DC Comics must be officially out of new ideas. That's the only way that you can explain what they are doing by rebooting many of the beloved Hanna-Barbera cartoons and turning them into comics, including something they are calling Scooby Apocalypse.
Scooby Apocalypse was announced in an exclusive article with Entertainment Weekly alongside reboots of Wacky Races, Johnny Quest and The Flintstones. While some of the choices they are making with those other comics may be a little iffy—Wacky Race Land looks way more "terrifying" than wacky—it was the art of Shaggy and the gang that really made our jaws drop.
The most notable difference to us is in the appearance of the male heroes (at least the male human ones). Both Shaggy and Fred have tattoos! Shaggy, naturally, appears to be rocking some really psychedelic ink. It's colorful, abstract, crazy—pretty much exactly what you would expect an updated version of the goofy stoner to have. His tattoos are paired with a beard that looks like it is ready for competition and some gauged ears. We're pleased with the ink, not so much with Shaggy's other accoutrement, but the spirit of the lovable loser comes through in the updated version.
That leads us to Fred. Oh Fred. The leader of the gang is, for reasons that we cannot comprehend, pairing his traditional ascot with a muscle tee and some tribal tattoos. And as ridiculous as he looks with headphones on and what appears to be a weaponized hair dryer, it is the tattoo we focus on. Why? Why in the world is the preppy leader of the gang sporting some classic 1990s ink? And, for the love of all that is holy, is he still rocking the ascot?! Look, if you are trying to make him a grittier, darker Fred we get it, adding a tattoo is an easy way to make this transition. But you have to rip the ascot off of his neck and burn it with fire.
Yes, I understand that it is silly to dissect an entire comic book series based on one photo, but the new looks of both Fred and Shaggy give me little faith that they were able to reboot the franchise in a way that pays proper homage to the original. As I said earlier, Shaggy's ink is spot on even if we think the rest of his look is a little silly. Fred is just a disaster. If that's how the creators envision him it is clear that they didn't understand anything about his character development over the last, oh, 40 years. Fred's an ascot kind of guy, not a tribal tattoo kind of guy. And on the Venn diagram of those two things the circles just don't connect. At all.
Despite all of my various complaints and trepidation about the reboot, in my heart of hearts I know that I'll be picking up at least a couple of copies of Scooby Apocalypse. For research matters, of course.