by Louise Simonson and Derek Charm
IDW Publishing is bringing characters from Cartoon Network’s 1990’s and early 2000’s original series all in one book. Super Secret Crisis War is a fun first chapter to an all ages comic cartoon crossover that will please animation and Cartoon Network fans.
The villains of the Cartoon Networks “Cartoon Cartoons” line-up are thrust together in a plot to rule the universe. For what maybe the first time, Samurai Jack, the Powerpuff Girls, Dexter, Ben 10 and Ed, Edd n’ Eddy are all captured by the likes of Aku, Mojo Jojo, Mandark and Vilgax. This league of bad guys have a plan that involves using the Cartoon Network stars as pawns in their evil schemes to overthrow the Cartoon Network multi-verse.
The story is simple yet fun. There is only a short narrative device in the beginning that sums up the premise of the series. The book is broken down into small chapters highlighting each of the book’s heroes. Simonson’s plot also allows each of the characters some action panels which are also reminiscent of the action in each of their respective shows. Mannerisms and battle styles change when the focus changes from character to character. Louise Simonson captures the personality of each of the cartoon stars. Simonson includes all the inflections and styles of each character. Readers who have watched the cartoons can almost hear the character’s voices in their head as they read the dialogue of Aku, Bubbles, Dexter and Mandark. Simonson has taken care to script authentic dialogue for different characters.
The Cartoon Network all stars are rendered in the style of their respective shows by Derek Charm. Charm matches Simonson in visually capturing the likeness and styles of the characters. The oval shapes of the Powerpuff Girls and the square-sharp lines of Samurai Jack are captured nicely. Ed, Edd n’ Eddy are drawn with their signature squiggle style. Backgrounds are given equal care, the city of Townsville is as colorful and fun as it is on the show. Dexter’s Laboratory has the blue computer gridlines with electricity and science filling the backdrop. Charm seamlessly switches styles in between chapter breaks. Even at the end of the issue, Charm retains each character’s art style as the heroes when they are all gathered together.
Fans of the early original programming of Cartoon Network will be pleased by the care taken to capture the various styles of each show. The plot is clever and light, making this a quick and fun summer read. Readers not familiar with the titles characters may not get as much out of the series as fans of the characters. Fans of animation and younger readers will still get a kick out of the book. Super Secret Crisis War is a delightful summer crossover is sure to please comic book readers of all ages.