Review: The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.4

“Gold/Fish”
Writer: Amanda Deibert
Artist: Scott Jeralds

Color Artist: Carrie Strachan
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Review by Lauren Fiske

BEACH DAY! The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.4 has easily cemented itself in the top 3 of my list for this crossover series with a fun coastal mystery! Ghosts and boardwalks abound in this issue and it has made me SO happy. There are also classic Scooby Doo hijinks and humor throughout, so let’s get into it.

There are spoilers below, so get caught up on previous reviews of the series here.

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.4

While Mystery Inc. didn’t visit Steven Universe in his version of Beach City, they got down to mystery solving with Batman in killer style. Immediately on arrival, the gang changes into their bathing suits, which give readers really fun looks for the gang. Poor Batman was probably sweltering under his cowl, although he surprisingly made very few appearances in this issue, doing more work off-screen.

Choosing the beach for this issue warmed my heart for multiple reasons. Firstly, I’m from a coastal city, so I always get excited when I see a beach. Secondly, a beach issue is very reminiscent of more recent cartoons that usually have a beach episode in their runs. Considering that Batman and the entire Mystery Inc. crew have both had multiple successful cartoon series, this is a cute little reference. Thirdly, the beach really feels like one of the Scooby archetypes, no matter their forms. The Mystery Gang has been to the beach possibly more times than any other cartoon/comic characters, other than ones who live there. Speaking of Scooby Doo, this issue felt the most like it’s part of the canon and there are a few reasons why.

The Meddling Kids’ Legacy

On the whole, The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries has felt like a predominantly Batman focused series. This issue is the first one that truly felt like a Scooby Doo adventure. The inclusion of ghosts, not super common Batman villains, clearly points to Mystery Inc.’s usual work. There’s also the usual villain unmasking, which was a great element to bring to this series. Previously, other issues utilized Batman villains. The mystery ends up lying in what, why, and how they’re commiting crimes. Scooby Doo almost always asks the additional question of who is up to no good.

Another major reason that this issue emits the essence of Scooby Doo is the art. Scott Jeralds, this issue’s line artist, has worked quite a bit on bits of the Scooby Doo canon. He’s written and storyboarded for a few TV episodes and even drawn a few Scooby Doo comics. Having an actual Scooby artist work on part of this series makes this issue feel more authentic, particularly when many of the artists who worked on other issues have mainly worked on Batman and other DC characters.

The Issue of the Issue

Surprisingly, I really only had one problem with The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.4. This series handles a lot of issues with brevity, which can be fine, but this issue touches on death and grief. Velma loses a randomly introduced for plot purposes but beloved pet and the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents is also mentioned. The loss of Velma’s fish ends up being critical to the issue’s plot, but including Batman’s most traumatic issue for humor? It feels a bit inappropriate.

Additionally, this issue features a medium who helps the bereaved get in touch with their loved ones. She uses photos of the deceased to create projections of ghosts to visit the grieving. While the medium’s intentions might be pure, this again feels inappropriate and exploitative. Comics can explore whatever problems they wish, but these just feel like heavy issues to explore with very little follow up or resolution.

Conclusion

I loved this trip to the beach. There are so many different facets of this comic that made it enjoyable. Even just seeing the cover got me excited. The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.4 is an excellent change of pace from the rest of the series, even if it took advantage of some serious emotional issues. “Gold/Fish” is great, so it’s made me actually excited for future issues.

Did anybody else enjoy this issue as much as I did? Do you think the Scooby Doo elements were well done? If so, please leave a comment below!

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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