Tuesday, April 14, 2015

1PanelReview DC Super-Pets

id you know about Flash's pet turtle or Plastic Man's pet pal frog? Well, now you know!

Aw Yeah, Super-Pets!

Aw Yeah, Comics!!
What it is: DC Super-Pets Character Encyclopedia

Which is: A DC Comics paperback encyclopedia.
Written by: Steve Korte & Art Baltazar
Art by: Art Baltazar
Published by DC Comics/Picture Window Books 
From 2013
Lineup DC Beyond lineup
Format: Softcover trade paperback.

Originally, the Legion of Super-Pets was the name given to the super-team composed of various pets from all over the DC Universe. A way to regroup all these different critters the superheroes adopted over the years. But with DC Comics' getting all "serious" and gritty in the mid-1980s ,what with the Crisis reboot, most of those would be completely ditched and retconned out of existences. Thankfully over the following years a few of those would pop back up again thanks to a few authors missing what made these Silver Age comics fun.

Cartoonist Art Baltazar is no strange to DCU history, mostly known for his loving tribute to all things DC with the series he co-created with Franco, Tiny Titans.

The DC Super-Pets Character Encyclopedia was the culmination to the DC Super-Pets line of books. It started with illustrated all-ages books for children, revolving around the Super-Pets. These usually offered a simple story easy to read with big words and a few bios, trivia and games. They were published as big floppy issues, about a half dozen or so of these children comics we released. They're kinda harder to get into if you're a grown up. This encyclopedia distributed for mass market more than makes up for it if you were curious about all these Super-Pets magazine but didn't knew how to get into these. Plus, it's also better suited for everyone.

What's Good about it: The DC Super-Pets Character Encyclopedia covers every possible "Super-Pet", from your more familiar ones like Krypto the Super-Dog and Streaky the Supercat, to the more obscure references like Robin’s robin Robin Robin (from Tiny Titans!). The book is divided between heroes and villains. Each category of characters collected in smaller chapters (all the Bat-family pets, etc.). We get a spread page for bigger names like Ace the Bat-Hound, then all main heroes and their respective pets and then some additional info and trivia, everything quite humorous and written tongue in cheek. It's funny, detailed, informative and a great entry point into DC characters.
This "encyclopedia" covers over 200 heroic and villainous super-pets compiled Art Baltazar and Steve Korte, all wonderfully illustrated by the talented Art Baltazar. Bios! Profiles! And a lot more!
Not only does this book covers all kinds of colorful DC heroes - the pets and their human allies - but we even get a few of the more mature/Vertigo Comics-ysh crowd like Swamp Thing
Did you know Animal Man had a pet lion, King?
The sources for these pets are quite varied. They've done their homework quite well, the book features all kinds of obscure pets that appeared at least once here or there, but also came up with several new animals for the book. Taking characters from vintage comics, Baltazar and Franco’s own Tiny Titans run, the modern DCU (prior to the "New 52" and it's implied-no fun rule) and even a few non-human characters like G'Nort or Tawky Tawny (referred to as "partners" instead of "pets"). Along those are also given all-new pets to every single superhero without a furry friend yet, the super-pets we never knew existed (who also appeared in the all-ages Super-Pets comics) such as Green Arrow's porcupine Quiver!
It's such a fun book to just wander through. I wouldn't really recommend reading through all this in one sitting, but it's a delight to just pick a page and have some fun.
This book has it all! It's the most comprehensive and fun comic book encyclopedia since the "Super-Dictionary"!
Beppo the Super-Monkey, Comet the Super-Horse, Aquaman's octopus partner Topo, Wonder Woman's Jumpa the Amazonian kangaroo, Ch'p the squirrel-like Green Lantern, The Flash's own pet turtle. And the villains are equally fantastic. Sure we all know about Harley Quinn's pet hyenas,  but did you ever figure Two-Face to have a pet crab named Lefty, The Reverse Flash’s cyborg newts X-43 or Captain Cold's husky dog Admiral. And let's not forget the fact that apparently James Gordon owns an aardvark named Gumshoe - complete with a cop uniform!!!

What's Bad about it: I guess some people won't really enjoy this book.
And these people have no sense of humor, hate pets and never smile. 
Okay, it's kind of a fun useless comic book encyclopedia, I would probably have loved to see the aforementioned comics collected in here as well.
My only real nitpick of this entire book is that Damian Wayne should have been the one owning the Bat-Cow (and not Batgirl, who already has a half dozen or so pets in these pages).

Overall: There's a saying - Every superhero needs a pet. And if it doesn't exist, it should.

The DC Super-Pets Character Encyclopedia is a really great book for both kids and adults alike. Not only does this book collect every single possible and imaginable animal sidekick for all major DC heroes and villains, but it also include a lot of little details like statistics, fun facts and trivia, etc.

It's such an awesome book. With lovely illustrations and whatnot. 

Lots of fun. Highly Recommended for any DC nerd or would be fan.

For both young readers and old school fans, it can only make you love all these fun obscure characters and pets. (It doesn't feature any proper story though!)
I give it: 2.5 / 3!

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