Thursday, 22 March 2012

Review of SUPER DINOSAUR, VOLUME 1 by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard (Image Comics, 2011)

Super Dinosaur, Volume 1

Bought as a Christmas present for my son, I couldn’t resist reading this myself. Tapping into many boys’ love for big reptiles and even bigger battles, Super Dinosaur relates the adventures of juvenile genius Derek Dynamo, son of Doctor Dexter Dynamo, and his best friend, the anthropomorphized, weaponized Super Dinosaur (SD for short!), a relatively small, genetically engineered T-Rex who fires missiles frequently, wears gym shorts occasionally and bathes when necessary; but who, despite his bravado, is a sensitive, sometimes lonely soul. Conspiring against this team are black-bearded villain Max Maximus and his band of playfully named dino-men: Tricerachops, Breakeosaurus, Dreadasaurus and others. Conspiring against everyone is The Exile, a sinister figure with a grudge against humanity. As anticipated, the action is almost constant; onomatopoeic explosions crater the pages. The artwork is crisp, the colors bright, the detailed illustrations of SD’s robotic suits and gizmos particularly appealing, and the story touches on some pertinent political and personal concerns—ageing, dementia, bereavement, environmental damage, nuclear war—in a way younger readers will identify with. And it ends with an unexpected twist which will leave them eager for volume two…

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