As we used to say in the old APA and Fanzine days:
SUMMARY: "Future-Doo Where Are You?"
Per my own current sensibilities, one of the best comic books on the market today is SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP, written by the brilliant Sholly Fisch and drawn by various artists -- though, in this case (as well as the previous issue) -- by the great modern Hanna-Barbera character artist Scott Jeralds. Though I expect THIS COMING SERIES OF COMICS will give it a little competition.
SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 8 breaks slightly with previous stand-alone issues in that it offers something of a mini-time-travel arc, continuing from SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 7 (reviewed HERE).
SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 7 takes our Mystery Inc. Gang from their present (let's not reopen the can of worms put forth by the final episode of the amazing TV series SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERY INCORPORATED and wonder if "their present" is either 1969-1970, or the early 21st Century), to the Stone Age of The Flintstones... and all the way to the future of The Jetsons!
To quickly digress, before we crack the covers of SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 8, you can find a discussion of the particular merits and demerits of the cover itself HERE.
Once in the future, the two sets of classic Hanna-Barbera characters meet and become acquainted.
This brings about my only true disappointment with the issue... the highly anticipated meeting between Scooby-Doo and Astro. Below are my fannish observations from a previous post:
"As far back as 1970, I said that Scooby-Doo, Muttley, and Astro should be able to hold a conversation, given their 'Don Messick-onian linguistic roots'.
"If it’s the latter, Scooby might find Astro a bit too primitive or pedestrian for his tastes."
Well, gosh... after all that personal anticipation and build-up, all we got was this.
I guess it's my own fault for anticipating so sublime a moment, (...and, perhaps for even USING the word "sublime" in such a context), but at least we got an unexpectedly good moment in the previous issue when Scooby met Dino.
But, now that we've gotten past the minor cover quibble, and the "Scooby meets Astro" moment, there's nothing but great stuff ahead, folks... so let's go! ...And remember to click on all comic images to ENLARGE for ease of reading.
I dunno about you, but I'd have always figured there would always be Time Machines galore in the future! Heck, we've had stories about 'em from the Victorian Age to the present day.
But, in a truly great bit, imagine Fred's surprise to find that there are NO Time Machines in the future of The Jetsons, to send the Scooby Gang back to their own era!
Come to think of it, I cannot recall any reference to a time machine in the original JETSONS series. (I try not to think much about the '80s series.)
There was at least one Time Machine reference, in Gold Key Comics' THE JETSONS # 19 (Cover Date: January, 1966), but I guess we'll not accept that as canon.
George also took a time trip to Bedrock, in Marvel Comics’ THE FLINTSTONES # 4 (Cover Date: April, 1978), but we’ll let that one go too.
...Should I even try to remember how that "Jetsons Meet the Flintstones" '80s thing went?
Other great (Have I used that word enough, yet?) bits found in SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 8 include the following:
Shaggy makes a sandwich. Though, wasn't the household appliance in question called the "foodarackacycle", and not an "Instant Sandwich Maker"?
Anyone who's ever seen the opening credits sequence to THE JETSONS (...and who hasn't?), where George's Space Car conveniently folds up into a briefcase, must have wondered what would happen if... It took until SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 8 to finally witness it.
It seems that wherever the Mystery Inc. gang goes, ghosts and trouble follow. Also, crooked businessmen who often masquerade as the troublesome ghosts.
|Can't you just hear Don Messick doing that voice?|
...But, since the is the first time the Jetson characters have been a part of this staggeringly overused plot device, there is some natural skepticism -- until Fred offers a keen observation...
Of course, our heroes take up the case...
But, I will say that any guess as to the identity of "The Space-Age Specter", made by myself or any of my intrepid commenters in previous posts, did not come to pass! I really like it when a comic such as this can still "out-think" longtime, and perhaps jaded, readers.
And, the resolution was kinda-sorta like that of Scholly Fisch's lead story in 2014's SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU # 47 - but that's all the spoilers you're gonna get here.
Excellent job, as is his usual, for writer Scholly Fisch -- and let's take one more moment to enjoy the fantastic art of Scott Jeralds. Just look at how he captures the ATTITUDES of all four characters in this drawing below - and of George and Mr. Spacely in the one above!
Capturing "character attitude", as opposed to just good figure work, is not as easy as it may seem! Excellent job, as well, to Scott Jeralds!
This team is SO RIGHT for this sort of material, we can only hope there are more such opportunities for them to do so in the future.
SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 8, as well as the ENTIRE RUN of the series, is highly recommended to anyone who is inclined to visit this blog -- and, heck, to EVERYONE in general!