After how good issue one was, does issue 2 have the Batwings to stand shoulder to shoulder with it?
Does it improve on the foundation that that issue built, rest on its laurels, or pale in comparison?
Well, it does a bit of all three actually.
Lets get to it.
The Cover: I REALLY liked the first cover, but this one makes the first look like a cave painting!
This has amazing action and drama, the depth, the shading, the giant moon in the background!
This is a stunningly beautiful piece of work that I cannot compliment nearly enough.
I want this cover framed and hung on my wall!
Interior Art: Once again, Dario Brizuela has done great work.
For the most part, the issues I had with his art the first time around are gone or fixed.
There are still some panels that feel very empty. Not nearly as many as there were in the first issue but the ones that are there are even bigger this time making the emptiness seem even more vast. Ace looks a little bit plain next to everybody else as well. But on the plus side, there are 2 great visual references to the very famous “jumping lightning strike” cover of The Dark Knight returns that I really dug.
The Scarecrow and his henchmen look pretty damn great, and Batman looks even better and more heroic!
Art wise, there is way more good than bad for sure.
The Story: Who’s Scared written by Sholly Fisch.
First off, big points for the titular reference to the early stages of the development of Scooby-Doo!
It starts with Scooby day dreaming about crime fighting alongside Bats and Shaggy shaking him out of it.
The Gang has made their way to Bat territory for a meeting of the Mystery Analysts Of Gotham City!
As the Gang mingles, Ace the Bat-Hound provides Scoob with a brief lesson about the history of the club when suddenly a giant spider attacks. Scarecrow appears to make sure that all of the humans are paralyzed, either in fear or in defense, against his fear gas so that he and his henchmen can rob the city blind.
Probably the best thing about this story is the interaction between Scooby and Ace.
It’s all to rare that we get to see Scoob actually talk or hang out with anybody outside of Mystery Inc. or his family, much less a member of his own species.It sucks that it couldn’t have lasted just a wee bit longer though. While everybody is effected by the fear gas our Dog-Namic Duo rises to the challenge and races after Scarecrow and crew to get the antidote and save their respective humans. While they are away doing that the humans realize they’re all seeing different monsters and creatures, which somehow breaks the hold the gas has on them.
Now this is where my problems start to come in and the story begins to fall apart.
Once Batman figures out its Scarecrow and his head clears he comes to Ace and Scooby’s rescue…meaning they don’t need an antidote. Ace should know this better than anybody being the Dog Wonder and all.
Before they left to chase Scarecrow, Ace tried getting Batman’s attention and Bat’s told him to stay behind him.
Scooby tried talking to Shaggy but he was too afraid.
Had they swapped, ya know, and have the talking dog tell Batman “uh, hey dude, settle down. It’s Scarecrow’s Fear Gas” the whole specious, at best, chase for the antidote could have been avoided.
I know this is essentially a kids book but come on.
Now, there are some cool and fun moments that save the issue from annoying me completely.
There is a blink and you’ll miss it mention of a Jason which I really hope is a Jason Blood cameo!
There’s also a bit of a running gag between Fred and one of the unnamed Mystery Analysts about pulling masks off that is kinda funny.
But anywho, in the end, Batman comes to the rescue yet again.
Overall: The Art is great but the story leaves you a bit unfulfilled.
Though this issue doesn’t feel nearly as short as the first one did, the story of the first is much better and holds up upon rereading. I’d really like this issue a whole lot more if Batman, Robin, and The Gang had been saved by the dogs. The way it is it just comes off poorly planned and like Scooby and Ace need to be saved by the Bat and company.