Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Super Dinosaur #1
Kirkman & Howard
Kirkman's launch of an all ages book featuring a kid and his intelligent dinosaur soldier hits this week with Kirkman's collaborator on Astonishing Wolfman, Jason Howard in the artist chair. The book is a fast paced book with a lot of action and good amount of science fiction. Kirkman tries to build out the universe while keeping the issue moving along and I think he does it well. The book is a loud and flashy looking book which certainly helps the story along. The pitfall is that the story may not be enough to hook readers in long term. Overall, it's a decent first step and it doesn't hurt that its twenty eight pages of story for $3.
The book focuses on a kid named Derek. Derek is the son of a revolutionary scientist that basically put together the dinosaur soldiers. Derek, and his Tyrannosaurus Rex, named Super Dinosaur, save the world as needed. Derek's dad is the brains behind it all but he isn't as able to keep up as he should be which leaves a gap in the operation.
The rest of the cast makes up of a villain and his evil dinosaurs and the tech guy and his family that come to live with Derek, his dad and Super dinosaur. The book introduces enough characters and sides to the battlefront for the book to explore in time as the series progresses.
The book is a fine set up but leaves much to be desired because of the focus. The issue mostly focuses on Derek as the lead character and not Super Dinosaur. This seems to be a misstep. I understand that the idea is that in order for kids to like the book it is ideal to have the lead character be a kid. However, wouldn't the story be more interesting if the lead were the dinosaur? After all, the book is called Super Dinosaur. Even if the lead needs to be a human, the more interesting of the younger human characters are the tech's daughters and not Derek. It just seems like so many characters over the years have been younger, male heroes from Peter Parker to Luke Skywalker to Spike from Transformers. It seems to be clichéd.
The artwork has a lot of emphasis on the emotions of Derek. He gets excited and becomes wide-eyed, he gets worried and switches to bug-eyed, he gets upset and gets puppy-eyed. This is all drawn well but it feels a bit over the top. Perhaps the book is trying to be more of the show variety instead of the tell variety. The scenes of action are good but could be a lot better. Some of the action sequences are difficult to follow but not because they lack detail but because they seem to leap ahead too fast. The art's got a lot of explosions and fighting which helps make the story more interesting. Overall, the book's art is good but not quite great.
Super Dinosaur aims to be a fun comic book and it is a fun comic book. However, I was hoping for more of a personality from the title characters instead of the kid. Is this a problem? It's way too early to tell. The characters are there, the story is there and this comic introduces them all. It's just a matter of Kirkman getting everything off the ground and moving. This is a good start but the issue just didn't "wow" me all that much.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles