Check out two comic book reviews written by the very talented Oisin O’Reilly during lockdown who is supported by our Southside Outreach Team. Oisin is a fantastic writer, even recently published in the Fighting Words supplement of the Irish Times. Keep writing Oisin because you have an amazing talent! Look forward to reading more reviews from you!
Justice League/Scooby-Doo Crossover review by Oisin O’Reilly
This delightful comicbook crossover, which merges the two worlds of the DC Super-hero team the Justice League and Hannah-Barbara’s classic Scooby-Doo (Mystery Inc. Gang), and they fit brilliantly together, was published as a collection of short stories. In each fun-filled adventure, the Mystery Inc. Gang meet certain heroes of the Justice League who have use of their mystery-solving skills and are requesting their help. Like a typical Scooby-Doo episode, there are so-called monsters which appear terrifying but always turn out to be a hoax. Although they are very different teams, what they have in common is that they are crimefighters. They just have very different forms of crime-fighting. Also, though Mystery Inc. do not have superpowers, they are particularly good at seeing through illusions, since fake monsters are things they are used to.
I think these two teams made a very good larger team, with Mystery Inc’s detective skills and the Justice Leagues combat skills. Though it has been hard to say who was my favourite character, they all contributed so well to the story, I have decided on Wonder Woman. She is the hero I would be the most excited about seeing the Mystery Inc. Gang with. Though I am glad my favourite enemies of Batman, not only the main enemy Joker but Riddler and Penguin, got some spotlight, there was no sign of Green Lantern. It would also be exciting to see Mystery Inc. meeting the Green Lantern and if there was a special mission that the Galactic Green Lantern Brigade needed the help of Mystery Inc. for, what would that situation be?
There was an appearance of The Duke of Deception, a godling minion of Ares and enemy of wonder woman. He was the stupidest villain with the most clearly flawed plan. He WANTED the Mystery Inc. Gang to come to the Amazon island and purposely created illusions that would make the queen and the sisters seek their help. The idea was that Shaggy and Fred would be mortal men (male godlings don’t count) who would cause the Warrior Women to lose their powers by setting foot on the island, but they only needed to stay up where their feet don’t touch the ground. The island had creatures called kangas that could be ridden like horses and Scooby didn’t count because he was a male dog, not a man. This also meant a crime-solving gang were there to foil his plans. Another much smarter plan was a grand theft diamond in Gotham. Though it was still not good enough to outsmart Mystery Inc., Batman, Robin, & Batdog. The use of Scarecrows fear gas, and having robbers dressed up as Man-Bat because he is a monster people are so scared of that they will give in to any demand and hand over anything, was smart. The enemies of Batman when they teamed up certainly had more brains, despite being insane, than that godling, anyway. When Scooby met Bat-Dog, I think they were the two characters who got on best with each other. They did have a personality clash because Scooby was a cowardly dog and Bat-Dog was a brave dog, but Bat-Dog helped Scooby find some courage and I think Scooby had real respect for Bat-Dog.
I can’t think of particularly funny scenes (though they were fun, if not funNY), but Shaggy provided some funny/witty lines such as ‘’or maybe we’re just not real men!’’ – Context: when it was being explained that although Shaggy had fallen off his kanga he landed in a curled ball with his feet in the air, so the amazon warrior women still didn’t lose their powers. Though the big picture of Velma and Daphne in classical Greek garb training with Wonder Woman was good art, the best art was the appearance of Batman and Robin standing atop a large street sign. Because Shaggy was trying to recognise and saying ‘’If this is Batman, is that robin?’’, Robin answers ‘’Well, it ain’t Jimmy Olsen!’’, referencing a character from Superman but he is only being referenced and not actually appearing in this comic.
I don’t think I would change anything about this comic, considering it is only the first in the series, so any heroes not showing may show in later editions. Having more hero appearances is the only thing I would change, except a Teen Titans story being in the style of the older series which is generally considered better among fans, but that also could happen in a later edition. Even though it was the style of the newer ‘’Teen Titans Go!’’ which is generally considered terrible compared to it’s predecessor, that story was actually good. As I mentioned before, Mystery Inc. lack powers, but are particularly good at seeing through illusions. However, I think their very best skill was catching and unmasking. The Justice League would probably see through illusions eventually, just not as quickly, but only Wonder Woman possesses the magic lassoe to catch an enemy and get the truth out of them about whether they are who they appear to be or are in disguise. The Justice League have skills that are mostly battle and combat-focused, FIGHTING skills, but Mystery Inc. have hunter-like trap-setting skills. They are able to use their time to prepare traps, while the Justice League are engaged in the heat of battle and would not have time for trap-setting and they are not as experienced in trap-setting.
Aggretsuko (Issue 1) – by Oisin O’Reilly
In this comic, Retsuko discovers that her office is experiencing a pandemic called the C-virus, ( a corona reference? ) which becomes a walking-dead parody. Those who are not already infected become zombie-fighting ninjas, armed with mops as staffs, sanitiser sprays as guns and for armour, rubber gloves and face masks. Retsuko also discovers the weakness of the infected zombies against sound. This then begins a dangerous mission to reach the room which is the head office and intercom room, for which they will have to make their way through an office building crawling with the infected and through the lift.
Retsuko is the most important person to protect on this mission and others will sacrifice themselves for her, even if she couldn’t bear losing them. Haida, an accountant hyena, gets sneezed on by one of the infected while protecting Retsuko and, believing himself to be infected, urges Retsuko, in what is a very dramatic and tragic moment, to go on without him. Though Retsuko is heartbroken by this, she reluctantly agrees and makes her lonely way up the lift and into the room which is the focus of the mission.
Just before two of the infected who have followed her into the room are about to infect her, she sings angry death metal kareoke through all speakers in the building, causing the all infected to faint. When the military finally arrive, they find all infected on the floor, totally unconcious.
A delightful comic which compliments its Netflix series well, with the very best part being when Retsuko is forced to abandon Haida. The best thing about the whole comic is how perfectly it parodies the “zombie-apocolypse” film-genre. My only complaint: it was too short. The funniest line is “We just have to hold until the military arrive, how hard can that be?” Context: just before a whole horde of the infected smash through the window. Said by: Retsuko. I cant think of anything I would change, apart from making it longer, but I cant think of better story ideas to make it a longer story. It gets the death-metal scene just right, with the twisted face just like in the Netflix series being the best part of the comic art. The cover is a good cover, with death-metal-singing Retsuko surrounded by paperwork and the faded image of her boss in the background, but this doesn’t actually tell us anything about the plot. I can’t think of any least favourite character, they were all superbly written-for characters. It doesn’t seem to leave us with much future prospect, since unlike the series, it has the kind of ending where everything just goes back to how it started for the next episode to start afresh. The Netflix series had continuity between the episodes.