Every so often, Free Comic Book Day offers up a gem that isn't a reprint, an excerpt, or a fact book. On occasion, Free Comic Book Day gives us something wonderful and unlike anything else the shops are giving away that day. This year that exceptional title is "Super Dinosaur."
"Super Dinosaur" debuted a few weeks back, but Image Comics gives us the origin issue here, with all the goods for folks looking for a little more dinosaur in their comics. The first issue of the series jumped right in and provided some details as things went along, but this issue provides all the details: the origins of Super Dinosaur and his friendship with Derek Dynamo, how Maximus lost his arm, and just what was found in Inner-Earth. This all comes out through a conversation between Derek and the Kingston sisters, daughters of Bruce Kingston. Bruce is assigned to help Derek's father, Dexter Dynamo. Bruce brought his family, which includes the aforementioned Kingston twins and their mother, Bruce's wife Sarah. It's an interesting dynamic that seems uncommon in today's comics. It provides some fun tension and offers story potential beyond a simple father-son relationship.
Robert Kirkman has made the absolute most of this FCBD offering, giving us fourteen pages of new story and eleven pages of profiles to help any new reader - new to comics or specifically to "Super Dinosaur" - jump right in and run alongside those already hooked. His artist and co-creator, Jason Howard, is right there the entire stretch of the way, dishing out some of the most fun,story-appropriate artwork I've seen this side of David Petersen's "Mouse Guard." Howard's work here isn't cookie cutter, standard issue stuff. It's fun art that is lush with details, filled with personality and deep with energy. In other words, it's exactly the type of art you'd want to see in a book titled "Super Dinosaur." After all, it depicts a young Tyrannosaurus Rex jamming a slam dunk!
A story that's titled - and stars - a "Super Dinosaur" is certain to be a celebration of everything good about comics, right? Yes, indeed it is. Even better, this one is free. And it's aimed at an all ages audience. My kids enjoyed the first issue, but, just between you and me, I'm thankful that my comics shop was generous enough to let us each get our own copy of this one.