-Post may contain spoilers-
What do you do when you’re trapped in a supermarket while creatures from Hell are trying to get in and eat you alive? Make potty jokes of course. And bicker. Lots of both.
As it turns out, the creatures (let’s call them imps) aren’t all that interested in getting inside. As we learned last volume, they respond to sensory information and not really anything outside the range of their senses. The creatures just wander around outside aimlessly, which makes one wonder why they don’t attack each other like the group of them did in the Mall-Mart last issue. That aside, because of the imps’ lack of interest in chowing down on the gang, there’s no immediate danger. Everyone’s trapped inside the Mall-Mart surrounded by monsters, and there’s no sense of impending danger. No imps are trying to break in or anything, which just raises the question: why is the gang so eager to leave? They have nowhere to be and possess a full stock of supplies. A Mall-Mart seems like the best place in which to wait out the danger, especially when the imps aren’t even acutely aware of their presence.
While our cast plans their escape, in addition to Shaggy’s potty humor language, the gang’s conversation continues to return to Velma and Daphne’s bickering. These exchanges would be a lot more impactful if they didn’t seem so recycled each time. I feel like I keep reading the same panels each issue, where Velma says something, Daphne respects her, then a match drops and ignites their whole spat again. Build up for their eventual explosion at each other is needed, but it seems like minimal effort is being put into diversifying or heating up their exchanges.
Did I say explosion? Match? Ignites? Right. That happens too. But in a literal sense. Or at least that’s part of the gang’s plan. When escaping off the rooftop doesn’t work out, the gang comes up with the idea to attract the imps into the Mall-Mart with an explosion and then escape through the chaos. It’s an interesting spin on a cliche plot device, but watching it play out is satisfying, as the plan nearly backfires with the imps practically rushing straight into our heroes. In the end, the way out doesn’t clear, but the explosion forces the gang to push forward with their escape. Realizing they don’t really stand a chance in a fight, the gang realizes someone is going to have to act as bait. But who? I won’t spoil who it is (I will in the next review), but the decision would be a little more impactful if not for what I mentioned before about all the characters basically having plot armor. It’s a Scooby-Doo series, and you need all five gang members for that to work out. Since the gang isn’t fully reunited at the close of this issue, I can only hope that this gives us a chance for diverging storylines, perhaps finally mixing Scrappy-Doo or The Four more directly into the story.
I’m still enjoying this series even if it’s nothing special overall. The dialogue was not as smart this issue, resorting to more vulgar jokes than usual. The art was more consistent here, but something about Fred just still looks off. Maybe I just don’t like his design and it’s a personal issue. Anyway, it’s good to see the gang working together, and I am glad that they aren’t a well-oiled machine yet, but I think Velma and Daphne’s exchanges could be improved. Maybe we’ll see the fuse reach its end soon, or maybe one of them will actually wave the white flag in defeat and decide to cooperate. Even if this issue wasn’t the series at its finest, it’s still worth picking up and following just because it is still a fun read. High-quality storytelling? Not really. An enjoyable use of twenty or so minutes? Absolutely.