Writer: Matthew Cody
Artist: Scott Jeralds
Color Artist: Carrie Strachan
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Review by Lauren Fiske
I never thought I’d be happy to say it but, yay clowns! The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.9 has not one, not two, but many! I genuinely haven’t liked clowns since my childhood, but they’re worth it for the content we got in this issue.
This latest instalment makes some references to previous parts of the series, so take a look at our older reviews as needed, to get caught up.
Crystal Cove Lore
This time, we’re back in Crystal Cove! Finally, Mystery Inc. is given the key to the city, but not before the ceremony gets interrupted by clowns. While they end up being mostly unimportant, the main villain is revealed to be… The Ghost Clown!
This baddie probably isn’t very high on anyone’s list of Scooby-Doo villains, but is actually from one of the original episodes of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, the cartoon that started it all! The Ghost Clown has appeared as Easter eggs in other media owned by Hanna-Barbera (now Warner Bros.) over the years. However, he has only appeared in cartoon form in that original introductory episode.
He’s a heinous villain, using his hypnotism (as we see in this issue) to cause lots of people, including the Mystery Gang, to perform dangerous stunts. Obviously, the meddling kids take him down, but the Ghost Clown claims to have sat in prison for all those years waiting for revenge (keep in mind, the original episode featuring him aired in 1969!). The allusions and jokes included by the writers added so much to this issue, and I’m SO happy to finally see more Mystery Inc. lore in this series!
Cartoon or Comic?
One of the things I’ve found really interesting in reviewing The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries has been the varying art styles throughout different issues. I’ve talked about this before in previous reviews, but the Ghost Clown in this issue made me think of something new. Batman’s original medium was a comic book, while Scooby-Doo’s was the aforementioned cartoon series. There’s nothing wrong with either of these origins, as both franchises have animated and static versions, as well as live action films and shows. It’s interesting to see the different styles of the comics and cartoons laid out on the page, though.
Because this issue centers more around a Scooby villain and storyline, Scott Jeralds was brought back to draw The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.9, which means that a majority of the art style has the Scooby-Doo cartoon aesthetic. This is displayed through the fluid illustrative style of the drawings and even the shading of the coloring. When an issue’s more Batman-centered, the art becomes more static and sometimes has a less vibrant color scheme.
Again, this is neither good or bad, but it’s interesting to see how the main focus of the issue’s story will influence the art. I couldn’t even tell you which style I prefer, although I obviously love the Scooby-Doo stories the most. At the very least, I look forward to getting even more Scooby representation in story and art in the series!
There were so many references in this issue! The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2.9 made sure to truly go for a crossover. From both big bad clowns showing up to the opening, depicting a young Shaggy and Scooby losing something they loved at a theater (poor Bruce Wayne!), this issue was rife with parallels and clever winks to the readers. I’m still not entirely sold on this issue’s art style, but that doesn’t take away from the story at all.
I really want to thank the creative team for such a fun little issue. Maybe I’m the only one who will appreciate seeing an original Scooby-Doo villain return for the first time, more than 50 years after his introduction, but writing about and researching for this article has made me really happy. So, as silly as it might be, thanks for reintroducing us all to the Ghost Clown. I look forward to seeing more Scooby-Doo villains, classic or brand new, in the future!
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment