Monday, April 25, 2011

Super Dinosaur - Robert Kirkman

The last couple of weeks have been pretty dead as far as my blogging goes.  I've been reading a ton of stuff, but most of it has been an attempting to catch up to current releases on the various comic series I follow.  I've also been reading an awesome novel that I should be finishing and posting about in a few days.  In the midst of all this reading, I had the opportunity to pick up a really great first issue of "Super Dinosaur," which just released this month.  I am a sucker for friend's recommendations, so when my friend Sunda recommended it, I knew it was bound for blog fame.  First of all, Sunda has purple hair, so really, how can you not value her opinion?  And second, this is a comic about dinosaurs.  Not just dinosaurs, but dinosaurs that wear robotic armor and fight each other.  If that doesn't do anything for you then you are probably this guy.  Keeping both of those facts in mind, I spent my four dollars, and headed home to dive into the adventure.

The story of "Super Dinosaur" revolves around a teenage boy named Derek Dynamo.  He is the son of Doctor Dynamo, a brilliant scientist.  Doctor Dynamo and his former partner Max Maximus co-discovered that under the Earth's surface is a place called "Inner Earth," which is the home to the dinosaurs!  Inner Earth also contains a rare material called "DynOre," which is basically solar power contained in rock form.  Soon after their discovery, the two scientists become enemies, with Maximus trying to take over the world, and Dynamo trying to protect it.  Doctor Dynamo recruits his son, his created robot "Wheels," and a giant T-Rex named Super Dinosaur, or "SD" for short.  Together, the four of them battle the forces of Max Maximus and protect Inner Earth from his evil plans of world domination.

If you are over the age of 12, then there might have been a few times in that last paragraph that you rolled your eyes.  When I first started reading this comic, I have to admit, I was a little turned off by some of the lackluster choices.  "Max Maximus?"  "Derek Dynamo"?  "DynOre?"  I mean, even the comic's title is a little..well, unoriginal.  This isn't exactly the complex Kirkman I've grown to love.  Where are the dark, gritty, emotionally taxing story lines?  The exploding zombies?  Where are all the things that made Kirkman a comic legend?  Then it hit me, Spielberg did "Saving Private Ryan," but he also did "E.T."  Maybe this new Kirkman is different, but that doesn't mean it's not worthy of praise. 

After reading "Super Dinosaur," it was pretty obvious that Kirkman was writing this book for younger audiences.  When asked about the series, Kirkman said, "I want it to be a true all-ages book in that it's appropriate for kids young enough but still able to read, and it's still something that my fan base will probably enjoy."

Honestly, when he puts it that way, he nailed it!  This is the perfect comic series for young readers.  It's got everything that kids love, action, adventure, fun artwork, it's simple to read, and...oh yeah, DINOSAURS!  It's a home run.  Not only would any kid gladly read this story, but Kirkman also did something that is truly rare in youth fiction – he made it appeal to older readers as well.  While I wasn't as captivated as I have been with some of his "Walking Dead" storylines, I have to admit, I had a lot of fun with "Super Dinosaur."  It was an enjoyable read, simple, fun, and entertaining.  When a book has all those characteristics, it doesn't matter if you are 12 or 29, it makes it worth the read.


  1. Sunda and I were talking about this series last week. I remember thinking it sounded cheesy but fun. I do have to take issue with your comment about titles for young readers appealing to an older audience being rare, however. True, there are a lot of books that are strictly for the younger set, but as countless bookshelves (and some Hollywood franchises) can attest, there are some amazing series out there that strike a chord with both the young and the ever-young at heart. Great review, otherwise! Keep up the great work.

  2. Haha...yeah, you may be right. But then again, for every Harry Potter there are probably 200 crappy youth books out there that no adult would be caught dead reading.