[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
It’s no fun for Jon Kent to be visiting Big City with his parents for the funeral of an old friend. So his best pal Damian Wayne decides to follow along and give him the inside scoop on the city. But when they go to meet Robin’s local friend, Dynomutt, they find him injured and in need of help. And Dynomutt’s human superhero companion, Blue Falcon, has seemingly turned evil. What’s the reason for this betrayal between once-loyal companions, and what role might the evil Red Vulture play in this scenario?
The Super Sons title ended last week, but we have hardly had time to miss it with the boys starring in a new special this week. Unfortunately, it will be more than a few weeks until their next series begins in August.
In this special, DC teams up one of their newest teams with a Hanna Barbera duo dating back to the 70s. Dynomutt was a Scooby-Doo spinoff cartoon, but unfortunately they haven’t been seen very often between then and now.
Though the team-up does make sense. Dynomutt is actually the sidekick of the Blue Falcon, despite being the main protagonist of the original series. Similarly, Superboy and Robin are the stars of their series, despite being sidekicks to their famous fathers.
As a kid, I always thought that Blue Falcon could anchor a more serious superhero cartoon or comic if the comedy was toned down and his backstory was fleshed out. And finally, a story comes along that does so, proving that I was right in believing so.
The story has a recurring theme of death and how to react to it. First, we see Jon with his parents at a funeral – Jon’s first experience of seeing a dead person. This really shakes him, but death is something that he will have to face as a superhero.
Also, Dynomutt’s origin is tied directly into Blue Falcon’s inability to accept his pet’s death. Dynomutt was an ordinary dog, but instead of letting him die of old age, Blue Falcon used cybernetics to turn Mutt into a Dynamic Neural Organism (DYNO), hence the name Dynomutt.
And the story comes full circle, as Dynomutt does the same for his master after he dies fighting the Red Vulture. Neither Dynomutt nor Blue Falcon allows death to claim their best friend.
The updating of Dynomutt and Blue Falcon is generally done really well. The Blue Falcon’s appearance is spot on. However, I wish that Dynomutt’s appearance was a bit closer to his original appearance. I understand that the tone of the story calls for a more realistic looking dog, but the costume seemed a bit too different, and I didn’t like the new visualization of his mechanical limbs – the technology seems a bit to rough and messy, when I think smooth and streamlined might have been a better fit.
As a fan of Tomasi’s Super Sons title and as someone who actually watched the Dynomutt cartoons on Saturday mornings in the 70s, how could I not love this title? Oddly enough, I am equally as nostalgic for a series that ended last week as I am for a cartoon I enjoyed as a young kid. These DC/Hanna Barbera crossovers are all quite enjoyable, and Super Sons/Dynomutt is no exception.