Robert Kirkman reaches back to 1980s kiddie cartoon formula in his latest comic book series Super Dinosaur. It's a high concept premise calculated to sell toys. Dinosaurs are cool. Futuristic weaponry is cool. Fighting dinosaurs using futuristic weaponry is extra cool. Imagine the action figures, lunch boxes, t-shirts, and video games generated from the intellectual property. If this sounds cynical, well yes it is. But as someone who grew up watching those cartoons, I won't deny the inherent appeal of a talking tyrannosaur being a lonely boy's best buddy - Super Dinosaur is a genetic experiment who turns against his evil master Max Maximus to side with his good-guy counterpart Doctor Dexter Dynamo and his son Derek Dynamo.
|Dinosaurs firing missiles! How cool is that?|
Next to the art, the characterizations are relatively weak. As the POV character, Derek suffers too much from the Wesley syndrome. It doesn't help that he keeps proclaiming that he's awesome at everything. Super Dinosaur doesn't say much, lacking any kind of personality other than a willingness to jump into action at every opportunity. Supporting characters in the form of a married couple of mechanical geniuses named the Kingstons and their two teenage daughters are barely fleshed-out at this point. As for the antagonist Maximus, he's the standard world-conquering villain, which is fine when considering the intended audience. So far, the only interesting character is the anti-hero Tricerachops, who works for a third party neither aligned to Dynamo or Maximus.
|Shut up Derek.|