[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artist: Dario Brizuela
Someone opened the wrong time capsule and now evil spirits are on their way to destroy the Washington Monument. How can Scooby-Doo and the Gang stop evil spirits? They have to travel back in time with Dr. Fate to work with the Justice Society of America.
Nostalgia meets vintage and old-school for a joyride down a Golden Age memory lane that’ll make Velma say “Jinkies”. If you like classic references and time-honored traditions this is a Scooby Team-Up for your collection.
Shaggy and Scooby are the jesters of truth. Pointing out that the message on the box clearly reads Do Not Open, Shaggy asks why he and Scooby are the only ones who think this is a bad idea.
Fate’s appearance is right out of a classic JSA story. In order to defeat the spirits attacking now, the gang must travel seventy-five years back in time to when it all began.
Which brings us to the original cast of the JSA seated around the JSA table with the JSA symbol hanging on the wall behind them. The fact that Fred names every member is impressive and seeing Wildcat, Johnny Thunder, Black Canary, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Atom and the Flash, but the detail that stuck was when he puts the words “The Original” in front of the Flash. Why not the original Green Lantern? Curious and more curious.
Vandal Savage appears suddenly — wearing his infamous black Nazi uniform — and makes a very Vandal-threat.
Saboteurs are secretly preparing to attack strategic resources for the U.S. armed forces during the war. And, when Wildcat points out that the JSA can handle that problem and still save the future with ease, Vandal drops the other black boot. His agents are aided by the vengeful spirits that came from the original Pandora’s Box. The only way to stop them all is to split up.
Fans of JSA stories will enjoy the mixed trios. Wonder Woman, Daphne, and Wildcat chase down the spirit attacking a top-secret plane at a testing facility.
Daphne is shocked to learn that Wonder Woman is Hippolyta and the JSA’s secretary. She also points out that the spies have such heavy German accents and it would be harder to spot them if they used American accents.
Atom, Green Lantern, and Fred stop a fire at a war bonds rally. It’s funny when Fred realizes that Green Lantern has a weakness to wood, and says, “That’s more inconvenient than Kryptonite.”
Dr. Fate, Doctor Mid-Nite, and Daphne work to stop a spirit from stirring up hate speech at a kids rally. I love that boys in the 1940s participated in political discourse at rallies. Mid-Nite uses a blackout bomb to keep everyone from fighting, while Fate makes the spirit visible and shields the children from his influence. Then we find out two of the kids are junior members of the JSA.
The Sandman, Flash, and Scooby-Doo chase another spirit into a scrap yard. Flash begins to check the area for hiding spots, but it’s the Sandman who strikes first when he gasses stealing supplies. Scooby runs to help, but he heads for the gas and passes out. Thankfully his sleeping body trips up the thieves who fall into a pile of metal that threatens to crush them, the Sandman and Scooby. Flash rushes in to save the day and rescues everyone.
Johnny Thunder, Black Canary, and Shaggy chase the next spirit to a dockyard and meet legendary Ma Hunkel. When they realize the saboteurs are women, Hunkel tosses on her Red Tornado disguise and beats them up. Thunderbolt gets in the action, but because Johnny Thunder’s only command was to “Kick that spirit’s tail,” it quickly escapes.
Every time one of the spirits leave they are sure to mention that they have a second mission that is more important. Nothing like villains who used to announce their plans. Who does that anymore?
The JSA regroup in time to fight the spirits attacking the Washington Monument. Daphne and Fred tell the team to charge in and help when Velma realizes that it is all a diversion. The real threat is the Lincoln Memorial, where Vandal plans to chisel the statue of Lincoln until it looks like the face of Vandal Savage. I love the vanity behind such an elaborate plot.
A great touch when Velma remembers the legend of Pandora’s Box includes the part about hope residing in the box. When the gang uses it to close the box and trap the spirits, the JSA arrive to defend them from Vandal’s vengeance and bury the box in the Lincoln Memorial.
Dr. Fate sends the gang back to the present and they use hope to trap the spirits back in Pandora’s box. Because they never want it to be opened again, Shaggy and Scooby suggest using super glue.
Wildcat volunteers to type the mission in the casebook because it’s only fair.
Fate never tells how he knew to find the gang in the future. Sure, he had a team-up with Scooby in a previous issue, but that isn’t connected to this story. So, then why did he show up? He doesn’t seem to know what is going to happen in the time that he brings them to, and it’s a secret if he does, but Daphne repeats that they are there to learn how to defeat the spirits in her time. Maybe it’s a time-travel thing, but I feel fairly confident in my Cliff’s Notes understanding of the space-time continuum and string theory and this still does not check out.
Little laughs and chuckles, followed by bigger laughs and more chuckles. This Scooby Team-Up was a pleasant blend of nostalgia and slapstick. Watching the flaws of the legendary JSA portrayed in simple concepts were a pleasant poke at the foundation of the DC superhero team. They included modern solutions that made the social constraints of the past seem quaint; easily solved with careful observations.