|This needs a stretch.|
|The Gray Man|
|Release date||March 2004|
|Part of||Scooby-Doo! #80|
|Pencils||Robert W. Pope|
|Letters||Nick J. Napolitano|
|Previous||The Ghostly Guest|
|Next||Cravin' the Raven|
The gang investigate a ghost that always appears before hurricane weather... and robberies!
The gang get a great deal on a beach house rental but find out that they rented the house during hurricane season. While in town, they learn of the tale of the Grey Man, a ghost that haunts the area. That night, they discover the neighbor's house has been ransacked by what they think is the ghost. The next day, the ghost comes to the gang's house as Fred lays a trap for them and they find out that the ghost is actually two locals who use the legend to scare off tourists so they can steal their valuables.
|Sea captain||He knew a lot about the Gray Man.|
|Peter & Paul||They were interested in Velma's laptop.|
|Peter & Paul||To scare off tourists so they can steal their valuables.|
- The Grand Strand, South Carolina
If any faithful readers wonder why an adult such as myself enjoys the simple pleasures of Scooby-Doo as instead sophisticated, "The Gray Man" should give an obvious demonstration. Where as most heroes of today's comics are portrayed as just plain dimwits, Scoob and the Gang exhibit the qualities of experienced, ghost breakers and crime solvers. It's this intelligence missing from the likes of the continuity Superman and Batman, missing from the likes of Daredevil and the simply awful Jessica Jones that above all appeals to me. Realism does not mean the abandonment of sense and sanity.
Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby seek a haven from a hurricane-induced rainstorm and find themselves at a beachside restaurant. They learn of a tall tale related by an ancient mariner and meet the regulars of the community. While staying at a cabin, strange things occur, and it's not that the gang merely solves the haunting in Michael Kraiger's story. They anticipate the crime, the criminals as well as debunking the ghost. They act like their experience dictates.
Robert Pope brings a sense of realism to the drawings. The gang looks a little cartoonier when compared to the supporting cast members who are given a bit of grunge, a few wrinkles and interesting individual looks. The depiction of the ghost is genuinely eerie, and the evocation of the atmosphere just promises spooky hi-jinks.