Big Dog Ink./Aspen Comics
Written by Tom Hutchison
Illustrated by Fico Ossio
Back up Illustration by CB Zane
Back up Colours by Ceci de la Cruz
If you aren’t already familiar with Critter than here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor once again as Big Dog Ink has merged with Aspen Comics and the series is being reprinted and remastered. With a new series of covers available and a stunning SDCC version it’s the perfect time to jump on board and see what this is all about and personally I’ve enjoyed this series it reminds me of Invincible in many ways in tone and feel and overall appeal so if you are looking for something new, fun and worth your time try giving this a try.
This is not your typical first issue that introduces us to a new series, a new character and a new world of superheroes and that alone makes it a standout in a positive way. It’s interesting and slightly cheesy to see Electric Youth, a speedster, welcome Cassia to the Universe by delivering a letter to her grandmother, Michigan to Florida in two minutes. But it’s that letter that helps set up the timeframe, her age and what’s happening now in her life and how she kind of became Critter in the first place.
Grandma doesn’t approve of her mother’s nor her path in this lifestyle and maybe someday we’ll be able to meet grandma and find out exactly why. I’m sure there’s a good story there that will need to be told and I look forward to that day. Also we meet her two best friends, both boys, and their plans for what’s after High School and the fact that they know her secret and have for a number of years now.
Her first team-up happens over the summer, before college, with the Rookie as they go up against Yellowjacket. We see her potential here and the fact she definitely needs more training but it’s a good encounter, shows her capabilities, courage and ingenuity nicely. In the aftermath of the fight we get to meet her team or those who look out for her and among them, Paradox whose powers are shown quite nicely and he’s one of those bad good guys if you get my meaning, he’s aloof, set apart, from the future and doesn’t technically play well with others but he’s proven his worth so it kind of balances out. Still it’s something to keep an eye on and more after reading the back-up feature which well will leave you with questions or if you’re a comics fan you’ll understand the importance of it when you finish reading it.
Cassia is going to school in California, a far cry from life in Michigan. Her roommate is an overprotective sort who feels it’s her duty to look after the cowgirl like one would a little sister. She’s a pistol this Gina let me tell you and honestly it’s probably just what Cassia needs in her life too. Why this school, when she arrived and what she’s majoring in if she’s going to be a superhero would’ve been nice before jumping into the roommate/college stuff but we’ll roll with it for now.
Fico and Zane do some wonderful classic old style comic book illustrations here. They make it fun again so that you can have the feel of the old days, see 70’s to 80’s, mixed right in with what’s current and happening today. Could the artwork be tighter sure but it’s the beginning of a series and they are finding their ground with these characters, hell even Perez needed time to warm up with the Titans, but the talent is evident and shows a lot of promise.
Perfect time to get to know Critter and the people in her universe thanks to Aspen.