The GeeksverseSuper Dinosaur Advanced Review

Super Dinosaur Advanced Review
Published on Monday, April 18, 2011 by

Anticipation arises about the upcoming release of the Kirkman all-ages project with dinosaurs and missiles.

I was initially confused to see this pop up on the schedule of new books for 4-20-11. I don’t know if it was reading the early press releases or just relying on Astounding Wolfman precedent, I expected Super Dinosaur to be released first for free as part of Free Comic Book Day and then for sale a short time later to kick off the series. That seems like an odd order but Astounding Wolfman sold surprisingly well for a book that people already had the opportunity to pick up for free. One reason that Astounding Wolfman #1 did well for sale was the extra bonus material packed into it. Kirkmania knows how to fill in the artist sketches and script pieces to entice the buyers back. They must not throw anything away during the process.

Nevertheless, despite my initial confusion, Super Dinosaur is roaring onto shelves this week.

The book is an all ages book which is supposed to draw in all age readers. Kirkman has been promising something for everyone in this book. This is supposed to be a book that kids can read but parents will want to read. That is a tricky task in this market place. Darkwing Duck and the all ages projects from Boom! have been pulling this off for a while now, but they don’t have splatterific artist Jason Howard drawing for goretastic writer Robert Kirkman. Creating an engaging all-ages story may be especially hard for this duo. They have become accustomed to not holding anything back in Astounding Wolfman, Invincible, and Walking dead respectively. Jason Howard had a nice cartoon style on Astounding Wolfman that almost looks kid friendly until the entrails start falling and blood starts spurting.

The creative team of Howard and Kirkman reportedly want a comic that their kids can read. In the letters column to Astounding Wolfman, after it was revealed that the comic would be stopping, Kirkman assured readers that the creative team had something special up their sleeves. After a short tease Super Dinosaur is the all ages book that replaces Astounding Wolfman’s horror superhero.

Reading #1 the entire back story seems revealed. The sci-fi explanation of why the dinosaur exists and can operate the missile laden harness is interesting. Inner-lab politics and differences of visions provide heroes and villains galore in this first issue. The bad scientist losing his hand to a dino bite pushes the envelope without showing any blood or gore. An astute reader, child or otherwise, will realize that the scream of pain and later addition of a cyborg hand means dinochomp but younger readers will probably miss it.

This series is peopled with youngsters on adventures which seems to be a staple of youth programming and comics. Besides the young scientific genius the series also introduces a pair of twins with differing personalities forced to live in the secret lab. That should provide nice high school drama in the remote location for the duration of the series.

This is a fun issue. It is worth picking up from the comic shop shelves this week or at Free Comic Book Day. Check out the FCBD for the preview. This is a fun issue to share with your comic reading kids as well.

I am curious how Kirkman and Howard will develop the characters and the series. Introducing new characters and balancing their appeal to a wide range of readers is daunting. Kirkman has proven to be a great writer on his previous projects but this is something completely different. I will be curious if this comic can be sustained, but only time will tell. As with Brit, Capes, Tech Jacket, and the other short lived Kirkmania projects we might as well enjoy the ride–however long it may be.

As always, check out the forum for discussion.

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