DC Comics has announced it is rebooting Scooby-Doo, and in the process it is also bringing comic readers the adventures of Johnny Quest, The Flintstones, and Space Ghost.
The announcement came via an article at Entertainment Weekly where Dan DiDio and Jim Lee spoke with the magazine on the reason behind the new launches.
“We didn’t want to just repeat what people saw in the past,” adds DiDio. “It’s really important for this to resonate with folks who have never even heard of the characters. If this is the first they’re seeing it, we want them to be enjoying the material. So from our standpoint, our goal is to make this exciting and accessible to all generations, whether they’re fans of the material and the characters or not.”
What do we know about these new series? So far Jonny Quest and Space Ghost will take place in the future, with Wacky Raceland feeling a lot like Mad Max. The Flintstones will bring back social commentary, and if you take a look at the images released from DC Comics, it looks like Inhumanoids will make their appearance in the comics as well.
We know that Jim Lee, Howard Porter, and Keith Giffen will work on Scooby-Doo Apocalypse, Mark Russell and Amanda Connor will take on The Flintstones, Evan Shaner, Jeff Parker, and Darwyn Cooke will tell the Future Quest story, and Mark Sexton will work on the Wacky Race Land issue.
So why do this now? In November 2015, Scooby-Doo Where Are You? was the lowest selling comic from DC, selling a mere 5,215 copies. The other Scooby-Doo title, Scooby-Doo Team Up, sold a bit better with 8,008 copies, according to market share data. With little to no publicity made regarding those two titles over the last couple of years, why launch a new set of Hanna-Barbera comics now? Is nostalgia really the driving factor, or is there something else just under the surface?
Some have already speculated that this is what Dan DiDio and Jim Lee’s Rebirth tweet was about last week, and that may be on target. Others have stated that we’ll see Scooby-Doo climb to the top of the sales charts when it appears in Loot Crate in the later half of the year. Whatever the plan, there is some reason to be really excited about this project; I’m very interested in the Future Quest storyline, but at the same time there are reasons some will be very concerned about the change in these characters.
Or will they?
When characters and properties haven’t been curated properly over the last decade, and interest in even the most popular character results in the lowest selling DC comic, does it really matter if changes are made, or a different take on the HB universe is tackled? Probably not. At least DC is trying something new and different for Warner Bros. in an attempt to keep the IP alive. A bigger question one might ask is, “What happened to all the Looney Tunes books DC had in its kids line?” My guess is we’ll see an answer to that in the next year.
What are your reactions to this announcement? Shocked? Excited? Angry? Or are you simply going to wait until May to see what the buzz is all about?