Early concept art of HBO Max’s Velma shows a different version of the Mystery, Inc. gang than the final show.
Early concept art for HBO Max’s Velma reveals a different approach from the members of Mystery Inc.
Posted on Twitter on January 15th as a follow-up to an earlier image showing a set of silhouettes, character and concept artist Annie Wu shared a series of early concept images of the main cast Velma.
Velma offers audiences an adult-oriented alternative origin to the classic Scooby Doo team, albeit without any appearances from the franchise’s titular great danes. The series was announced in February 2021, with The office alum Mindy Kaling attached to star and executive produce. The series was initially described by the network as “an adult animated comedy series that tells the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated mastermind of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang. An original and humorous spin on the complex and colorful unmasked past of one of America’s most beloved puzzle solvers.”
Long before its premiere, Velma was met with a wave of intense backlash for perceived slights to the fan base by changing the ethnicity of both the titular character and Norville Rogers, better known as Shaggy, voiced by Sam Richardson. Kaling responded to the outcry by pointing out that “[n]oh did one’s imagination ever have a problem with a talking dog solving puzzles. So a brown Velma is good. I think we can all handle it.”
Velma is now streaming on HBO Max
Velma premiered on January 12 to mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, with many questioning the series’ tone, writing, and humor. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Velma currently has a 55 percent Tomatometer score, which is based on critical reviews, drawn from a total of 20 ratings. The series’ audience rating is currently 7 percent based on 3,297 viewer ratings, with many noting the vastly different archetypes the core cast embodies compared to the characters’ established personalities from across the franchise’s 54-year history. Still, the show opened with strong numbers, with a second season reportedly in the works.
The first two episodes of Velma is available to stream now on HBO Max, with two new episodes releasing every Thursday through February 9.