Pros: Interesting story, great for mid level readers, great artwork.
Cons: Bang and Professor Bits are never heard from again.
I don't think that anyone but Austin Powers could pull of a James Bond mimicking performance but Scooby-Doo and Mystery Incorporated come close with "Dead And Let Spy". Yes, the title is a little on the odd side but I guess they were trying to pun on "Live And Let Die". Once again the gang is recruited for another mission but this time it isn't as spooky as The Legend of The Vampire or The Halloween Hotel Haunt. One of the cooler things about it is that there are two one-time characters introduced; Professor Bits and JZ Bang. Again, odd names but you have to remember that this is geared towards appealing to kids not adults.
This was both a graphic novel and a single issue comic that had other stories tied in with it; obviously the 'novel' has more pages but it is not a typical graphic novel. It's a hardcover but a kids hardcover; you could also get it in paperback if you hunted it down. It's only 24 pages so how DC gets off calling this a graphic novel is beyond me. This was part of a series that was rumored to be released in a boxed set as well as a true graphic novel containing all of the titles. It fits in well with some of the others like "The Agony of De-Feet", "The Mystery Date", "Trick or Treat" and "Ready To Were-Wolf". I don't like the way that DC is going with some of the Scooby stories; it's one thing to have a comic book series but another to try to take a ten page comic and stretch it out to a 24 page hard cover.
The story is interesting; there are a couple extra storyboards to the hard cover than there are to the comic that was released about four years before the book. The gang have to help Agent Bang try to figure out why his missions are constantly being foiled by monsters. Professor Bits is ever-helpful in creating new gadgets for Bang but secretly he's angry that almost everything he makes ends up getting destroyed on missions. Bang's character deviates from the usual Scooby-Doo imagery; he looks perfect - a little too perfect. When you look at the gang they have slightly goof appearances to them but Bang and Professor Bits are more human-like and for me it was too much of a clash. If you've ever watched a Scooby movie then you know that most of the time the add-in characters have the same appearance as the gang, that's not the case with this story. Some people liked the visual differences between them but for me it screwed with the flow of it.
Some people really trashed this, they said that the story was too far off the Scooby path and even though there were some monsters in it overall the story wrote itself from the first three pages. One thing that really irks me is the title of it, not that it's odd or might really confuse kids but the fact that there are a couple other books / readers with the same or similar title. This is not the one about them going to the White House and they are not in China fighting ninja ghosts. That presents a problem for people who are looking to get a specific story and are only looking at the title of it. While the artwork is sweet and the gang eventually triumphs [as expected], this is something reserved for only the hard score Scooby-Doo lovers.
^V^ ©Freak369 - 2012 ^V^
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Scooby-Doo And The Haunted Halloween Mask
Scooby-Doo And The Halloween Hotel Haunt