Review: The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #3.5

by Lauren Fiske
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“A Game of Hyde and Seek!”
Writer: Matthew Cody
Artist: Puste

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

References upon references! The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries #3.5 presents multi-layered allusions to Batman, Scooby-Doo, and other adventures of the past. While this month’s tale was brief, it managed to pack in a fair amount of content, old and new.

Keep up with our previous reviews and be sure to read this issue before reading spoilers ahead in our review!

Hyde-ing in Plain Sight

The Mystery Gang heads off to the haunted mansion of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where they’re summoned by Batman to help him and Dr. Kirk Langstrom (AKA Man-Bat) hunt for Jekyll’s journals. Langstrom hopes that finding them will help prevent him from going, as Shaggy puts it, batty. The premise of the issue is interesting enough, with connections being made between this series and several others.

The first reference is to Scooby-Doo Team-Up #1 (the first time that Mystery Inc. met Langstrom, albeit in his inhuman form). The series was released in 2015 and featured a number of other DC team-ups with the “meddling kids”. Scooby-Doo Team-Up was also written by Sholly Fisch, frequent writer of The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries. This connection serves as a great callback to the previous times the Mystery Gang was able to do some sleuthing alongside hero work.

The second reference is to the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode “Nowhere to Hyde”. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is, of course, the first Scooby-Doo work that inspired all the rest. The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries has referenced the original cartoon previously, but that reference was far less obvious and recognizable.

Issue #3.5’s homage, on the other hand, is more recognizable, if only because he bears such a large resemblance to iconic Scooby-Doo villain “The Creeper”. “Nowhere to Hyde” was the first episode of the second season of Where Are You and The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries #3.5 called back to this iconic episode in several ways, most notably by including the Ghost of Dr. Hyde and the mansion’s maid Helga.

Sadly, these connections to Scooby-Doo works of the past, while enjoyable, don’t add enough oomph to the story however for it to have much impact.

Well… Almost

The story for The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries #3.5 is majorly let down in a few ways. The issue’s fairly short, leaving little time for the storyline’s development. The amount of panels per page feels almost wasted in some parts (one page had only four panels with very little in them).

While I know one of my biggest complaints with this series is that there’s frequently too much that the creative team tries to jam in the issues, #3.5 has almost the opposite problem. The story feels underdeveloped and focuses so much on the allusions and another side storyline (see next paragraph) that there’s just not enough substance to it. Heck, the unmasking of the villain even takes place off-page! This issue just doesn’t feel the way this series normally does.

The one thing that it does right, however, is having Velma and Batman split off together while sleuthing. The Dark Knight finally broaches the subject of having Velma possibly become a Robin in the future. Despite this being one of the most interesting parts of the issue, it doesn’t take long for Velma to shut down the idea (in an out-of-character way, in my opinion).

The issue had a long introduction and spent more time with Batman trying to pitch Velma as the girl wonder than it did with Velma actually considering, and then turning down, Batman’s offer. For a moment that a Velma diehard like me has been waiting for, it was ultimately a bit disappointing.


The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries #3.5 is truly a middle-of-the-road issue. Even for an English teacher like me, allusions to past works can only go so far. The lack of an actual mystery or much of any action on the page really took the issue down some pegs for me.

Additionally, the art style and coloring were different than previous issues, partially due to the newcomer to the series, artist Puste. The style of drawing the characters is curious, as it seems to have fused the designs from a variety of sources (Batman’s design is clearly from Batman: The Animated Series while Mystery Inc.’s is more modern (the Ghost resembles his original design from 1970). Puste is also set to draw for the series again in a few months, so we’ll see if their style continues with a different villain and setting.

I really do love The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries, so I feel bad rating it lower than usual. Sadly, though, the issue left a lot to be desired.

What do you think? Comment below and let me know how you feel about this month’s issue. Were you a fan of the original Scooby-Doo references?

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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