Velma Dinkley is many things: Friend, scientist, enabler of the end of the world. But she’s nothing compared to the rest of her family tree… Your Major Spoilers review of Scooby Apocalypse #13 awaits!
Writer: Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Dale Eaglesham/Tom Derenick/Jan Duursema
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Scooby Apocalypse: An experiment gone wrong has unleashed a nanite-based virus that transforms humans into monsters. Now, the Scooby Gang takes on a whole new role in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, trying to set right what Velma’s experiments unwittingly caused. Trapped in the Mystery Machine, Fred hopes that the others are still alive, unaware that they’ve made their way to the penthouse home of Rufus Dinkley, @$$hole millionaire and also Velma’s estranged brother…
Maybe it’s just the political climate of the day, but I can’t help but see certain parallels in the wild-eyes, narcissistic, toupee-wearing fatcat that is Rufus and someone who has been in the news incessantly since last November. He’s a blowhard who treats his lost sibling like dirt, threatening and snarling through his plan as Shaggy and company are forced to watch: He wants to become the ruler of the monsters, and believes that his “superior genetics” give him that right. Velma is horrified, even more so when he offers to let her rule by his side. Outside the Dinkley Tower, Fred has been trapped inside the Mystery Machine (reimagined as an armored personnel vehicle rather than a flower-laden hippie van) and he reports to Shaggy that the monsters are converging on the tower. Inside, Rufus finds himself betrayed first by his sister (with a devastating groin attack) and then by his wife, who helps the Scooby Gang to escape through a hidden tunnel. As the monsters arrived in his penthouse, Rufus finds the flaw in his plan to take over the world…
WE TRUE FANS CALL IT ‘SCOOB-ACALYPSE’
This issue is all about relationships: Velma’s friendship with an increasingly angry and hardened Daphne; Rufus’ abusive relationship with his wife; even Shaggy and Mrs. Rufus Dinkley have the beginnings of a romantic attraction going on, and it’s all fascinating. Shaggy and Fred continue their head-butting in their brief interactions, and Rufus’ final fate is blood-curdling and reminiscent of one of Edward Woodward’s iconic roles. (No, not The Equalizer. Think more wickery.) The backup story in this issue is a short Scrappy-Doo tale, explaining his whereabouts and how he’s dealing with having young Cliffy in tow, which also has the effect of showing Scrappy’s imbalanced nature. There are three artists in play in this issue, but each of them does excellent work with facial expressions and the various gross and ugly monsters in play, and even the things that the internet wants to call this book’s weaknesses (the darkness of the premise, the modern deconstruction of the archetypes, the idea of Scrappy as a vulpine cyborg monster) all come together to make a solid, entertaining issue.
THE BOTTOM LINE: RUFUS GETS HIS COMEUPPANCE
Giffen & DeMatteis really have this setting and characters down cold, and its seamless transition between art teams is a much harder trick than it seems, leaving Scooby Apocalypse #13 with a well-done 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I wouldn’t want every comic to be this one, and I wouldn’t want this one to be the only Scooby Doo stories I had access to, but it’s a well-done post-modern take on the monster-hunter concept that ends up being much more than the sum of its parts.