Scooby-Doo's Velma Gets the Starring Role and an Origin Story in a New Cartoon

Velma, in a rare moment of not pulling a rubber mask off someone’s head.
Velma, in a rare moment of not pulling a rubber mask off someone’s head.
Image: WB Animation

Velma, the smartest member of the Scooby gang—maybe the only smart member, frankly—is finally getting her due. HBO Max has ordered an adult animated series about everyone’s favorite nearsighted sleuth, along with a new sci-fi series titled Fired on Mars and the Phil Lord and Chris Miller-produced reboot of Clone High.

Incontrovertible proof the show will be titled Velma.
Incontrovertible proof the show will be titled Velma.
Image: HBO Max

An Adult Swim-esque solo series starring Velma Dinkley sounds very good, especially if it cuts out the dead weight that makes up the rest of Mystery Inc. There’s very little detail and only the title card (above) at this early stage, naturally, but here’s the official description:

VELMA is an adult animated comedy series telling the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang. An original and humorous spin that unmasks the complex and colorful past of one of America’s most beloved mystery solvers, executive producer Mindy Kaling will voice the titular character.

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Fired on Mars is actually a series based on this cartoon short made in 2016. The show sounds exactly what it says on the tin:

From creators Nate Sherman and Nick Vokey, FIRED ON MARS is an existential workplace comedy set on the Martian campus of a modern tech company. Pete Davidson voices a character and executive produces with Carson Mell (“Silicon Valley”) and Dave Sirus.

If you don’t know Clone High, that’s pretty understandable as it ran on MTV way back in the early ‘00s, but it’s notable for being an early work by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, of course best known as the Academy Award-winning producers and writers of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, along with Bill Lawrence, who created Scrubs. (That’s the original show’s intro above.) The show is about a weird military experiment take puts teenaged clones of various historical figures in a high school; Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, and Gandhi were the original protagonists, although who knows if that will remain the same. Erica Rivinoja, a writer for the original cartoon, will be the new showrunner, and even though only 13 episodes of the first incarnation were made, HBO is excited enough about the reboot that it’s already ordered two seasons of the series.

Finally, J.G. Quintel’s surreal domestic comedy Close Enough has been renewed for two more seasons, which is cool, and HBO also announced several in-development shows, including an adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack’s Eisner-nominated  DC comic book series Cover. There’s no other information about when any of these shows are coming, but we’ll absolutely keep you apprised of any and all jinkies-related news as it breaks.

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Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.

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Mindy Kaling will voice the titular character

Ugh.