Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Comic Shop Comics: February 28th

Saga #49 (Image Comics) Hey, Saga is back! I confess to forgetting where we left off exactly in the months since #48, but Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples seem to have anticipated that to a certain degree, as pretty much all of the characters in the fairly expansive cast make at least a brief appearance in this issue. After the initial scene with The Will and his captor, I got pretty caught up. Interestingly, although they've been at this for quite a while now, the creators are still launching new, fresh and dramatic conflicts based around the basic concept of how dangerous the now extended family at the center of this saga are, and how their value in that concept, a value that can be exploited.

Scooby-Doo Team-Up #35 (DC Comics) It's two of the biggest Hanna-Barbera stars of all time, together in a single tale, when Scooby-Doo meets Yogi Bear! If the pair crossing paths in the pages of a comic book is really an occasion, it's not exactly treated as such. Rather, this is just one more entry in Scooby-Doo Team-Up's ongoing pairing of the Scooby and his human friends with various IP, always resulting in a succinctly told 20-page story that generally manages to flatter the guest-stars quite well.

Over the course of the last 35 issues, writer Sholly Fisch's stories have tended to fall into one of two categories, with very few exceptions. Scooby and Mystery Inc meet with a DC Comics superhero or some combination of various heroes, or they meet a fellow Hanna-Barbera character. This might be due the fact that I am more of a DC superhero fan than a Hanna-Barbera funny animal character fan, but I've generally found the former to be the more successful of the two types of story. I think, in large part, that is because the Scooby-Doo narratives reliance on ghost, monster and crime-fighting--even at its most gentle--lends itself to the good vs. evil, law vs. crime conflicts of superhero comics more than the sitcom-like premises of The Flintstones or Jetsons or Quickdraw McGraw or Top Cat.

That said, Yogi Bear's gluttony offers an area of crossover with Scooby and Shaggy, and so the pieces fit together surprisingly comfortably in this outting. Fisch's usual collaborator, Dario Brizuela, sits this issue out, with pencil artist Walter Carzon and inker Horacio Ottolini stepping in; they do a fine job, but there's an inevitable gulf between the character designs that can't be bridge without altering the designs of the Yogi characters. This is most evident whenever the human being share a panel.

Anyway, Scooby and the gang head to an unnamed national park for a picnic, and Scooby and Shaggy's over-sized basket immediately draws the attention of Yogi. His pic-a-nic basket predation draws the attention of the ranger. And there's a ghost haunting Yogi's cave--or is it really just some criminals pretending to be a ghost? If you've seen a single episode of almost any Scooby-Doo show, you know the answer to that mystery. Still a fun comic, though.

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