Review by Frank Plowright
Having established the Earthcore cast in the opening volume, writer Robert Kirkman spreads them all over the globe, and in the process there’s very little of Super-Dinosaur himself. He accompanies Derek on an undersea mission to start the book, and Erin’s his companion on a mission near the end, but other than that he’s barely seen.
At various stages enemies Max Maximus, Squidious and Exile are all imprisoned at Earthcore, but none remain there. Maximus taunts Doc Dynamo with memories of a wife he can for some reason no longer recall, Squidious falls out with his crew, and Exile is revealed to have an agenda unrelated to others plaguing Earthcore.
This time there’s a little more evidence of the strong plotting and twists that usually characterise Kirkman’s work. It’s exemplified by a sequence during which Derek must sit a test to prove he’s still learning while not in the school system, but there’s a mission he needs to attend to at the same time. He manages both in ingenious fashion, and the solution Kirkman applies resonates later in the volume.
The Kingston family continue to surprise. The outgoing Erin is far more resourceful than anyone expected and flings herself into her new surroundings and missions, while the initially sulky Erica starts to accept her circumstances. The best of their scenes is Sarah jumping to the rescue using one of Super Dinosaur’s old battlesuits.
Jason Howard’s exuberant contribution keeps the action flowing, and he’s also adept at conveying moments of importance via body language or illustrated glances. At the end of the book there’s a cliffhanger continuing into volume 3.