In Scooby Apocalypse #12, Scooby and the gang make their way to Dinkley Tower, safe-haven of Velma’s arrogant businessman brother, Rufus. Also, Scrappy-Doo is back. More importantly though, is this issue good?
Scooby Apocalypse #12 (DC Comics)
This issue features two narratives, both written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. The main narrative is centered on everyone’s favorite meddling kids, while the side story is concerned with Scrappy-Doo. The main story, as in many of the series’ previous issues, is a mixed bag. Things begin with Daphne and Velma asking more or less the same exact questions about how this monster apocalypse came to be that readers have been wondering since Scooby Apocalypse started. We’ve gotten some information about Velma’s role in developing and dispersing mysterious nanites as the series has progressed, but we still have no clue what exactly her brothers did to alter her tech, nor do we know why they did so. The fact that the same questions have been getting asked nearly verbatim for a year now is disappointing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against writers playing the long-game and letting some mysteries stay unsolved for long stretches of time. In order for such narrative choices to work, however, what the reader receives in the meantime has to make up for the wait. Unfortunately, with Scooby Apocalypse, that hasn’t always been the case. Some issues have been great and some…haven’t. This one…isn’t. There is some good here, however. Finally, after a year of the same notes being covered every single issue, we get something I’ve been eager for since the first arc: an issue where Daphne and Velma spend no time whatsoever yelling at each other. The characters have finally grown to accept each other, and it’s incredibly refreshing.
Less refreshing is the character of Rufus Dinkley, whose design, dialogue, and actions make it seem highly likely that he is a Donald Trump analogue. The character’s personality is exactly what you would expect from such a caricature, and Rufus is disgusting, immoral, and can’t be written out of the plot soon enough. Rather than being an antagonist that one could “love to hate,” Rufus is a poorly-crafted character whose scenes rely on obvious villain go-to’s. Nothing about Rufus or the way the writers handle him is interesting, and if he is indeed a Trump analogue, he is one that provides little commentary on events in real life or in the series’ fictional setting.
My other main problem with this issue is its splash pages. There are four of them, and an additional two pages that only have three panels each. While the compositional choices are good fits in a couple cases, most of these pages just give the impression that the artists were rushed and didn’t want to spend time drawing up any more panels than absolutely necessary. Speaking of art, I miss Howard Porter, who only drew the main cover for this issue. His replacements deliver serviceable, if inconsistent, work. Dale Eaglesham draws up some great shots of grotesque monsters and damaged cityscapes, but his renderings of the human cast vary in quality. At times they look normal, but sometimes their expressions and postures look rushed as well. It is worth noting that, while there are three different pencillers on this issue, they deliver work that is consistent enough in style for the shifts between artists not to be jarring.
Overall, Scooby Apocalypse #12 is not a bad issue. It is a deeply flawed one, with the same slow pacing that has plagued this series since its inception, but there is still good to find here. The monsters look fantastic, the Scrappy-Doo side-story is decent, and there’s definitely a sense of momentum being built toward the next issue. With that said, if you haven’t read this series before and want an issue to sell you on all its best points, you’d be better off starting elsewhere.
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