It’s perils galore when Penelope Pitstop meets up with the Scooby Doo gang. The Hooded Claw! The Ant Hill Mob! Railroad tracks! And a monster! HAY-ELP!! Here is our review of Scooby-Doo Team-Up #41 from DC Comics.
Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artist: Scott Jeralds
Colorist: Silvana Brys
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 22, 2018
You never know who you’re going to run into in Scooby-Doo Team-Up. Their interactions with other characters we know and love are always amusing. This time we’re diving into the Hanna-Barbera archives for some wacky fun.
NEVER A DULL MOMENT
Confession time – I used to love Penelope Pitstop as a kid. I have no idea why, but there you go. And we jump right in with the narrator telling us that she is at the mercy of the Hooded Claw who is, naturally, tying her to a railroad track. Our intrepid heroine has a nail file and gets to work on the ropes because the train is a-comin’ down the track. Not to fear, Penelope’s protectors, the Ant Hill Mob, are also close at hand to jump the train over her, foiling the villain’s plan.
The next thing we know, the narrator has jumped us ahead to where Penelope is being chased by a monster, and the Scooby-Doo gang is suddenly with her. They all flee; the Ant Hill Mob shows up…and the monster is gone, to everyone’s confusion. There are introductions all around, and explanations as to why Penelope has a bunch of mobsters following her. Velma is suspicious, especially once they find out Penelope has been left a vast fortune. Then Fred wonders why she called them in, and it turns out she didn’t. They were called by Sylvester Sneekly, Penelope’s guardian. How kind and thoughtful of him!
Needless to say, Sneekly is the Hooded Claw! (Thanks, omniscient narrator!) Daphne is a little suspicious of the Ant Hill Mob, and after a little discussion, everyone realizes Penelope has vanished. They all dash off to find her, and variously find the monster and Chuggaboom (Penelope’s car), and eventually find Our Heroine hanging over a crocodile pit. (This book is pretty wild when it comes to cartoon-style jumps in the plot.) After some comments about criminal types and how Fred and crew haven’t pulled off any masks yet, Sneekly comes back with some cops (totally not his thugs in disguise) to arrest the Ant Hill Mob. But before we know it, the Scooby Doo gang and Penelope are tied to the railroad tracks. And the monster is there. But no, the monster is the Hooded Claw (and his thugs) in disguise. He’s after Penelope for her fortune. But wait – this isn’t really Penelope, it’s Daphne in disguise.
There are a few more crazy twists, and plenty of jokes about the tropes of both cartoons, and all ends well. As you might expect, this is not a terribly profound book, but it is fun in that crazy Saturday morning kind of way.
FAITHFUL TO THE SOURCE MATERIAL
The art in Scooby-Doo Team-Up #41 is also fun and absolutely true to form, if a slightly surreal, such as having a convenient crocodile pit hanging out in the middle of the desert. But that’s not the art, that’s the stream-of-consciousness plotting. The crocodiles are actually pretty cool looking. At any rate, everyone looks as you would expect them to. A couple little details in the art come back around to be plot points later down the line, which is a nice touch. When Daphne is disguised as Penelope, it only fools you for a second. If we are vigilant, we can see that there is no obvious Daphne tied to the tracks. Besides, her eyes are different from Penelope’s. That’s very satisfying for the mystery-solving aspect of the book – the details feel complete. Also, the monster, the Hooded Claw, and Sneekly are all color coded – they all wear the same dark green color. And it all totally fits the story.
BOTTOM LINE: IF HANNA-BARBERA IS YOUR THING, THIS IS A FUN READ
I quite enjoyed this book. It was fun, nostalgic, and had a sense of humor. It’s a good light read for the summertime, and it might be a good choice for younger readers as well as the young-at-heart.