Feb 4, 2011

DC Super-Pets to the rescue!

I'm a big proponent of getting kids to read comics but their choices are slim when compared to what adults are offered in the medium. So when I heard Capstone Publishers was teaming with DC to put out DC Super-Pets I was ecstatic! Then I got to read them and was filled with joy usually reserved for 8-year-olds. Here's why...

The first six books in the series were released last month and are all drawn by Eisner Award-winning artist Art Baltazar. You're probably already familiar with his work on Tiny Titans. The guy is just plain awesome and he doesn't disappoint here. In fact, he ups the cuteness quotient by a lot. There's a whole menagerie of animals for Baltazar to choose from and one is cuter than the next.

I'll start off with the obvious book for me, Super Hero Splash Down starring B'dg the Green Lantern and Dex-Starr the angry Red Lantern. Written by Jane Mason, this was the first one I read because Dex is my favorite. The story follows the antics of the two at a water park, which is surprising considering cats don't like water. Well, of course that comes into play. There's a lot of horsing around but eventually a superhero team-up is called for when some Sinestro Dog Corps invade the park.

You'd think The Fastest Pet on Earth would star The Flash's companion but no, actually this book is all about Wonder Woman's trusty Kanga named Jumpa. Written by J.E. Bright, the story revolves around Jumpa having to protect a special Golden tortoise from Chauncey, Cheetah's cheetah on Paradise Island. Jumpa has just as much bravery and fight in her as Wonder Woman and uses not only her power but her wits to outsmart the villain.

Midway Monkey Madness is filled with familiar DC characters. Written by Sarah Hines Stephens, it stars Beppo the super-monkey, the Wonder Twins Jayna and Zan, Gleek and Gorilla Grodd. Grodd decides to cause some havoc at a local carnival and Beppo makes sure everyone gets to safety while he and the rest of the heroes figure out how to stop him.

Writer Bright also took on Aquaman's giant seahorse storm in Heroes of the High Seas. He stars along with Topo the octopus, Ark the sealion plus Black Manta and his pets Misty and Sneazers. I couldn't figure out what Misty and Sneezers were at first but turns out they're manta rays! This was one of my favorites out of the bunch because a lot of players got together and each had a very specific job to overcome their problem.

Pooches of Power features the two most famous super pets, Ace the Bat-Hound and Krypto the Super-Dog. Hines Stephens also writes this tale in which the dogs go up against the Penguins animal companions, the Bad News Birds. Ace and Krypto must put a stop to thievery taking place at the local sardine factory before the Penguin can escape his own justice. And Bruce Wayne/Batman makes a guest appearance to congratulate his pooch.

And last but not least, because it's actually my favorite, Royal Rodent Rescue by John Sazaklis stars not one but TWO felines. Streaky the super-cat and Rozz, the evil Siamese of Catwoman. This story almost puts the villain in the starring role as Rozz decides to head off to Metropolis on her own in search of thievery while Catwoman is stealing in Gotham. Streaky must intervene with the slinky cat kidnaps and royal hamster. Yup, you heard me, a royal hamster. And the fight is not an easy one as Rozz got her paws on some Kryptonite!

Each book (all around 50 pages long) includes a rundown of the characters appearing in the book, a stats page of the star, knock-knock jokes and a page with definitions of some of the tougher or more unfamiliar words that appear. The front and rear of each book also holds a mural of all the super pets we'll see in the series. And let me tell you, we've only hit the tip of the iceberg. I can't wait to see some of these other pets in action. Although the book is called DC Super-Pets, it's important to note that most, if not all of the "pets" view themselves as friends or companions of the heroes. It's a nice touch that puts them on equal footing with the usual stars. All-in-all a great addition to DC's kids line or your kids comics shelf.

For whom it may apply, Capstone is also currently holding a My Pet Is Super Contest for kids in grades 1-3. It runs through February 28 and is a great way to get kids writing and spread the word to their school about comics. You can enter online and read all the rules here.

3 comments:

Parallax207 said...

That's definitely cute... but won't people just end up comparing it to what Marvel did with Pet Avengers?

MOCK! said...

WANT WANT WANT!! How did I miss these?!?!?

All the Tiny Titans stuff is FAR superior to any ALL AGES stuff Marvel attempts to put out.

Put that's just my opinion, I could be wrong...

jebright said...

Glad you liked the books!