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Review: Super Secret Crisis War #1

Super Secret Crisis War #1 of 6
Written by Louise Simonson
Illustrated by Derek Charm
IDW Publishing, June 2014

IDW Publishing has been on fire with their licensed property comics, including My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and their partnership with Cartoon Network. Launched in 2013, their Cartoon Network line features comics based on hit properties such as Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, and the Powerpuff Girls. What better way to celebrate their comics than to do a big crossover featuring all of the Cartoon Network cartoons from the late 1990s to today in a classic comic book crossover! Teaming up for the first time ever are the pint-sized heroes Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls; Samurai Jack; Ben Tennyson from Ben 10; and Dexter, the boy genius from Dexter’s Laboratory – and the three slackers Ed, Edd, and Eddy??? What’s going on here?

Naturally, when there’s a crisis that needs heroes to team up, there has to be an equally formidable group of villains for the heroes to battle. Look no further than the League of Extraordinary Villains – a vile bunch of the most nefarious Cartoon Network villains. Aku (Samurai Jack), Vilgax (Ben 10), Mandark (Dexter’s Laboratory), and Mojo Jojo (Powerpuff Girls) have come from different worlds with a goal to rule them all. As the story begins, the League of Extraordinary Villains are aboard Aku’s orbiting space station, the RoboStar. Their plan is to capture the heroes that have caused them so much trouble in times past using a robot as a ruse. The heroes will be attacked by a robot from another world, the heroes fight and defeat the robot and – {POOF!}- once the robot is defeated, the heroes are teleported into a jail aboard the RoboStar where they will be imprisoned to aid in the conquering of the multiple worlds.

One by one the League villains seemingly easily capture Samurai Jack, Ben Tennyson, Dexter, and the PowerPuff Girls by snaring them as they fight a robot. While celebrating their victory over the heroes, the robot minions of Aku and Vilgax accidentally spill their celebratory drinks and teleport the minions to worlds yet unknown. Meanwhile, the Dynamo, a robot who appears like a giant mecha of a Powerpuff Girl, is set to attack the three boys Ed, Edd, & Eddy. The boys, who are no heroes at all, find a way to disable the robot, and they too end up trapped alongside the heroes. Baffled by the addition of the three boys who have the IQs of a flea combined, the villains continue their plot to conquer worlds by creating an army from the templates of the heroes. Meanwhile, what happened to the other robots, and how will the heroes get out of their prison? Stay Tooned!

As a frequent watcher of most of the shows (though admittedly I was never a fan of Ed, Edd, & Eddy), I found the set-up to be a lot of fun. It is a crossover, and though admittedly we have five more issues to go, I think IDW did a bang-up job having Louise Simonson as the writer. She’s been a frequent writer of crossovers since her days at Marvel Comics, and she gets the characters right. I’m sure there will be a point in time where the League of Extraordinary Villains will be at each other’s throats and I can’t wait to see that.

Derek Charm’s artwork is great. He has to handle the look at feel of at least five different cartoon properties, and they all retain the look of the cartoon shows. The back of the comic also includes some character sketches of the robot minions of Aku and Vilgax as well as a nice Q&A with the creators.

The stories continue not only in the six-issue mini series but in one-shot stories as well, featuring what happens when the missing minion robots end up in the worlds of Johnny Bravo, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Foster’s Home of Imaginary Friends, Cow & Chicken, and Codename: Kids Next Door. The one-shots will feature a bonus prequel story that tells the origin story of Aku’s League of Extraordinary Villains, which was the one question I was wondering about when I read the book. One book will be coming out per month through November.

The Super Secret Crisis Wars is an ambitious and fun storyline that’s sure to be a hit for IDW Publishing. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Highly recommended.

Mike Pawuk About Mike Pawuk

Mike Pawuk has been a teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library for over 15 years. A lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels, he was chair for the 2002 YALSA all-day preconference on graphic novels, served as a judge for the Will Eisner Awards in 2009, as well as helped to create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee for YALSA. He is the author of Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, published by Libraries Unlimited in 2006 and is working on a followup to his book.


  1. Louise Simonson says

    Thanks for the cool review. (I’m finally reading a few reviews now that the scripts are finished.) I laughed out loud at “Stay toned!”

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