Monday, March 14, 2016

Shaka, When The Walls Fell (DC Comics)

DC Comics will print comics based on Hanna Barbera properties. To be fair, I actually like parts of this idea. To see some of my favorites (Space Ghost, Birdman, Galaxy Trio, The Impossibles) get the comic book treatment is a good thing. Some of these properties are a good fit for comics and in fact some of them have been in comics before. 

But I worry about whether they will be handled correctly. We have been given almost no information, and what little information there is has been in pictures done by various comic book artists. And if you want proof of how badly they may be handled, let's take a look at what they have planned for Scooby-Doo:

Scooby-Doo? Where are you? Because I don't see you here!

Since I don't have any other info, I can only go by the picture presented to me. And I have a few questions:

Are the gang ghostbusters now? Because in another picture Fred's guns suck a monster into what I guess is his proton pack?

Was Daphne ever in the military? Because she seems to be wearing purple khaki fatigues. 

Does Hipster Shaggy have a mystical tattoo on his left arm?  Does he do bullshit shaman magic now, pulling material components out of his man purse of holding? 

Velma is flying a drone. That's ok. What's not ok is the way she's drawn. From the perspective of the picture, she is in front of all the other humans. She should be at least as large as the others, but instead she's smaller. If you compare the length of her body to everybody else's, she looks WAY shorter. Either the perspective is wrong, or she's a midget. So which is it? Yes, she was shorter than the others in the original cartoon, but not a midget.

Scooby Doo is wearing an eyepiece which has the ability to shoot out what appears to be bubble emojis. Does that mean he no longer talks? He can only make his feelings known by bubble emojis?

Ruh-roh Raggy!

Of course, I'm looking at this picture out of context. There may be reasons for these changes. There may even be good reasons for these changes. And I'm not saying the comics should be a slave to the source material. The Big Hero 6 movie made changes to almost all the characters across the board. But those changes were made in order to tell a good story. Also, at least 90% of that movie audience never heard of the original comic, so it was easier to justify those changes. And even though I knew and owned the original comics this movie came from, I didn't mind the changes. The movie was very good and I enjoyed it.

But thanks to syndication, reboots and various TV movies, almost 90% of the potential audience of these comics HAVE heard of Scooby-Doo. If you make too many changes to the core characters without any justification, you risk alienating your audience. I know I'm confused by  all these changes; and I don't even like Scooby-Doo all that much. 

So I'm not liking where all this is going. But who knows? The comics may be good. They may even be great. But DC Comics is not putting it's best foot forward with these properties. 

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