by Robert Kirkman (writer), Jason Howard (artist & colorist), and Rus Wooton (letterer)
The Story: The Kingstons fit out SD with some new Arctic gear as he and Derek go up North to battle Tricerachops and a new enemy…the Exile.
The Review: I’ll admit that I’ve often not been kind to Robert Kirkman when chatting about comics. It’s long been my opinion that everything the man has done outside of the Walking Dead and Invincible have, well, not been very good.
So, honestly, I’m shocked at just how much I’ve been enjoying Super Dinosaur. It’s something very different from Kirkman, and it succeeds utterly. It reminds me strongly, both in look and storytelling, to the cartoons I watched as a kid, and I think that any guy in their twenties who got up at 8 on Saturdays will get a real good nostalgia trip from this comic.
Story-wise, in being an all-ages comic, Kirkman seems intent on moving at a breakneck speed so as to capture the attention of even the most hyper-active kid. A lot happens and there are tons of action scenes mixed in with the character moments. As far as pacing goes, this one keeps you reading, to be sure.
I love the addition of a new villain, and better than that, I love the fact that this villain is at odds with main bad guy Max Maximus. I’ve always loved when cartoons do that: introduce a new villain whose nastier and more powerful than the perennial big bad. It opens a whole new realm of threats while offering the potential for new motivations, and possible allegiances, with the former villain, in this case Maximus. It’s a tried and true technique that I’ve always loved. Hell, it’s one of the reasons I’m such a Dr. Doom fan, for instance.
While the action is an absolute blast, Kirkman does strong work with the small character moments as well. Erin and Erica remain compelling characters, with Erica’s opening up a bit about her unhappiness giving a sympathetic human face toe character. Kirkman also has SD express his loneliness at not having any dino-friends. Much like the introduction of a new villain, this is an avenue with huge potential, showing some sure to be rocky roads ahead in Derek and SD’s friendship. It’s a familiar tale, sure, but the sheer energy of Kirkman’s world and the nostalgia it conjures are enough to make it a good one.
Jason Howard’s art is still as much fun as ever and, frankly, Howard makes this comic what it is. It’s solely due to his efforts that this comes off as the super cartoon that it is. I loved SD’s Arctic suit and all the goofy technology in general looked great. Frankly, I have nothing bad at all to say about Howard’s input this month. I suspect I’ll be saying that a lot over the course of this series, as he’s a perfect fit for a book like this.
Conclusion: Kirkman and Howard have a really good comic on their hands here. If you spent the mornings of your childhood watching cartoons and your afternoons playing with the action figures from those cartoons, you need to read this.