The Pet Avengers return in a new adventure! While searching for team member Frog Thor, the Pet Avengers discover another world where creatures of myth exist and live happily—or at least they did, until something happened to the ruler of the world, The Golden One. Can the Pet Avengers find a way to stop the destruction and return peace to the world of myth?
Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Unleashed
Written by Chris Eliopoulis; Art by Ig Guara & Chris Sotomavor
Marvel Comics; February 2011; 978-0785143031
120 pgs.; $14.99
I really enjoyed the first Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers series, so it should come as little surprise that what started out as just flipping through this book turned into reading the whole thing. It’s hard not to get drawn into the fast-paced story and great characters.
The story is fairly simple. The Pet Avengers have to help Hairball 2 the Yeti and Dameilla the Unicorn find a way to calm The Golden One, who has been angered and is exiling the creatures of myth from their world to ours, which could cause chaos and panic. It’s a lot of fun with plenty of action and heavy doses of humor. Every one gets some good moments of both action and humor, but Hairball still gets the best lines overall. The final confrontation uses the best weapon, words, to get through to The Golden One and finally bring about a resolution. The story has a nice surprise ending. At least, I wasn’t expecting it.
While the story is good, it’s really the characters that make this series shine. They are such a fun and funny, eclectic assortment of characters. Hairball the cat continues to be my favorite. He is such a cat, bickering with Redwing the hawk and constantly blaming everything on the little dog, Ms. Lion. Redwing tries to stay above Hairball’s baiting but tends to get drawn in anyway. Ms. Lion really isn’t very bright, but his simple logic can often find solutions, much to Hairball’s dismay. Zabu, the saber-tooth tiger, tends to fall in with them, though he rarely takes sides. Lockheed the dragon and Lockjaw the big dog are like the older, more mature, siblings of the group, trying to keep order among the others. The true leader of the group, though, is Frog Thor. He can get the group to stop any in-fighting and really work together as a team. His story arc and journey of self-discovery and finding a place where he belongs is done well and ties into the main story as well.
The art is really well done. All of the animals are rendered realistically, including the mythic creatures, Lockheed especially so. I can’t quite say the same for the humans. They didn’t seem to get as much detail. They just looked odd to me. Also included in this trade is the one-shot summer special Pet Avengers: Dog Days, which features several short stories about the Pet Avengers, as well as a guest appearance of Franklin Richards and a relative of Lockjaw.
Overall, Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Unleashed is a fun romp. It’s a great story for kids with hardly any violence and an emphasis on talking problems out instead of fighting. It also shows the importance of friends and how they can give one the feeling of belonging, even if one is all alone in the world. Anyone from the age of 8 to 80 will enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.
Images © Marvel Comics.