Scooby-Doo! #139 (February, 2009)
“It’s a Wonderful Fright!”
“Velma’s Monsters of the World: The Yeti!”
“Santa’s Evil Elves”
Writers – Alex Simmons, John Rozum, & Robbie Busch
Art – Robert Pope, Dan Davis, & Scott Jeralds
Colors – Heroic Age
Letters – John J. Hill
Editor – Michael Siglain
Cover Price: $2.50
Today’s going to be an interesting one… never been much of a Scooby-Doo! fan, I honestly can’t think of the last time I’d actually seen an episode of it.
My most recent run-in with the property was reviewing Scooby Apocalypse for Weird Science DC Comics… and hoo boy, I remember hating that. That was a whole nother animal though… and doesn’t really “count”. That said, there’s no way that this will be anywhere near as painful as that.
Our first story opens with Scooby and Shaggy running from a phantasm called “The Plotter”. They are chased into a large creepy house on a hill. Shaggy locks them inside the place, all the while wishing he’d never even heard of things like ghosts, or phantoms, or even… Mystery, Inc.! You see where this one’s headed, right?
The guys fall down a flight of stairs… and when Shaggy comes to, they head out to find their friends. Unfortunately for them, they run into a weird blue astronaut-looking monster… but, oddly enough, it’s one that the recognize!
Shaggy and Scooby make their way into town, where they run into Daphne… and guess what? She doesn’t recognize them. Not only that, she doesn’t know Velma or Freddie… and she’s never heard of Mystery, Inc.! She admits that she enjoys solving mysteries… but seems almost embarrassed by it. Their confusing chat is interrupted by a clown-baddie (who they also recognize).
Running away, the guys rush smack-dab into… Freddie, who’s looking like the King of all Crossing Guards. He’s trying to direct traffic, and he tells Shaggy that he too, never heard of Mystery, Inc., and since he was a High School jock, nobody took him seriously when he suggested he wanted to solve crimes. They’re, of course, interrupted by the arrival of a few more familiar ghouls.
Scooby and Shaggy rush into a nearby van… and wouldja lookit that, Velma’s inside! You know the drill, she doesn’t know nothin’ about no Mystery, Inc. (though she does call her van “The Mystery Machine”), and while she’s interested in inventing stuff, nobody has ever taken her serious enough for her to actually put her thoughts into action.
Shaggy realizes that nobody remembers Mystery, Inc. because he wished it away! It’s also why all of these familiar ghouls are wandering about… without “those meddling kids” around to catch ’em, they’re still causing trouble! He and Scooby rush back to the house on the hill to try and make things right again. On their way, they are tossed off a bridge by a gaggle of baddies. Before we know it, Shaggy wakes up in the basement of that ramshackle house.
Shaggy, somehow, uses his dream to deduce that Mr. Scamlin is behind the whole thing. Ya see, dude wanted to scare people out of the area so he could build an amusement park… which, honestly sounds a whole lot cooler than some creepy disheveled houses! How did Shaggy figure this whole thing out? Um, well… if you can tell me, I’d appreciate it!
Our next story is a shorty, featuring Velma dropping some knowledge about the Yeh-tay. It’s only two pages, and ends with Shaggy asking how the snowman he and Scooby built looks… to which, Velma says it’s “Abominable”. Geddit?
Our third and final story opens with Shaggy acting as the world’s weirdest Mall Santa. The rest of Mystery, Inc. comments that the security guard, Felix, has been on the job as long as they can remember, and they have a feeling that this is his final Holiday Season. Felix is accepting some donations for the Children’s Christmas Charity Fund.
Suddenly, some creepy elves descend on the mall, and snatch Shaggy Claus’s sleigh!
These little jerks mean business too, the sleigh is hooked up to a waiting helicopter, and Shaggy is flown “all the way” to the North Pole. It’s really just a nearby cave with a sign… but, Shaggy’s really not the brightest knife in the shed. Inside the “North Pole”, our man meets a young lady…
… who’s actually the horrible creep, Cindy Claws! I mean, really… “Auntie Claws” was right there. Anyhoo, she reveals that she swiped Shaggy so she can get inside the mall vault and steal the Children’s Christmas Charity Fund. What a heel! She promises Shaggy all of the Roast Beast he can eat… which, nearly sways him, before he realizes that those kids gotta eat too.
As the Mystery Machine trudges its way up the snowy mountain, Shaggy gives up the combination to the mall safe… and passes out. Or, does he? No sooner do the baddies leave, then he wakes up.
Just then, his pals show up. Since Shaggy is a dope, he mistakes them for more baddies… and tries to escape before they can mess with him more. The sleigh flies out of the cave, and snags Scooby along the way. They zip all the way down the mountain, right back into the mall.
They rescue Felix the Mall Cop, and look on as the naughty elves crack that safe…
… from which, emerges a great big Santa Claus projection! This scares the baddies straight… or, at least, freaks them out long enough for them to be caught. Ya see, Shaggy gave up the combination so easily because he knew what they’d find in the safe. The safe was booby-trapped because Felix had mentioned that a creepy lady and her creepy kids had been casing the joint for weeks. Good thing it turned out that a grown monster woman was scared of Santa Claus!
Anytime we look at a “kids” book, I invariably feel like a complete boob for trying to “analyze” it. So, let’s preface with a simple question… Would a child enjoy this comic book? Yeah, I bet they would. It’s well drawn, and the stories are suitably silly and compelling.
With that out of the way… let’s start overthinking things!
If you don’t reveal plot elements until the very end of a story… you’re not really “setting anything up”, ya dig? In our bookend stories, we get these “reveals”… which, I mean… I’m not sure we can even call them that, because we weren’t given any hints along the way. There’s really no “a-ha! moment”, despite both stories ending with an “a-ha!”.
Looking at the first story, Old Man Scamlin wanted to buy up all the dilapidated real estate to build an amusement park. Dunno, that just sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Anyhoo, the only hints of this is that all of the buildings we see have “For Sale” signs on ’em. That’s all well and good… but, doesn’t the entirety of the middle of this story take place inside Shaggy’s delusion?
I mean, we’re playing with the It’s a Wonderful Life gimmick, right? So, Shaggy running into his pals (who don’t recognize him) is part of his dream, right? I dunno… I’m overthinking it.
Speaking of which, do the same with the final story. We learn (at the very end) that Felix noticed Cindy and her Sons lurking around the mall for a little while, which is why the safe was booby-trapped… but, that’s not a reveal, right? Not really, anyway. Okay, that’s enough outta me.
This was an issue that I’m sure the people it’s written for (it is a DCKids book, after all) would really enjoy.