Welcome back to From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, and this week is brought to you by the letter “S” and the letter “D”! That’s right, we got for you this week the first issue of DuckTales, the latest issue of Super Dinosaur, and a look at the recently unearthed 1998 TV series based on Marvel Comics’ The Silver Surfer! Let’s get down to it!
Quickly becoming the best all-ages comic out on stands, the team of Kirkman and Howard have followed up an amazing first issue of Super Dinosaur with a fantastic second. The new issue, which hit stands this week, is action packed and fun for everyone. When I reviewed the first issue and remarked last time it had the magic of Captain Marvel with the heart of a Pixar film, I wasn’t lying. The duo behind Super Dinosaur have figured out that special mix like creators do from time to time to create something so perfect and full of imagination, heart, and entertaining action. It is easy to do a title with each one of those things individually, but to combine all three of those elements together is not always an easy task, and much credit needs to be given to this title.
Issue #2 picks up with Max Maximus continuing his plot to conquer the planet with Dino-Men, when Tricerachops introduces him to a villain named the Exile, putting him in an uneasy position. In the meantime, Derek and Super Dinosaur go off to investigate a complex that could be connected to the evil-doers, but wait, this is this reviewer’s favorite part: Super Dinosaur in battle-winter-snow-gear! That’s right, he’s a T-rex with tundra-proof robot armor on, and he’s flying fast on these skis as Derek snowboards next to him! Right there, that’s the kind of mix of imagination, heart, and action I am talking about; that moment we see this scene is brilliantly fun. It then leads right into them being attacked, and a great action scene that leaves us with a nice little cliff-hanger.
Pick up issue #2 of Super Dinosaur on stands now (and maybe an extra two copies to give to your friends and make them start reading it as well).
This week Kaboom! continued to rock out its all-ages line up, adding to Disney’s action titles of Darkwing Duck and Rescue Rangers a new DuckTales series. Now, their title Uncle Scrooge has already been rocking out DuckTales stories to much success, so we can expect good things in the mix. That said, and with high hopes given they have already had success in that title, I have to be honest that issue #1 is really just a setup story. Not much excitement happens in these pages, as it just sets up the story for Uncle Scrooge’s latest quest, which is now to return all the treasures he has gathered up over the years to their original owners. The writing by Warren Spector (who wrote the story for Epic Mickey) is very good, and the art holds through, but there wasn’t anything to grab my attention here; no pay off in these pages. Hopefully, the next issue of DuckTales will pick up the pace and give us some adventure, or at least some laughs. Still, I feel it’s worth picking up, because the setup it gives seems promising, and I think future issues, once we get deeper into the story, will pay off for sure. On stands now.
Back in 1998, Marvel Studios/Saban Entertainment produced an animated series based upon their classic comic book character, the Silver Surfer. Although the series would be loved by some and hated by others, in retrospect it has a ton of merit and great moments (which you can now watch for yourself thanks to Netflix, which streams the entire TV series). In 13 episodes we get the origin and many adventures of the Silver Surfer, with frequent appearances by Galactus, Nova, Thanos, the Skrull and Kree empires, and much more (even some Beta Ray Bill action; how can you go wrong with that). Now, there are some complaints, the first due to rights issues, as the Silver Surfer’s origin is edited and doesn’t include the Fantastic Four in this series; a big problem for hardcore fans of Marvel, but rights issues aside, they do their best. Next is the series animation, which is a combination of cell and 3-D. However, they wanted to capture Jack Kirby’s designs and they do a beautiful job of it in some parts, but other parts look way too simple and quickly done, and so when combined with the 3-D they just don’t work. Simply put, the animation is a series of successes and failures which bounce back and forth. Those two things aside, it is a wonderfully entertaining sci-fi romp through the Marvel universe, filled with action, and certainly has the most adult tone out of any Marvel cartoons, until the recent attempt at a made-for-adults Black Panther series. The thing that saves this series is the writing; time and time again on these episodes it’s solid and the strongest feature of the TV show. Also, it was a cool way to introduce the cosmic part of the Marvel universe to a lot of people who didn’t know anything about it. With the exception of brief touches in both the X-Men and Fantastic Four animated series, there was never a series that fully focused on their space stories until Silver Surfer, and it was a great way to introduce a lot of new characters and origins into homes. Sadly, the series only lasted one season and ends on a cliff-hanger with the universe being wiped out by Thanos as the Surfer tries to stop him. It is an interesting note to go out on (apparently the opening of season 2 would have Surfer fix the universe’s end, but sadly that never came to fruition). I really am fond of this TV series, and I am glad we can view it over and over again these days. Take some time and make your something to watch this weekend The Silver Surfer.
That’s it for this week, and remember, Gorgo loves you!