DC Comics Kills Off Original Scooby Doo Character

Warning - Major Spoilers for Scooby Apocalypse #25!

Details: Written by JM DeMatteis & Keith Giffen; Pencils by Ron Wagner; Inks by Andy Owens; Backup Art by Sam Lofti; Colors by Hi-Fi, John Rauch.

The dark day that Scooby Doo fans feared has now arrived: One of the original Mystery Inc. members is dead. That's right: as we reported earlier: Fred is dead, baby. Fred. Is. Dead.

Issue #24 saw Fred and Daphne finally get engaged - and it was an ominous sign, as the pair were just about to embark on a mission to explore an abandoned department store, which is full of monsters. Needless to say, that mission didn't go well, at all.

The issue tries to pull a surprise, Sixth Sense twist on the readers. The story uses time jumps and muted color tones to show Fred and Daphne exploring the store on their recon mission, while full color portions depict Daphne bloodied and bruised, wandering through the store after what looks like a massive monster battle has gone down. Daphne is shown talking to a version of Fred who is clean-cut and neatly dressed - it doesn't take a detective (even a Mystery Inc. detective) to figure out that Fred is ghost at this point.

Scooby Apocalypse 25 - Fred Death
Scooby Apocalyspe 25 Fred Death Ghost
Scooby Apocalyspe 25 Fred Death Ghost Daphne Scene
Scooby Doo Fred Death

Issue #26 will have to flesh-out the details of Fred's new afterlife dilemma, which was left to mystery. In the meantime, initial fan reaction has been good, if not mixed. The death wasn't a shock to many, thanks to early spoilers.

The scenes of Ghost-Fred and Daphne's conversations pack an unexpected emotional wallop, which helps to root this whole "Scooby Apocalypse" storyline in something emotional and poignant. The best part of it is the blurred line of what is real, with "Ghost-Fred" easily being a metaphor for Daphne's grief. Conversations like how Fred could've followed other dreams and avoided a life (and death) of such horrors is kind of head trip that flips Scooby Doo lore into something much more tragic - so we're eager to see how the series handles this game-changing development, going forward. Will Fred remain as a ghostly asset to the team? Or will he move on properly to the "hereafter," once this mission is done, and Daphne and the team in the clear?

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You can pick up Scooby Apocalypse #25 on stands now.