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Book Review: Critter #1

Updated on July 24, 2011

A nice little beginning to the story.

I was recently fortunate enough to make contact with Tom Hutchison of Big Dog Ink, who has a number of new comics titles debuting over the next several months. He's been kind enough to give me a preview of Issue #1 of Critter.

Part of Critter's tagline is a checklist of traditional comic book tropes that we don't seem to see much these days: "Secret Identities, Fantasy Costumes, Utility Belts, and Guest Stars." These were the cornerstones of the superhero comics that I (and a lot of other people) grew up on in the 1970s and 80s. The animation-inspired artwork and quick, light storytelling certainly recall the feeling of some of those older books.

In brief: without recounting her origin, we are introduced to young Cassia Crawford, aka Critter as she moves from Michigan to California to go to college and begin her career as a superhero. The little we see of her battling a super-villain called Yellow Jacket, she exhibits possibly superhuman agility and speed as well as a prehensile tail. This quickly shifts to Cassia in the hospital, recovering from the battle surrounded by her fellow heroes. An unidentified time-traveling figure explains to Critter that she has a long, exciting destiny as a hero which will end in self-sacrifice to save the world. It makes a nice twist to start the series this way.

We also catch a glimpse of the fact that Critter is a legacy hero as she writes a letter to her grandmother referring to "mom's superhero friends" and the fact that grandma doesn't care for Cassia becoming a part of "mom's lifestyle." Great hint-dropping for later in the series. It's always nice to know that a creator has plans for the future; it assures me as a reader that the events of the story are serving a purpose and not just spooling out endlessly with no point other than whatever the writer cooks up later as a last-minute fix (J.K. Rowling, I am looking in your direction).

All in all, Critter is a fun, light-hearted comic that successfully treads the same ground as the predecessors which it seeks to emulate. The main character and other females of the story are a bit cheesecakey, too, which certainly doesn't hurt.

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