TBU Collected Review: The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries Volume 1

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Overview: In The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries Volume 1, there are several team-ups involving the Bat-Family and the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc gang.

 

Editor’s Note: This collected edition includes the first six issues of the maxiseries The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries that had its first issue released in April 2021 and the sixth issue released in September 2021. This review focuses on the story presented in each issue that while collected does not form a combined story. 

 

Synopsis (spoilers ahead): The first story in The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries Volume 1, “The Glove Story,” opens in the Gotham City Museum of Culture.  Scooby and Shaggy are goofing off in front of a replica of the Bat-Signal. The kids are not here for fun though, they are here to meet Batman. He needs their help with a case; Batman has been robbed.

Batman has loaned the museum some of his trophies and equipment including some of his past costumes. The first costume has some fake purple gloves. Fred thinks the gloves were switched in the Batcave, but Robin who is also at the museum denies that explanation. Robin says that the original gloves were never there. Batman also has no memory of what he did with the gloves after he stopped using them. Batman is concerned about the gap in his memory, so he needs the three kids’ help. He wants Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby to revisit his earliest cases firsthand. Batman wants the kids to time travel. Velma is skeptical, but Batman takes them to see Dr. Carter Nichols who has helped him on cases before. The doctor will use hypnosis with his time-ray machine to send the three into the past.

The next thing Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma know, they are in the past outside Wayne Manor. After running from a swarm of bats, the three run into Alfred Pennyworth.  They convince Alfred to give them a ride to the site of the first case. When the three run into a building, Alfred notices something left in his car and calls his friend.

In the present, Daphne, Fred, and Robin check the other exhibits, and they find no tampering. Fred, using a sonographer, notices a box buried underground. Robin contacts Batman. Batman suggests that Fred and Daphne meet him on the boardwalk by Gotham Harbor. Batman arrives in his Bat-Sub.

In the past, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby continue their investigation. Velma soon discovers that they are not alone. The three are confronted with what they think is a zombie. Meanwhile Batman, Fred, and Daphne dive to the museum’s foundations. Batman notices some vibrations. Robin used Quakemaster’s jackhammer to open the sub-basement. Even though there is some damage, Robin hands Batman the box they were looking for. It has a bat symbol on it, but the voiceprint does not respond to Batman’s voice.

In the past, the “zombie” chases the kids, and they emerge from the building covered in dust. Velma surmises that they were chased by a man. A man is there, but now he has the cowl of a bat. He listens in on the kids’ conversation and discovers that the kids could be from the future. Alfred contacted him with his concerns. Batman catches up to the kids. Scooby notices Batman’s gloves. He acts friendly with the Caped Crusader, and when he least expects it, steals his gloves off of Batman’s hands. Batman tempts the dog with a snack, and Velma and Shaggy try to hold Scooby back. Alfred arrives to suggest that the kids keep the gloves. Alfred admits to Velma that Bruce Wayne is an associate of Batman’s. Batman realizes that Dr. Nichols’ method does not allow them to take souvenirs.  Alfred produces a box. They are going to put the gloves in the box and set the voice recognition to only open to Velma’s voice. Alfred told the doctor that’s Scooby dropped the fake gloves in his car. He suggests that they swap the gloves when Batman puts his costume in storage.

In the present, Batman has put himself into self-hypnosis, and Velma arrives to tell him that the juice was fine. When Velma says that, he remembers everything, including what was in the box. Velma put the missing gloves in the box.

Afterward, Alfred gives Batman a journal entry.  Batman hypnotized himself to forget his encounter, but he hoped to learn the value of friends and partners, including dogs. He does not have to face his mission alone.

 

The second story in The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries Volume 1, “Going Bats,” opens with Batman and Robin along with the Mystery Inc. gang apprehending the Joker and his clowns.  The police take the clowns away, and Robin wants to bring a ceramic head of the Joker to the Batcave. Batman decides to bring the kids along, but they have to be blindfolded. Robin drives the Mystery Machine into the cave. Batman takes the kids on a tour of the cave. Scooby starts to moan and hold his ears, and just then, they see a ghost in the cave. Batman and Robin throw their batarangs at the specter, which flies right through it. Then the bats in the cave get riled up and swarm. After the danger passes, Batman states that someone knows where the Batcave is and also may know their secret identities.

They still have a problem though, there is something loose in the cave. The kids and the dynamic duo split up to search. Scooby again starts to moan, and the ghost and bats arrive again. Batman gets everyone to gather close. The bats stay away because of ultrasonics. Batman is transmitting a sound that is keeping the bats away. Velma discovers something. Scooby started howling before the ghost and bats swarmed. Batman realizes that the ghost could have used ultrasonics to stir up the bats. Scooby would be able to hear the signal. The only question is how did the equipment get into the cave. They all realize that it was the trophy. They discover that in the head was an ultrasonic device and a hologram projector. No one has discovered the cave.

Later, the Joker and his clowns have escaped the police, and they are on the search for the Batcave. They are using a tracking device and come up to a cave entrance. The clowns soon learn that the cave is empty except for Batman and Robin. They chase the clowns out of the cave and run into the Mystery Inc. kids with some trophies from the real Batcave. They use them to apprehend the clowns.

 

The next story in The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries Volume 1 features Batman and Ace the Bat-Hound, along with the Scooby Gang. “Double Dog Dare” centers on the Gotham City Dog Show where Ace and Scooby are the special honorary judges.  The story opens with the gang stumbling across an odd thief, the Baggage Bandit.  He is in the airport baggage claim attempting to steal, what else, baggage.  With the gang’s unwitting help the bandit is quickly apprehended and the gang runs into Batman and his dog Ace.  The public immediately swarms the canine celebrities but the revelry is soon interrupted.  Batman sees the Bat-Signal and he along with the Ace and the gang minus Velma and Fred, who are on another case, meet with Commissioner Gordon on top of police headquarters.  The dog show has brought a crime spree.  Two robberies are occurring on opposite sides of the city.  Batman splits up the team.  Shaggy, Daphne and Ace will take the Financial District while Batman and Scooby go to the aquarium.

Batman and Scooby mysteriously vanish to the aquarium.  Batman and Scooby find the fleeing felon but Scooby decides to go for popcorn instead.  At the stand, the seller tells them that the guy was wearing a double-breasted trench coat and he dropped a flier advertising a perfect pair of seahorses.  Batman knows who they are dealing with and goes to call the others.

At the coin museum in the financial district, the others go in to investigate and run into the Coin Capturer.  Ace unmasks him and he is revealed to be a lookalike of the Baggage Bandit.  He is arrested and Daphne gets a text from Batman to gather at police headquarters. There Gordon reveals the two crooks are twins.  Batman tells the gang that they have captured the henchmen, the mastermind is still out there.  Batman says that the real target of the crimes had a tracker placed on them.  Batman reveals that tracker on Scooby’s collar, but it was intended for Ace instead.  The mastermind is Two-Face.

At the dog show, the gang is there to investigate.  At the show, Gordon tells the team that the crooks have been released when a strange lawyer shows up to shed doubt on who committed which crime.  Fred and Velma both arrive at the show after taking care of their case. Scooby and Ace start their duties while the rest of Mystery Inc keep an eye out for trouble.  In the meantime, Batman will try to figure out why Two-Face wants Ace so badly.   Bruce Wayne arrives and asks about German Shepherds. He learns that they have double coats.

A man walks by eating chocolate and Velma identifies him as an imposter.  No one would be eating chocolate at a dog show as it is poisonous to dogs.  Batman arrives to apprehend the man.  Batman realizes that this was just a distraction, and Daphne comes up with an idea.

At the show, Ace is grabbed by the judge who has his mask removed revealing him as Two-Face.  He now has Ace or does he?  Two-Face has captured Scooby and that means Batman has captured him.   Two-Face wanted Ace because as a German Shepherd he has a double coat.

 

Next up in The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries Volume 1, is “Monsters on Parade”.  Two thugs enter a convenience store to sell Monster Insurance.  The woman behind the counter is none other than Velma and the Mystery Inc gang nab the hustlers.  Shaggy and Scooby wanted to get out of the presence of monsters, even if they are fake.  Outside they see other men in monster masks all over the place but there are two others with masks. Nightwing and Batgirl arrive to clean house.  Fred, Velma, and Daphne run out and recognize Batgirl and Nightwing introduces himself to Fred by name.  The two original hustlers come out to harm the kids and when they see the Bat heroes they run back in.  Batgirl chases them and Nightwing reveals to the gang that he used to be Robin.  After another skirmish with monster men, Nightwing tells them that they are dealing with Black Mask and his False Face Society and Batman is on an undercover mission.

They surmise that Black Mask will make his move the next day during the parade and after an awkward conversation involving “dates” and “good friends” mainly with Nightwing and Batgirl being compared to Fred and Daphne, the group decides to return in the morning.

At the parade, where everyone is wearing masks, Black Mask arrives on a float and sends in a sphinx to attack.   Nightwing takes on the sphinx while Batgirl goes for Black Mask.  The rest of the gang tries to lead an orderly and rapid exodus of the crowd.  Black Mask escapes Batgirl when a hippogriff attacks. She discovers that the body is metal.  Nightwing confirms the same for the sphinx and the gang runs into a third monster, a Sea-Lion.  Black Mask reveals that he is not in control of the mechanical monsters, Nightwing deduces that it is the Terrible Trio.  They look for a shark, fox, and vulture.  The gang finds the three and steals their remote controls and turns the monsters on the trio, while Nightwing and Batgirl engage Black Mask. With the help of Scooby, Black Mask is captured and Fred tries to remove his mask but fails to.

Black Mask gloats that no one knows who is in the False Face Society and he will be rescued.  One of his masked minions steps forward.  It is none other than Batman in disguise.  He went undercover to discover the identities of the members of the Society and he gives the names to Gordon.  The day is saved.  The parade is also saved when the Mystery Inc gang along with Batgirl and Nightwing continue the parade with a now tap dancing sphinx.

 

The fifth story in The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries Volume 1, “Watching the Detective,” finds Batman, Huntress, and the Mystery Inc. gang being approached by Talia al Ghul. Her father has been kidnapped by Bane, and she wants Velma’s help in finding him. The heroes board Talia’s plane and she and Batman provide the exposition on Ra’s al Ghul and the Lazarus Pits.

In Venice, the heroes search for their first clue. An old woman was knocked over by a big man with tanks on his back, presumably Bane. She tells Velma where he went, and the team moves on. Talia tells Velma that there was a Lazarus Pit in Venice and takes them there. Talia digs in the ground and finds a tie clip she bought Ra’s on a visit to Cairo.

In Cairo, Talia talks about a wealthy American who wanted to but the pits from Ra’s. Talia takes the gang to another Lazarus Pit, and this time a mummy is discovered. Batman and Huntress fight the mummy, but it escapes. Batman thinks he sees Bane, and he and Huntress attack only to find a puddle of liquid. Scooby drinks from the puddle, and the gang is afraid that it is Bane’s venom drug.  Batman tells them it is only a sports drink. Batman discovers that they are being tricked. Now Talia has more concern for her father.

Batman has a plan. The group travel to Aten Luxor Egypt. The kids stumble upon “Bane” and Ra’s. Batman attacks and subdues the criminal. Now Velma unmasks the fake Bane to reveal the mummy and under that mask is the old wrestler Mac Vinnie. Vinnie was hoping to rejuvenate his career with the Lazarus Pit.  The local authorities take the crook in custody as he says that he would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling detectives.

 

The final story found in The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries Volume 1, “Those Meddling Kids,” tells the story of the first mystery solved by the combined efforts of a masked Bruce Wayne and the Scooby kids.

The story opens with a masked Bruce Wayne who decides to call himself Robin meeting the world’s greatest detective. He wants to learn, but soon he discovers that he must join the kids from a Pup Named Scooby-Doo. A monster man smashed through a museum in broad daylight. Harvey Harris and his protégés are on the case. At the museum, they search for clues. They discover footprints, but the heels are actually deeper than the toes. On following the prints they spot the perpetrator. Harris and Robin attack, but Daphne calls her butler Jenkins who gets in the way, allowing the man to escape. In the tussle, Harris pulls a tag off of the perp with an address to a tailor.

At first, the tailor refuses to give up the name of their client, but after some shenanigans involving Shaggy and Scooby, they gladly give the information just to get the two out of their shop. Harris, in disguise, along with the gang arrive at the address, and they soon find themselves in an auction run by Professor Hugo Strange.  He is selling his monster man formula to the crime boss who makes the highest bid. Strange orders his monster man to attack the intruders, and Harris reveals himself as the master detective. This causes the crime bosses to flee into the waiting arms of Harris’ backup teams. In the chaos, and because he is afraid of cats, the monster falls on Hugo, and his head turns backward. It is revealed that the monster is a fake and so is the formula. Strange is close to completing the formula, but he needs more funding, which is what he was hoping he would find.

In the present, Batman reveals that Strange did perfect his formula, but because of his work with the kids, Batman was able to beat Hugo Strange.

 

Analysis: These stories really do not make a lot of sense, but they are fun little stories presented for children, especially kids who loved the team-ups of Batman and the version of the gang found on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. In the last story, there were a couple of callbacks to that series.

Even the use of the more serious villains was presented in numerous ways. Bane was not really Bane, so the danger was minimized, and there was no callback to the breaking of the Batman even though the Azrael Batsuit is shown in the first story as an Easter egg.

The art of these stories is fantastic. I like the callback to the Hanna-Barbera style of the classic Mystery Inc. characters and the model of Batman and Robin during that time. It was also fun to note that there is a callback to the DC Animated Universe that featured Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.  That is evident in the design of Robin, which is a callback to the Tim Drake Robin of The New Batman Adventures.

The art in the last story was fantastic. It gave a perfect callback to the show A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.  With the dialogue and the writing, it was like I could be watching a new episode of that series.

 

Editor’s Note: DC Comics provided TBU with copies of the original issues of this series as they released, but not of this new edition. You can find this collected edition and help support TBU in the process by purchasing this edition digitally either for Comixology through Amazon, or as a physical copy in a paperback form at Amazon.

The post TBU Collected Review: The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries Volume 1 appeared first on The Batman Universe.

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