Friday, May 23, 2014

Round (and Round-ed) Robin!

Ruh-Roh!  Don't look now, but I think I might have a NEW favorite comic book! 

Back in THIS POST, I told of my purely accidental discovery of the new SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP title, by spying the issue below on a comic book retailer's racks. 

I enjoyed all three of the Batman-related team-ups offered by this title, Batman and Robin, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite, and looked forward to more. 

Recreating that wondrous Saturday afternoon chronicled in the linked post, I picked-up the current issues of BATMAN '66, ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE, and (of course) SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP, on Saturday, May 17. 

Guess which one I read first? 

Also, which two, of the three comics above, have a character in common on their respective covers?

My first impulse would be to say NONE... but, here is the beauty of the SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP title... at least over its first four wonderful issues. 

When we last saw ROBIN in the pages of SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP, he looked like this...

Yet, in the new SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 4, he looks like this! 

Yes, that's really Robin, folks! 

But, if THAT'S Robin, who is THIS? 

Well, just as SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 1 reconciled the respective "worlds" of THE NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES and BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD below...

...Let's let SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 4 handle THIS burning question, shall we?  (Click to Enlarge comic panel images for greater clarity!)

DAMN!  Isn't that magnificent?!  Even a reference to Casey Kasem, who actually voiced Robin BEFORE he voiced Shaggy (in THIS SERIES), not to mention in the Batman team-ups of THE NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES! 

I can't quite find the connection between someone voicing both Robin and Speedy -- but, given this title's brief but spectacular track record, I'm certain it's a great gag too!

Let's run down the list of ALL our voice actors, from Filmation -- on, and see who we have in common! 

 In fact, that's precisely what I (pardon the expression) "marvel" over from this new DC Comic...  The fact that it ACTUALLY SAYS (out loud and for all to hear... er, READ) exactly what we are obsessively thinking, as fans! 

Extreme kudos to the writer of this series, Sholly Fisch, for bringing some exceptionally clever bits to his stories! 

After all, if SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP is going to have, as its playground, all of DC Comics, Warner Bros., and Hanna-Barbera to work with, character version conflicts are bound to come up...

...And I can't think of a better way to deal with them than what Sholly Fisch has done. 

 Can't wait for more... and still holding out hope for a team-up with Freakazoid!

Scooby-Doo is my PAL, Cosgrove!  He'll return my calls... eventually!

 ...Oh, and Sholly... Please title it "Freaka-zoinks!", you can have the title free of charge, if only you'll use Freakazoid! 


Rusty said...

I meant to reply the last time you posted about your comic haul so it's good to have another opportunity!

I'm happy to see you're enjoying Batman '66 AND that you discovered Scooby-Doo Team-Up. Team-Up has been a favorite of mine since it debuted last year. Sholly is just the best. A damn good writer and a master of DC lore. I knew he would reference the Robin discrepancy without taking it too seriously.

The Robin/Speedy gag: They're both voiced by Scott Menville on Teen Titans Go! (though Speedy did have a different voice actor on the previous Titans toon).

And it might be worth noting there's a six-issue Batman '66 spin-off mini-series beginning in a couple weeks: Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet, a sequel to their TV team-up.

Joe Torcivia said...


Good to see you back here! Yep, you’re largely responsible for rekindling this interest in me… so, you’ll have to answer to my wife! :-)

BATMAN ’66 is great in ways I never imagined a DC Comic would be again! ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE was a lock with Mark Evanier writing it. And SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP exceeds even BATMAN ’66 (which I was predisposed to like, anyway) in terms of pure enjoyment! The examples of great self-referential humor I cite in this post are a very large part of the reason why!

Sholly Fisch definitely proved his “cred” as a “Master of DC Lore” in SDTU # 2, when he trotted-out “The Mystery Analysts of Gotham City”, and actually gave them some meaningful distinctions as characters!

But, it’s the “Let’s-Acknowledge-What-The-Readers-Are-Already-Thinking” bits that REALLY put it over the top for me!

It’s what I love about FAMILY GUY, THE SIMPSONS, and (the “left-us-way-too-soon”) FREAKAZOID! Whenever possible, I tried to do that in my Disney comic book scripts… Such as when Uncle Scrooge pursued a thief through the Duckburg sewers – and emerged (high and dry, per the pre-existing art) from a manhole, only to run directly into Donald. Scrooge asks Donald (paraphrasing) why he isn’t back at the Money Bin, and Donald asks Scrooge why he isn’t ALL WET AND SMELLY!

Why? Because that’s what I was thinking while writing the script! And “The Great Robin Disparity” was what I was thinking, the moment I saw the cover to SDTU # 4!

So, I’m very pleased to acknowledge such nods to us readers and fans – and look forward to many more issues!

Of course, on Robin and Speedy. Funny thing is, I never watched TEEN TITANS GO, but got a nice sense of what it was and how it worked from Sholly’s script!

And I will absolutely be there for the BATMAN ’66 / Green Hornet crossover! After all, Green Hornet was the only other hero Adam West’s Batman crossed-over with during the course of the series, so it makes perfect sense. Though I’d love to seen a meeting between Adam West’s Batman and George Reeves’ Superman even more! In comics, such a thing would actually be possible!

While the comic appears to have settled on Otto Preminger as its version of Mr. Freeze, maybe Sholly Fisch could guest write one issue of BATMAN ’66, and explain why Mr. Freeze looked different in all three of his appearances! …Not to mention why The Riddler briefly morphed into Gomez Addams, and then back into Frank Gorshin again!

And, we’ve already seen Julie Newmar and Ertha Kitt versions of Catwoman, but with no acknowledgement as to why. Sholly? Oh, Sholly?

Dan said...

Joe & Rusty:

Jinkies! Good detective (comics) work on the Robin/Speedy mystery! There's bound to be yet *another* Robin personality conflict if DC chooses to serve up a "Young Justice" team-up!

If spoilers aren't a big deal, I know the next issue of "Scooby-Doo Team Up" (issue #5) features the gang meeting Wonder Woman on Paradise Island.

After that, who knows? But if Mr. Spielberg is game to allow his side of the rights, I second Joe's nomination for the "Freaka-Zoinks!" special...

"Hey Freakazoid, you wanna ride in a psychedelic van with some straight edge kids and a talking dog that pronounces words in alliterative 'Rs'?"

If we go even deeper into that world, imagine the Mystery Inc. gang uniting Green Arrow with The Huntsman?! Maybe he'll finally see some action?

Boy, there's endless possibilities to this series, isn't there? I'll take a good guess that a Scooby/Krypto script is already in progress. - Dan

Joe Torcivia said...


Paradise Island, eh?

So what are Freddy, Shaggy, and Scooby going to do? Stay afloat offshore (aboard “The Mystery Marine”) while Daphne and Velma take center stage?

And, if we don’t get that Scooby / Freakazoid! crossover, I’ll join The Huntsman in kicking a waste basket across the room and shouting: “Darn the luck! Darn! DARN!”.

Rusty said...


I'm glad to know I was responsible for a relapse.

Ha! I like that Scrooge/Donald bit.

The incarnation of the Mystery Analysts of Gotham City from SBTU#2 were EXACTLY what I was thinking of when I called Sholly a master of DC lore. I like to think I know a thing or two about the obscure corners of the DCU, but there were a couple members I had to look up online because I had never heard of the characters.

Sholly's had a lot of practice with Teen Titans Go!. He's a writer for the cartoon itself and he contributes to its tie-in comic. And his scripting some Batman '66 would be fantastic, but in the particular case of its characters changing "actors," I think I agree with Jeff Parker that it's better not to comment on it. More faithful to the show, you know? ;)

Even if it's not as a guest star in SBTU, Freakazoid--and all the other Spielberg/WB produced characters, too--are due for a comic revival. Whoever gets that license gets all my money.


I hope the Scooby gang stays out of Gotham for a few issues just for the sake of a greater variety of team-ups, but when they inevitably return I would love to see them meet a different flavor of Batman, like Batman: The Brave and the Bold or Batman: The Animated Series.

Dan said...

“The Mystery Marine”!!! <-- This kinda notion right here, is why Mr. Torcivia would be an excellent addition to your respective bullpens, Marvel and DC Comics!

You may be right about the offshore placement of the boys in issue #5, but it sounds like Velma and Daphne will be taking part in Amazon hazing rituals! Here's the release blurb from DC:

You know, with all the Scooby-Doo projects WB tends to produce, I can't help but wonder if this book won't become a springboard for an animated series à la "Batman: The Brave and the Bold?" and as continuation to "The New Scooby-Doo Movies?

Last I read, there's yet ANOTHER Scooby-Doo series in the pipeline, but "Team-Up" honestly wouldn't be a poor premise to approach. It'd certainly succeed as a cross-pollination project (I'd also be open to seeing Mystery Inc. receive the Bruce Timm design treatment for an episode or two)

I'll let that simmer if anyone at WB Animation is reading... in the meantime, wishing you and everyone here a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend! - Dan

Joe Torcivia said...


Funny thing about the “relapse”… as long as I’m at that manageable number of THREE comics titles per month, I seem to enjoy (perhaps even outright “treasure”, if you will) the experience, far more than when I was coming home with a dozen or more every week.

I can’t explain it, beyond that those three just “seem more special”, and that they are titles I really ENJOY reading, as opposed to buying / reading to sustain a run.

And, as much as I loved SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 1 (with Batman and Robin), it was SDTU # 2 that put it into a special stratosphere, with Ace the Bat-Hound and The Mystery Analysts of Gotham City (featuring characters I read of long ago in old back issue comics and reprints) like Roy Raymond and Slam Bradley – and the following magnificent gag:


The Frank Miller-esque, “Dark Knight Returns” lightning bolt image appears behind Batman on page one. It later appears again behind the newly-formed canine crime-fighting team of Ace and Scooby, as they leap into two-fisted (or would that be “four-pawed”) action.

SCOOBY: “Where did that LIGHTNING come from?”

ACE: “That happens ALL THE TIME! Gotham has STRANGE WEATHER!”

Now, THAT’S the kind of writing I LOVE, and the kind I tried to do, whenever I was privileged to write scripts for comics.

And, another great touch is that a large portion of the issue was a direct translation of Ace and Scooby’s “dog conversation”!


As I said earlier, I never watched TEEN TITANS GO, because I truly dislike the Anime style, but I’m glad to know that, when Sholly Fisch writes it for SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP, that it’s truly authentic!

Jeff Parker is doing a superlative job on writing BATMAN ’66! I don’t think that’s a title “just anyone” could write! You need to be especially attuned to the show’s particular sensibilities – and he certainly is.

Oddly, and I hate to bring it up, simply BECAUSE Parker has been so great for the title, but I think the series’ one, singular misfire was issue # 3’s appearance of The Joker. While he was DRAWN to be the Caesar Romero version (right down to the “visible moustache beneath the white clown makeup”) he was characterized as a more modern and criminally insane (and less sixties, crooked clown type) version of The Joker. (Does anyone else agree?)

Though I’ll give Parker some extra points for employing Professor Overbeck (from the Second Season “Mad Hatter” episodes) at Arkham – which didn’t even exist at the time of the TV series, but is too useful a concept to ignore!

Yes, Freakazoid! must return to comics, but I think that casting him in SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP may be the only commercially viable way to do so, these days.

Scooby meets different versions of Batman? YES! How ‘bout Captain Leatherwing, or Bat-Hombre, and the like?

I think the gag I highlighted about “teaming up with someone different every week” qualifies as having seen the BRAVE AND THE BOLD version!

Joe Torcivia said...


Sorry about ”The Mystery Marine”! I just can’t help compulsively writing comics material, even though no one’s asking me to do it anymore! …Someone help me, please! :-)



In the right hands, it has the potential to be one of the greatest animated series of all time! …And, as you suggest, it’s merely the concept of THE NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES turned inward – using DC Comics, Hanna-Barbera, and Warner Bros. as its sandbox!

…Just like the SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP comic book!

Comicbookrehab said...

I'm inclined to think the Eartha Kitt Catwoman is Patience Phillips, whereas Julie Newmar was Selina Kyle.

Joe Torcivia said...

Yeah! I'll buy that! Good observation, 'Rehab!