[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artist: Dario Brizuela
Colors: Franco Riesco
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Do you like playing twenty questions? I’ll ask the first one. Just what supernatural powers could be attacking the Doom Patrol? That is the reason that Scooby and the gang were brought to the headquarters of the world’s strangest superhero team. But, how many questions will you be asking when Gargaux, The Brotherhood of Evil, and more villains find their way into Doom Patrol’s secret headquarters?
Fred has a fixation with pulling off masks. He feels they missed the mark by not pulling off the masks of Gargaux or the Brotherhood of Evil. It might have something to do with their last case when they discovered that the ghost in the case of the High-Rise Horror was the Creepy Old Lighthouse Keeper. Now, what a lighthouse keeper is doing in the middle of a city that doesn’t have any lighthouses is a mystery for another time.
Doom Patrol loves to bicker. Elasti-Girl’s first lines are about how Robotman and Negative Man are always fighting. Then Robotman complains that he sometimes wants to kill Negative Man, and later that it was probably the fault of “Bandage Brains” that the monsters have been getting into the team’s headquarters in the first place.
The reserves are a nice touch. Danny the Street sets up a nice introduction when he delivers the Mystery Machine to the Doom Patrol’s secret headquarters. When the monsters attack a call goes out to the remaining reserves for help.
But, Crazy Jane was never called by “The Chief” aka Niles Caulder. So, it’s little surprise when the team suspects that she isn’t who she claims to be when Velma and The Chief start sleuthing.
What is a nice surprise is the appearance of a great villain like The Animal Vegetable Mineral Man. The myriad of identities was designed to throw the team off-balance. The A-V-M Man as Robotman calls him believes that the only way the team was able to beat him in the past was with devices that they designed to cancel out his powers. Now that they are unprepared, he can finally vanquish them.
Using Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man was a nice device for showcasing Doom Patrol’s rogue’s gallery. But, starting off with random monsters only eliminated the time the reader can enjoy with someone like Crazy Jane. Aside from the revelation that she is a reserve member with a difficult side, it was a poor lead-in to the featured villain. What it did do is leave me with questions about why she is an effective distraction. Even an extra panel or three could have dropped in enough imagery and dialogue to provide a snapshot of her and the Brotherhood to build some anticipation or value to their appearances.
Like many Vertigo titles, Doom Patrol can feel like a distant cousin in the DC Universe. This makes it a challenge to find a place to enter their world and connect with their rich history of characters and stories. Scooby-Doo Team Up is a great opportunity to draw in more readers who may not even know if they are still in print. It was nice to see a glimpse of the team and hopefully, the few examples of the challenges they face will be enough to encourage adventurous readers to seek them out.