Comic Book Review: Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1
Whenever DC does specials like these DC/Hanna-Barbera crossovers, I would say it is a crime not to check out a few of them. You will always find at least one that is worthwhile. For me this time around, it was the Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1. When the fun and action never lets up for the Super Sons, who wouldn’t want to see what kind of trouble they get themselves into when running into the likes of Dynomutt and Blue Falcon?
Before they got into the thick of this issue, I very much appreciated the time given to reintroducing us to Dynomutt and Blue Falcon. It goes without saying that these characters are fairly old. We might remember who they are by appearance, but that never assumes that we could remember their stories. For any of these Hanna-Barbera crossovers it is the wise move to treat everyone as if they are new to those characters. There’s no depth to take from these stories without understanding. With that said, the origin of Dynomutt was not one you could have braced for emotionally. Touching is the word I would use to describe how an ordinary relationship between a boy and his dog evolved into what it is now.
What killed me here was that I half expected a light story from the Super Sons. Not that light is what you would call most adventures with the Super Sons, but crossing over with Hanna-Barbera you may have thought for a change in pace. That was not the case this time around, and of course not a bad thing either. It was interesting how for this crossover, the Hanna-Barbera characters technically already existed in the DC Universe, so it was a matter of how they explained the encounter being possible which mattered most. That was best left at a friend of Damian since you don’t want readers thinking more than they have to, because you know they will actively look for holes in these kind of stories. That aside, this got very brutal and very fast once the plot got going and we were faced with a gravely injured Dynomutt and Blue Falcon who has lost control of himself.
The further explanation of the rivalry between Dynomutt/Blue Falcon and Red Vulture was just as crushing when even that wasn’t something to prepare for. Of course older fans might not be too surprised by Red Vulture’s story, but again for others such as myself, these aren’t the stories where you were old enough to remember every detail of their character history. Just knowing why this rivalry was so personal for Red Vulture made the final act of this special so intense. Nothing really grabs you more than the line between success and failure being so faint. Eventhough you knew how this would end for the Super Sons and Dynomutt (for the most part), that didn’t mean there wasn’t a reason to find yourself at the edge of your seat considering the stakes involved on both sides were pretty high. Especially with this being kill or be killed.
When it comes to crossovers like this, my only worry ever is how the interior artwork will turn out. You never know whether it will have a standout story and just “okay” art to follow. A troublesome habit for some publishers, but I do think after reading this crossover special that DC takes these very seriously. As they should of course since these are once in a lifetime chances to see some of these characters clash. Now getting to the artwork itself, I loved that they went with Fernando Pasarin and Oclair Albert. From the flip of the first page I felt captivated by the detail and work they put into the characters, settings, and much more. Pasarin is not the kind of guy who does simple, and that is something to appreciate in an artist these days. Then Oclair’s inks were welcomed when they added to the darker tones of this story as well. Never overlook the importance of a good inker when the events of an issue are set mostly at night. I was most impressed when it came to the way they captured the intricacy of the technology that Blue Falcon worked with, and what was inside of Dynomutt. That takes some patience to pull off so effortlessly and do in every scene since Dynomutt was never fully restores after being found. The color work was also standout for the consistency in atmosphere set throughout the issue. There was so much depth put into textures, lights, darks, and the way all these different tones and variations meshed. For as detailed as the pencils were, it takes just as good of a color artist to be able to handle coloring all of these things in without cutting corners to fill space.
They took a big risk with this dark encounter for Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1, but I think this creative team nailed it. Everything to love about Dynomutt and Blue Falcon they put into this story and focus on what makes them such an iconic duo. I don’t think I have ever felt more touched by a superhero team that is a man and his best friend. There was no regret at all picking up this crossover as one that was the full package. Heart, action, and the pain/understanding of loss.