirises the idea of a multiverse. As with all stories here, there are neat, unobtrusive references to the past that some older readers will pick up. Metamorpho saying “no” is especially clever.
It’s always a shame to see a quality series end, but there are eight fine volumes as a legacy, and that’s a fair run in the 21st century.