Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review - Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1

"This calls for...FURIOUS FIERY FELINE!"

Sugar and spice and everything nice makes for a great little rhyme. When you mix in a little bit of the Chemical X though, the results could easily be catastrophic. Fortunately, when you've got a genius like Dr. Utonium at the helm, the results are a bit more capable of crime-fighting. The trio of the Powerpuff Girls fight the good fight, even if it takes them out of Townsville in Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1 from IDW Entertainment. The issue is written and illustrated by Derek Charm and lettered by Neil Uyetake. The Courage, the Cowardly Dog bonus story is written by Jeremy Whitley and illustrated by Jorge Monlongo.

After their victory in the Super Secret Crisis War (spoiler alert?), the Powerpuff Girls take it easy with a rare VIP tour of Dexter’s Laboratory. But when tag-along Dee Dee accidentally activates Dexter’s newest invention, the fate of the entire multiverse is suddenly at stake. The city of Townsville will send their brave heroes to the far reaches of the multiverse in an effort to save the day yet again.

IDW is getting big on the crazy crossovers, which explains why the Powerpuff Girls are hanging out with Dexter in his laboratory. Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1 is another entry in melding the universes and Charm does a great job infusing the book with the right amount of both character personalities. The first half of the book pits the Powerpuff Girls against Fuzzy Lumpkins as just another day on the job before Charm transitions Professor Utonium into meeting Dexter. The meeting of their minds is as equally exciting for the Professor as it is for the reader, thanks to Charm's handle on the characters. Charm also sends the story in a direction that feeds in perfectly to Whitley's Courage, the Cowardly Dog short, which pits him against the spectre of alien cows and is pretty enjoyable.

The look and feel of Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1 is very well done, courtesy of Charm's ability to make the characters feel familiar to fans of the shows. The Powerpuff Girls look appropriately cheerful and the inhabitants of Townsville bounce from terror to elation. Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup all maintain the same bold outlines that Craig McCracken started them with when he started the show nearly a decade ago, lending a sense of familiarity to the look and feel of the book. Even Monlongo's illustrations in the Courage, the Cowardly Dog short are easily recognizable and allow the reader to settle into his world with little hesitation. The empty gutters throughout give the book a cartoon feel as the panels are easy to follow along with and really pop.

Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1 is for fans of Cartoon Network properties, with a particular focus on the Powerpuff Girls as a linchpin of the narrative. Dealing with the negative side effects of Dexter's curiosity will be fun for the Powerpuff Girls, as it will take them across the multiverse and pit them against a variety of opponents. Charm's plot is very straightforward and completely in line with what a story featuring the characters would likely entail. His illustrations are equally as proficient at maintaining the look and feel of the property, relying on vivid colors and easily recognizable outlines to characterize the trio of awesome girls. Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1 is a lot of fun and pretty lighthearted, realizing everything it is and can be without going too crazy.

Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1 is in stores January 28.


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