|This needs a stretch.|
Five freaky monsters have just been caught and it's Mystery Inc. under the masks! What's going on? And what will happen when the gang winds up in the same prison as every single criminal they've ever foiled? This special 50th issue features a story with guest stars galore, including characters from Goober & the Ghost Chasers, The Funky Phantom, Speed Buggy and Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kids.
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Goober and the Ghost Chasers
- Goober (dog that can turn invisible when frightened)
- Ted (leader)
- Gilly (photographer)
- Tina (reporter)
The Funky Phantom
- Johnathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore
- Augie Anderson
- Skip Gilroy
- April Stewart
- Elmo the dog
- Boo the ghost cat
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids
- Butch Cassidy (rock singer/secret agent)
- Elvis the dog
- 10,000 Volt Ghost (TSDS: Watt A Shocking Ghost)
- Creeper (SDWAY: Jeepers, It's The Creeper)
- Ghost Clown (SDWAY: Bedlam in the Big Top)
- Ghost of Mr. Hyde (SDWAY: Nowhere to Hyde)
- Caveman (SDWAY: Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright)
- Witch (SDWAY: What the Hex Going On?)
- Indian Witch Doctor (SDWAY: Decoy for a Dognapper)
- Ghost of Redbeard (SDWAY: Go Away Ghost Ship)
- Scare Pair (SDWAY: Mystery Mask Mix-Up)
- Frankenstein's Monster (SDWAY: A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts)
- Snow Ghost (SDWAY: That's Snow Ghost)
- Wolfman (SDWAY: A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts)
- Dracula (SDWAY: A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts)
- Spooky Space Kook (SDWAY: Spooky Space Kook)
Plot: Have Scooby-Doo and the Gang gone bad?
I should have really loved this issue of Scooby-Doo, but to be honest, I really had no feeling for it. It suffers from the same disease that plagues any villain gathering, the diminishing of the villainy itself.
The plot is fairly hoary and although similar to the umpteenth real estate related crimes the gang have solved in the past, this one is a little too hard to swallow.
The secret passage in the prison comes a letdown, and despite what the writer may think, Monte Cristo escaped his guest accommodations by hiding himself in a body bag which was thrown into the sea.
Another item really bothered me. The writer attempted to pay homage to the Mystery Inc. by showing how many groups of crime-solvers were inspired by their example. This in itself is fine, but the execution is ruined by including The Funky Phantom. He's a genuine Hanna-Barbera character, but his presence undermines the Scooby-Doo cosmology. The theme of every Scooby-Doo mystery is that there are no ghosts nor monsters. Every seemingly supernatural event has a rational answer. Put a Funky Phantom in the world view, and suddenly, "whatever remains, however, improbable" expands far too much in scope. The presence of the ghost is doubly irritating when one considers overlooked Hanna Barbera science fiction themed, crime solving absentees who follow the Scooby-formula: Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels shamelessly canceled by ABC and of course Clue Club, which was shamelessly canceled by CBS.
Joe Staton does not reach the plateau he usually attains. The attention to shadows and shading is minimal, and the group--overwhelming to be sure--lacks his usual visual depth. Oh, and Goober of the Ghost Chasers was blue not green.