Review by Frank Plowright
There were some critical revelations in the previous book, among them why Doc Dynamo is no longer functioning at peak capacity, but more importantly that his missing wife Julianna, Derek’s mother is still alive. Suffice to say, Doc’s former partner Max Maximus – wouldn’t Mad Maximus be great? – is involved. However, rescuing Julianna and restoring her to full capacity are two different matters.
The big new threat this volume is Tyrannosaurus X, an evolved dinosaur with Maximus’ intellect. He and his cronies are scouring the world for further deposits of Maxinite/Dynore (depending on whose claim to discovery you believe). There are some other developments this time, with the transformer-style technology well worked, but the root of this book is a series of missions to locate a substance that may affect Julianna’s state of stasis.
Robert Kirkman has very much taken his cue from children’s animation, with the lead characters up front, but with the bad guys constantly simmering in the background, and barely a chance for Derek and Super Dinosaur to catch a breath between threats.
Artist Jason Howard is slightly evolving his style as the series progresses. He’s always had an instinctive sense for the dynamic action page, and is obviously enjoying himself with the wackier elements. Super-Dinosaur in a tuxedo for one.
The problem with this series as a whole is that it’s marked for all-ages, but doesn’t really meet the criteria. There’s an obvious appeal to a younger audience, but very little to recommend it to anyone older. The emotional characterisation is in broad strokes, and to up that aspect would be to bore the primary audience. Erin and Erika, important to previous volumes (perhaps not least for providing some identification figures for girls) are pretty well neglected until the slam-bang finale. Any boy under 10 will love Super Dinosaur, though.