It would not be unfair to say that this was a challenging year. I felt that it was harder to find the positive, but honestly it was the kind of year that made sure that you had to and so here we are back to look at my pop-culture positives.
Unlike last year, I bought no new comics, compared to 2020’s one comic. But that’s not to say I didn’t succumb to my hobby/borderline personality disorder at all. I read more comics in 2021 than in the year before I think, but this time it was back issues and as before the sales from Comixology. I would highly recommend that app/service as it really has something for everyone and there are several free and cheap comics so you can give them a try.
So here’s a couple of highlights.
Scooby Apocalypse (and other Hanna-Barbera reboots)
Imagine the plot of something like Dawn of the Dead, but with Mystery Inc. That’s pretty much it. It’s the gang as it always has been, together again, for the first time. Shaggy works at a lab, working with the enhanced dog Scooby. Velma also works at that lab and has contacted journalist Daphne and her cameraman Fred and as they are meeting up, an Apocalypse caused by the people who own the lab starts and this ad-hoc gang has to survive. It shouldn’t work, but honestly I really enjoyed it. It shouldn’t be as good as this, but I am going to look for the next trade before too long. I also read the Jetsons and Snagglepuss mini-series that were fun, but also explored interesting ideas.
Scooby Doo Team Up
I originally bought this for SuperSam as an encouragement to read more, much as my mother did with me which started my love of comics. He adored it, as a form of cultural exchange process, he asked me to read it myself. I will be honest, I did not expect much. I certainly didn’t expect it to be good. Equal parts kids cartoon and sly in-jokes this was a absolute blast. It was Marvel Two-In-One style of team up with both DC and cartoon characters with Scooby Doo being the star and it works. There’s a lot of all-ages content that will appeal to anyone who Scooby Doo appeals to, it’s all classic style with everyone being recognisable. We get DC characters like Deadman, Hawkman, the Legion of Super Heroes in the same title as Atom Ant, Quickdraw McGraw (& El Cabong!) and Yogi Bear. You never knew who would show up next. If you have a kid and you want them to read comics, or were a kid and need a nostalgic bit of easy reading, then this is comic for you.
Again, not a new title, but one I have been looking for single issues at comics marts. A spin off from DC’s Invasion event, it was a large space police force that tried to fill the gap left by the Green Lantern corp’s abence. It was intrigue, plans and action with a strange and bizarre cast led by son of Brainiac Vril Dox, doing Game of Thrones long it was an idea. I have only read the first 20, but I will continue my scouring of the cheap bins.
Another product of my back issue bin searches, this was a weird early 80’s series that was very much of it’s time. A stuntman is wearing a prosthetic devil suit on a movie set and an actual demon attacks, bonding the suit magically with his body, leaving him trapped as the Blue Devil. It’s silly, it’s funny and has a gentle charm, none of which can be applied to my last choice.
This was one of the last new comics I read in December and caught my attention in a manner few comics have in recent years. The story is that a handful of friends started playing a role-playing game. They vanished and two years later, all but one returned, injured and traumatised. A couple of decades go past and they realise it isn’t quite over yet. This was interesting, fun and not like much else on the racks. Another comic I would highly recommend, but All-Ages it is not.
So yes, it was a challenging year, but in terms of pop culture there were a lot of positives and ultimately, that’s what you need to look at.
Next time: Almost done.