Aw Yeah Crew Art Baltazar, Franco, and Chris "Zod" Smits team up for an all-ages crossover that brings together Dynamite, Dark Horse, and Aw Yeah Comics, and spans three different ages -- as expected, it's a delight. Even as the ultimate evil appears in-panel, things are bright, cheery, and all-reader-friendly.
All-ages doesn't me action-free, though, and there are plenty of ZAP!s, SLAM!s, and a scary Timestream Beam. The pacing is quick, but not so quick as to lose readers, and while timelines might be crossing, the story keeps moving forward.
The jokes are adorable -- and include a new comic day nod -- and seasoned comics fans can enjoy a few giggles as much as younger readers can. It's incredible how a single issue is able to involve such a wide cast of characters (from the Golden Age, Silver Age, now, and even alternate realities!) and still keep them distinguishable enough that young readers will be able to know who's who and what's going on.
Alas, some of the character references might be lost on readers who aren't familiar with Captain Action. (I'll admit it! I knew there was a toy, but didn't even realize there had been comics.) It's a small bummer, because the creative team usually gets to drop less obscure in-jokes.
Every time the Aw Yeah Crew puts out another book, it's a victory for comics. They're masterful storytellers with an immense genre knowledge and whip-smart senses of humor, and they're also exceptionally talented at engaging young readers. In a market saturated with dark, gritty, violent, and otherwise adult books (many of which are fascinating and engaging, but just Not For Young People), it's a true delight to see creators like Art, Franco, and Zod bringing great stories that are accessible for the next generation (and still fun for adults). CAPTAIN ACTION CAT is a sampler of their signature charm, with bonus crossover fun.