Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis should work together more. This isn’t really a controversial opinion to hold, even if starting an article with such a plainly declarative statement is how internet fights are usually launched. It’s just a simple fact.
The duo paired for one of the most beloved Justice League runs of all time, the Bwa-ha-ha era of Justice League Internationalwith Kevin Maguire on art. They’ve worked together a number of times since, including on books like Justice League 3000,Booster Goldand Larfleeze(yes, Larfleeze). And their true skill as writers often gets lost beneath the surface of their work.
The comedy of the Bwa-ha-ha League was sitcom-ish and sometimes veered into slapstick (see One Punch), but the way to successfully and continually land their jokes required the story to be built on heartfelt character work. Which is what the team is giving us in Scooby Apocalypse.
By all rights, this book shouldn’t work. It’s a dark post-apocalyptic zombie adjacent tale starring the Mystery, Inc. crew, and Giffen and DeMatteis are semi-aping Dawn of the Deadin the most recent arc. But it is a successful story, interesting and smart and funny because the creative team is turning each character over and inside-out for the story, using the premise to add depth that was never there when the gang was ripping ape masks off of Old Man Willoughby. The Shaggy and Velma and Daphne and Fred of this comic are more realized than they’ve ever been before.
Also, they’re killing Fred.
Here’s what DC has to say about the issue:
SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #25Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DeMATTEIS • Art by RON WAGNER, ANDY OWENS and others • Cover by HOWARD PORTER • Variant cover by BRYAN HITCH After nearly fifty years of Scooby-Doo, the unthinkable occurs! This month death claims one of the most beloved figures in pop-culture history: Fred Jones! This stunning turn of events will have repercussions that you won’t want to miss!
Take a look at these preview pages and get ready to have your heart broken.