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Four score and seven Scooby Snacks ago… – Scooby-Doo #2

January 16, 2012

If you’ve ever fantasized about the Mystery Machine’s nosey teens meeting the Great Emancipator, BOY HAVE I GOT A COMIC BOOK FOR YOU.

Yes, Abraham Lincoln, no stranger to the sometimes bizarre environs of a comic booky world, kind of, sort of (not really) makes an appearance in these pages. Yes, he interacts with a giant talking dog and his hashish-addled friend. No, the story (sadly) doesn’t involve Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne travelling back in time and getting blown to pieces in Pickett’s Charge. There are trade-offs in this comic just like there are in real life. YOU CANNOT HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO.

In a story somewhat appropriate for this politically charged primary season, Honest Abe, one of the few Presidents that we can all agree on (well, perhaps not all sections of the South,) seemingly comes back to life so he can run for public office. He certainly looks the part:

In the race for Governor in an anonymous state, the previous Republican candidate was felled under suspicious circumstances, and Lincoln threw his stove-pipe hat into the ring. The story makes clear that a candidate in this jurisdiction doesn’t have to be alive to run, which seems more than a tad nonsensical (Charlemagne for State Assembly!), and perhaps indicates that this gentleman is ZOMBIE LINCOLN. And no one questions what happened to a certain gigantic cranial entrance wound. Whatever. Our teens smell a rat (Dishonest Abe) and infiltrate Lincoln’s campaign headquarters (incidentally, his campaign manager looks a lot like Gabe Kotter). To get to the bottom of things, Shaggy and Scooby become “Lincoln’s” bodyguards, while the rest go deep undercover. Here’s Fred, MASTER OF ESPIONAGE:

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Fred.

We may mock the disguise dexterity of the gang (Velma hides in bushes disguised as what looks to be a lesbian softballer), but they do manage to spot the manager (Murphy) hooking up with a shady character. Danger-Prone Daphne follows up by doing some sleuthing through books (a woman after my own heart), and finds the most conveniently titled book EVER for a person trying to find information about the real Lincoln — a tome called The Real Lincoln:

It turns out that “Lincoln” is actually a scatter-brained Lincoln aficionado that’s being run as a stooge of organized crime. Organized crime is in this case personified by a crook who shares a haberdasher with Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy, one who spirits the weak-minded cipher away and takes Scooby and Shaggy hostage. Where exactly does one shop for a canary-yellow suit?:

The whole fiendish plot is undone when the tethered Scooby pulls that lamp around and works over the two goons like Darth Maul with his double-bladed lightsaber. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Scooby. And since the fake Lincoln’s whiskers fell off overnight, we’re deprived of seeing a “Let’s see who you really are!” finale with Velma ripping off his beard. As I said earlier, you can’t have everything.

The tone of this book is what you would expect. Of course aimed at kids, it reads a lot like the Easy Reader-sanctioned tales in Spidey Super Stories. It’s a decent story for young readers. No more no less. I wish I had a Lincoln/Scooby crossover for the ages to give to you. I do not. This will have to do.

One last item of note is the content of Scooby’s thought balloons. His dialogue is your typical garbled blather, but his thoughts prove to be surprisingly erudite — meaning clear and grammatically correct:

So, but for his speech impediment, Scooby could have given the Shaggy D.A. a run for his canine brain-power money. And here I’ve always thought of him as a bit of an idiot. Who knew?

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