Archive for Super Dinosaur

In the Name of Godzilla

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #4

We get introduced to a new spotlight character this issue — Steven Woods, depressed Gulf War vet. He’s down about how shallow society has gotten — and then the rise of the monsters starts to upset almost everything. In France, we see Battra laying waste to the countryside, at the behest of two creepy twins with psychic powers, who soon crown themselves the new Queens of France. Meanwhile, Godzilla and Anguirus are heading for a showdown in Los Angeles.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Part of what has been most interesting about this series has been writer Eric Powell’s extremely cynical outlook on modern society and pop culture. He’s not a fan of Lady Gaga, Jersey Shore, news anchors, or materialism — is this series his attempt to take what he sees as a corrupted, decaying society and wipe it out with giant monsters? Or is all of this just funny background for the story?

Rocketeer Adventures #2

We get some fun stories from Mark Waid and Chris Weston, about the Rocketeer saving an actor posing as a superhero and inadvertently making him even more successful; Darwyn Cooke in a story appropriately titled “Betty Saves the Day!”; and Lowell Francis and Gene Ha, about Cliff Secord taking on a far-stronger and better equipped opponent in a desperate aerial battle.

Verdict: Thumbs up. But far and away the most awesome thing in this issue is the Darwyn Cooke story, which is every bit as awesome and fun as everything else he’s ever done.

Super Dinosaur #3

Super Dinosaur and Derek Dynamo have the Exile on the ropes, but he manages to make an escape, submerging his entire base under the Arctic ice. While the heroes return home, we get introduced to one of the Exile’s allies, a great-looking character called Squidious — and Terrordactyl really dislikes being cooped up underwater, so he eventually busts out so he can get some air-time. And once he leaves the base, the Dynamos can track him, so Derek and Super Dinosaur pursue him in a fancy jet-rig. But can a couple of newcomers to the world of flight hold out against a dinosaur who’s used to the air?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Actually, this issue is much improved over previous issues, mainly because Derek quits pronouncing everything as “AWESOME!” That really got extremely tiring, and removing it makes the comic much more fun to read.

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Rage and Fire

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #6

This has been an extremely fun comic from the beginning, but I hate to tell ya, it falls all to pieces in this last issue.

When we last left our heroes, they were stuck in the Mojoverse, time-diamonds stuck all over them to allow them to fight the Czar and Big Murder, when Wolverine gets possessed by the Phoenix Force. And this issue starts out with… Spidey, Wolvie, and Spidey’s new girlfriend living quietly in the Old West. Oh, and we eventually find out that Spidey defeated WolverPhoenix by… talking him down. Then mysterious portals steal the bad guys away, and after a while of, again, living quietly in the Old West, the time portals come back and we learn they’re run by the Time Cops, and they steal the heroes away, stuff ’em back in the present day, make Spidey’s girlfriend forget him, and everything ends on a deeply depressing note, where everyone’s efforts were completely useless and the heroes are left alone and lonely.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Seriously, it’s amazing how a series that was so very awesome for the first five issues just turned into a bucket of missed opportunites, illogical wrapups, and pointless nihilism in the final ish. At least the art was gorgeous.

How to improve this series: Well, the series is over now, but I definitely would’ve started out with Spidey stopping WolverPhoenix in some way other than just talking his ear off. I also would’ve loved to see an ending that didn’t rely on deus ex machina like the Time Cops and maybe didn’t try to be so relentlessly downbeat.

Super Dinosaur #2

Derek Dynamo and Super Dinosaur head out after the evil Max Maximus, unaware that he’s tricked them into pursuing Tricerachops and her master, a masked maniac called the Exile. And because the battle is going to take place in the Arctic, SD has to wear his special cold-weather armor. There’s a great deal of fighting and punching and missile-launching and suchlike.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I hate to say it, but it bored me. I know, what the heck is wrong with me when a comic book about a talking, armored T-rex won’t entertain me?!

How to improve this series: Well, for starters, I’m already feeling weighted down by a bunch of new characters who I’m not real familiar with yet. This series started out with a pretty large supporting cast, for an all-ages comic, and they’re already adding more villains. Jeez, guys, I can’t keep track of the people who are already there!

Green Lantern #66

Hal Jordan is wearing a yellow power ring, and Guy Gardner is wearing a red one, because the rest of the Green Lantern Corps has been taken over by Krona and mind-controlled into a bunch of lunatics. And a bunch of the Guardians have become hosts for the emotional entities. Sinestro is trying to escape from the Book of the Black, but Hal and Guy have been captured already, and Krona plans to turn them into Guardians, too.

Verdict: I must not be in the mood to like anything today, because this was a big thumbs down. I’m just completely tired of Geoff Johns’ endless, senseless, long-running mega-series. Plus, I was absolutely bored the entire time I was reading it. Oh, and I found out they actually blew up Mogo, the awesome sapient planet that’s a member of the Green Lantern Corps, in one of the other Green Lantern series, so I’m not real happy about that either.

How to improve this series: Stop letting Geoff Johns write it. Get away from the unending focus on boring cosmic stuff. Don’t blow up Mogo. I doubt any of that stuff is going to happen, so I may be giving this series up.

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Awesomesaurus Rex

Super Dinosaur #1

Here’s a new all-ages title from Robert Kirkman, the guy who created “The Walking Dead” and “Invincible.” Our stars include Derek Dynamo, his scientist father Doctor Dynamo, his pet robot Wheels, and of course the title character, Super Dinosaur, a nine-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex wearing a high-tech battlesuit. They charge into action fighting a bunch of dinosaur supervillains, like Terrordactyl, Breakeosaurus, Dreadasaurus, and Tricerachops, most of them working for the evil but self-doubting supervillain Max Maximus. But Dr. Dynamo has a problem — his genius is slipping, and the government is sending an assistant. Derek needs to keep the new assistants from exposing his father and shutting his funding down — and he and Super Dinosaur have to stop the latest dinosaur rampage.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I believe we’re all quite aware of how awesome dinosaurs are, right? Well, this is a pretty fun comic. The design for Super Dinosaur is great, the dinosaur names are wonderfully punny, and the action is really great. If I’ve got any complaint, I’d like Derek to stop using the word “awesome” quite so much — I love the word a lot, but man, that kid needs a broader vocabulary…

Dark Horse Presents #1

Dark Horse Comics’ great anthology series makes its return to print with a full 80 pages of comics. We get a Concrete story by Paul Chadwick, a very short sneak peak of “Xerxes,” Frank Miller’s prequel to “300,” a short all-text story by Harlan Ellison, a “Star Wars” comic, and stories by Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Carla Speed McNeil, Richard Corben, and David Chelsea.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Favorite stories were the Concrete story (I haven’t read nearly enough Concrete, but good grief, every story I read is just a bucket of glory), the Harlan Ellison story (with two different endings for you to choose from), and David Chelsea’s “Snow Angel” story. I got absolutely no joy out of the “Xerxes” stuff — honestly, Frank Miller has declined a lot more than he should’ve. So some good stuff and some not-so-good stuff. Worst thing about it? The eight-dollar price tag. That’s steeper than DC’s 80 Page Giants. Granted, the quality of the stories here is a heck of a lot better than in DC’s stuff, but that’s still a mighty chunk of change. If they’re going to try to make this a monthly comic, that’s gonna be way too much money. If it’s going to be quarterly, it’s going to be a lot more doable…

Supergirl #63

Robin, Blue Beetle, and Miss Martian have all been captured by the evil Alex, a superpowered technophile who hates young superheroes. Supergirl, meanwhile, is trapped inside an energy bubble over the Harvard campus. And Lois Lane is meeting with a woman who had a hand in creating Alex. And Kara learns Alex’s true identity, too.

Verdict: Ehh, it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t much to write home about either. Hopefully, the next issue will turn out better.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • I mentioned the trailer for this a few weeks back, but here’s the epic celebrity-drenched time-traveling three-part video for the Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right Revisited.”
  • There’s a heck of a big gender gap at both Marvel and DC.
  • A comic book about how to use a college library? Meh. A comic book about how to use a college library… during a zombie apocalypse? That’s more like it!
  • Hee Haw comics? (fearful shudder)
  • Steve Jackson Games is running a Munchkin contest for webcomic cartoonists…

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