“Xanadu and Don’ts”
Writer: Ivan Cohen
Artist: Erich Owen
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Review by Lauren Fiske
Another month has passed and it’s time for The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.6! This time, our teamed up protagonists pursue robbers and seek advice from a psychic. Not the most typical adventure for this crew, but it’s still entertaining.
The Dark Knight Detective and Mystery Inc. solve this one somewhat separately again, but let’s dive in and talk about it.
For more reviews about The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries, click here!
The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries usually keeps the villains pretty practical, but from the get-go, this issue’s set up a bit differently. Although not really presented as a villain at first, the psychic Madame Xanadu acts very suspiciously. First, she tries to drive the Mystery Gang and Batman apart by telling the “meddling kids” that working with Batman is putting them all in danger.
Oddly, Mystery Inc. goes along with Xanadu’s predictions. They’re not the most superstitious bunch, so it felt strange. The mystic also accurately predicts the occurrence and timing of a robbery in Gotham City, which the Mystery Gang is more suspicious of. The story still feels off though, as Xanadu disappears and reappears with little logic to her comings and goings.
The real problem with this whole magical/psychic storyline lies in that the motivations and actions of our protagonists are unclear to the reader. Mystery Inc. states from the beginning that they should avoid Batman, but their reasoning is kept secret from the audience for at least half of the issue. This is frustrating because that’s not the usual formula for The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries. The only mystery that’s supposed to occur in this series’ pages is the one that the reader solves with the Dark Knight and the Mystery Gang.
Also, DC Comics does have a real Madame Xanadu and she’s way cooler than the lady in this book. Plus she’s not anywhere near as suspicious?
Modern vs. Classics
So the art style’s a bit different again, in The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.6. While not unusual for this comic, Erich Owen brings his unique art style to the issue. We’ve seen his work before in previous issues and that drawing style felt classic then. It continues to look classic now.
This is clear when examining the characters’ clothes. Batman’s suit is more blue and less teched out than we’ve seen in the past. The way in which Mystery Inc.’s faces are drawn resembles older cartoons that they’ve been in. Heck, even Commissioner Gordon is back to his basics with a mustache and glasses making it almost impossible to see his true face. Owen’s colors are also more distinctive from each other in a way that makes it seem like there are fewer colors to work with in the palette. Also, Bruce Wayn’s a good looking man, but Batman’s face hasn’t looked that chiseled in a long time!
I personally prefer the more modern comic art style, but there’s nothing wrong with the classic approach. I think the older comic style works better with flashbacks or older types of stories, but it’s still quality and looks good here.
The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.6 was okay. Personally, this issue was a miss for me but it’s an okay comic to read if you’re looking for something simple. I think more could have been explored with the ultimate villain of the issue as well as the inclusion of Madame Xanadu. I also think a more complicated crime than a string of bank robberies would have suited the story more, but maybe that’s just me.
Any thoughts or comments? Let us know below.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment