If you’re looking for a book to read on this fifth week of the month from the sparse set of titles on the new comics rack, you aren’t going to find a more comic book comic than “Super Dinosaur.” Sure, parts of it are hokey, but there’s no denying the fact that this comic is good clean fun.
The clean part is in reference to the art, the writing, and the complete lack of trappings from any form of a shared universe. Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard have crafted a series devoted to their respective children, but they didn’t simply leave this as a kids’ book. Sure, there’s plenty of “cool factor” stuff for the younger readers, like having the evil Squidious’ base on the back of a gigantic mosasaur, or just the very presence of Squidious -- a monster of a man who is more squid than human. The best part of all of this is that those pieces that are crafted with a younger reader in mind are every bit as cool for us older (I prefer the term “veteran”) readers.
This series follows the adventures of a ten-year-old boy, Derek Dynamo, and his dinosaur, Super Dinosaur, who happens to be a nine-foot-tall, intelligent Tyrannosaurus Rex. The two go on adventures against vile foes like Squidious and Max Maximus, the former assistant of Derek’s dad.
There are lessons here in friendship and relationship building, as Super Dinosaur has to work through feelings of solitude in the wake of his pal, Derek, finding more and more reasons to spend time with Erin Kingston. It’s not a very deep lesson, but it does give the readers a familiar story that we’ve all lived through in some way, shape, or form. For Kirkman to be able to encourage empathy from his readers towards a dinosaur speaks volumes of the heart that this series brings.
Howard’s art is as stylistically perfect for a title dubbed “Super Dinosaur” as you could expect. It’s detailed and cartoony at the same time, which helps to enhance the wonder and excitement this title thrives on.
This is as close to a “perfect” all ages book as I’ve been able to find. There are levels to be absorbed here, as my kids haven’t dialed in as closely to the perils facing Derek’s mother. They’re marveling at the wide array of suits Super Dinosaur has. Regardless of what the kids or I are dialing into, there’s no denying that this comic doesn’t take itself too seriously. It exists to entertain and has fun doing it. Now’s a good time for you to give this a go. There’s even a low-priced trade paperback that recently came out to help bring you up to speed. Do you really need more reasons to check out “Super Dinosaur”?