[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Artists: Pat Olliffe & Tom Palmer
Letters: Travis Lanham
“y’think they have Pizza” – Shaggy to Scooby-Doo as they explore Quentin’s Lab.
Aptly entitled “The End is Near”, this installment of Scooby and the Gang’s fight against the Nanite King has them with their back against the wall (as if there are any walls left after the decimation of where they were hiding out). With the compound destroyed and dozens dead, the Nanite King seems poised to wipe out all humans to eventually fulfill the Nanites purpose of making the world a “better place”. Quentin and Rufus arrive to provide everyone both shelter as well as access to better technology. The Mystery Machine is destroyed and Nanite Fred feels the loss. Daphne struggles in accepting Nanite Fred. Velma erupts on Shaggy as jealousy and stress take its toll. And Scooby provides both counsel to Shaggy to make sure he is on the right emotional path with Velma. All this and a Nanite King bent of carrying out the will of …..Velma??? And let’s not forget a short story of Atom Ant in his tryout for the Justice League as he provides havoc in the Batcave…who knew anyone besides Superman could flip that huge penny in the Batcave.
I like the intelligent Scooby. He has more insight on human behavior that was previously provided and his new “intelligent” self is a welcome stability as he has healed his relationship with Scrappy in past issues and he now appears to be offering solid advice to his old friend Shaggy in terms of his relationship with Velma. And an homage is offered to the reader to Scooby and Shaggy’s appetite, so those nuggets of old Saturday Morning Scooby and the Gang need to keep appearing.
Daphne is warming up to this idea of Fred being inhabited by good Nanites, but a dead Fred with a Nanite consciousness….. that’s a lot to bear in this apocalyptic world.
And a Nanite King that seems impossible to beat as he can infiltrate everything and subsequently is bent on destroying any element of humans on the earth (including his own mutated beings who have human characteristics).
DeMatteis is stripping down all of the characters in this comic so we eventually will have the core Gang going up against the Nanite King. Good move DeMatteis!
Nothing negative in this episode as we are getting shades of Saturday Morning familiarity and a new twist to an apocalyptic earth! The storyline is reaching a good point where it either has to be sewn up soon, or a new protagonist will be introduced.
Fred is still not Fred….and I am not sure if he will ever be in this version of Scooby Doo!
The twist at the end makes me want the next issue immediately. You have to buy into this new version of Scooby. Each week I keep remarking that it is new, but given that I have grown up with Scooby and the Gang as a formula mystery and the old “i would have gotten away with it if not for you kids and your pesky mutt”, I’m still in the honeymoon phase of this reimagination of these characters! Given the strong writing and a bit of fluff provided by Atom Ant “shorts” that have been peppering the comic, there is something for everyone! Again, I just wish Daphne had her old Fred!