Hard to believe that “Super Dinosaur” is only three issues old. Granted, those three issues have been really strong and released in short order one to the next. That is certain to help with story retention and makes it a great deal easier to jump back into the world of the characters you’re reading about once that front cover is flipped open. Robert Kirkman’s characters – and Super Dinosaur’s universe – feel well established and comfortable in this second issue. Sure, Kirkman is still introducing characters and concepts and providing voices and backgrounds for these characters we’re meeting, but it all feels secure and strong.
Jason Howard’s art continues to be clean and crisp, carrying a very stylized, almost animated appearance. It’s not hard to imagine the characters gliding on unseen panels between the ones we do see, as though these panels were selected from a stack of film frames (sorry youngins, I’m talking old school) and set one next to the other as an abbreviated storyboard for a film or cartoon.
The issue opens with Super Dinosaur and his buddy, Derek Domino, celebrating the new armor SD (that’s Derek’s nickname for Super Dinosaur, and it’s amazingly quicker to type!) is modeling. “Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!” Derek’s joy at his friend’s new armor is infectious and helps set the tone for this issue. Sure, Super Dinosaur and Derek have some problems to face, and, naturally, like any good combination of Ben-10 and Jonny Quest (with a Tyrannosaur pal) they rush right in to face those problems, offering lessons in strength, determination, and careful planning along the way. That said, Kirkman writes this book as an approachable, fun-filled comic. It’s not preachy, heavy-handed, nor phony.
This issue introduces the Exile (cue dramatic “Bum! Bum! Buuuuuuuuuum!”) and answers the question, “Who IS Tricerachops really working for?” all in one fell swoop. The fallout from the revelation is what makes this issue go, and go it does. That revelation also plants some seeds of doubt and wonder that Kirkman will, undoubtedly, take good care of and harvest at exactly the right time.
With Bruce and Sarah Kingston – government-sanctioned mechanical engineer-types - on hand to modify Super Dinosaur’s harness (not to mention create new variations on the harness) it seems like just a matter of time before the brand expands to toys and other merchandise and media. That’s right, not only is this a great all ages read, it’s also a toyetic property waiting to wring your wallet dry. We’re three issues in, but those issues shouldn’t be too hard to find if you know where to look. Of course another option would be to just jump in with this issue right here.