Every so often, comics throw me a wonderful surprise, something so unexpected but so great that I am reminded why I still love this medium. And then, there are the even rare surprises which not only remind me why I love comics but also transport me back to being a kid, which bring such pure happiness that I am a little Anj, sitting under a tree at a beach house, reading a dog-eared comic in sunlight.
Scooby Doo Team-Up #6 was one of the latter. An all ages book by uber-writer Sholly Fisch, this issue harkens back to Saturday morning cartoons, the Super Friends comic book, and a hot pants wearing Supergirl. Fisch is able to perform that rare magic in a book like this, make it kid-friendly but throw in enough Easter Eggs and silliness to please the adult comic reader who picks it up. Heck, I'm not even a Scooby Doo fan and I liked this. It brought me the same joy that Super Friends #37 did back in the day, seeing Supergirl get some exposure with small screen superstars.
The Scooby Gang has been invited to the Hall of Justice to help the Super Friends solve a mystery. (That is another sentence I never thought I would ever write.)
It seems the Hall is haunted by 'The Rainbow Ghosts', seven ghosts each of whom is a different color. And the Green Ghost attacked Superman making him disappear!
With Superman missing, the Friends need to step in for him, making it appear that he has not disappeared. And that means they need help with the mystery. And to keep things looking normal in Superman's absence, they will disguise the Scooby Gang as people who would normally hang around there.
So Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby become 'Wendy', 'Marvin', and Wonder Dog. Holy 1970's Batman! I love how Wendy is in the FBI, Wonder Dog is involved with national security, and Marvin is a dentist.
And Fred and Daphne get dressed up as Zan and Jayna. I love how Daphne is almost embarrassed to be the twins.
And to hide Superman being missing even more, the Friends called in Supergirl to be a 'red and blue blur', stepping in for him in a pinch.
There is so much goodness in this panel that I smiled for hours when I first saw it. A classic hot pants Seventies Supergirl. A Smallville blur reference (maybe). Her handling crises, a reference to COIE (maybe).
But to have her call herself 'Rupergirl', imitating Scooby, was soooooo perfect. Perfect.
The time to contemplate the mystery ends rather quickly. The ghosts arrive and attack.
Supergirl is tasked with keeping the Scooby Gang safe while the Super Friends battle.
Amazingly ... somehow ... the ghosts defeat the heroes, making them all disappear too!
There is something unsettling about these ghosts. They are tangible.
This one is stronger than Supergirl.
And the yellow one can emit an energy beam, trapping Supergirl like a fly in amber.
I suppose it isn't too big a surprise to discover they aren't ghosts.
They are the Legion of Doom in disguise. That explains their powers. And Lex explains that by hiding who they were, by pretending to be ghosts, it gave the Legion an element of surprise.
Like before, there is such wonder here. As a kid I loved Battle of the Super Friends. So to see a classic Hannah Barbera Legion of Doom, right down to the pantsless Brainiac, was fantastic. The Scarecrow even calls the gang 'meddling kids', the classic tagline for the group!
Amazingly, the Gang is able to escape. Partly due to some quick thinking by Velma who uses Bizarro-speak to set the imperfect duplicate on to his comrades.
That Velma ... always thinking!
And the rest of the Gang realize that the 'disappearance' of the Super Friends is probably them being shrunk by Brainiac. And since Brainiac likes to put shrunken things in jars, they decide to look in the kitchen. And there are the Super Friends, in what appears to be an empty peanut butter jar.
They are freed and attack the Legion, even though they are 'reeny riny' ... or teeny tiny.
How great that Superman yells 'For Justice'!!
But perhaps the best turn is when Sinestro's ring leaves him and goes to Shaggy and Scooby. They are able to instill great fear ... because they always scare themselves. Unreal. Strange. Perfect. And, I suppose, plausible in this wonderful Saturday morning world.
With Sinestro's ring on his finger, Shaggy enlarges the Super Friends and binds the Legion of Doom.
All except Luthor who pulls out some sort of ultimate weapon.
Who saves the day?? Supergirl!!
Freed from Sinestro's amber when Shaggy took over the ring, she arrives to capture Superman's arch-enemy! The day is saved.
I said it before, I am not a Scooby Doo fan.
But this was just about as perfect an issue as I have read recently. Suddenly I was a 8 year old kid again, grinning like a goof, and thrilled to see the good guys win in a nutty way. Yes, it is nostalgic for an old guy like me. But it works on a kid level too.
Overall grade: A