|Review by Atlee Greene|
“Daddy needs you to step away from the apex predator,” Dr. Dixon nervously says to his 12 year old daughter, Amber, as she accidentally awakens a living and breathing dinosaur from a 64 million year cryosleep, and brilliantly and humorously sets the tone for this fast paced intergalactic tale of survival.
If you look at the cover, you see a little girl with an orange T-Rex who is wearing body armor and ready to attack the enemy.
“Maybe this is a comedy, a parody that is only meant to deliver a good laugh,” I thought as I judged this cover. Not that there is nothing wrong with a parody. James Farr and Jon Sommariva take what we know about these historical beasts and flip it upside down.
However, once you immerse yourself into these colorful pages, it becomes evident in a short amount of time that Rexodus delivers so much more that it’s perceived intent.
Changing what we know about history, and our place in the universe, had been done before. So, if I were to tell you that dinosaurs could walk and talk, you wouldn’t be so surprised.
Kelvin Sauridon is a relic of a time long ago and finds himself in the 21st century and realizes that everyone he loves is gone. However, something survived with him in the form of the life sucking entity called The Black Blood.
Amber Dixon is a spunky and extremely savvy young lady who isn’t afraid of much, considering she gets thrown into this crazy interplanetary adventure and handles it like a champ.
The relationship between Kelvin and Amber is the centerpiece of the story.
James Farr handled this with a different type of care and perspective. Amber is anything but a damsel in distress that a person her age would normally be portrayed as. In fact, she helps Kelvin and he quickly gains a sense of admiration for her. They’re both a fish out of water in this situation, but when the time calls for it, Kelvin is the protector as Amber looks for a way to assist.
Jon Sommariva’s illustrations remind me of a well-drawn animated series that has a strong and pronounced presence through the book. The design of the dinosaurs, or in this case, “Disaurians” are well realized and made to look more humanoid in their portrayal.
My only complaint with the book is that on a few occasions, certain panels don’t completely jive with what’s taking place. In one instance, a small and conniving dinosaur is stepped on by his very large superior. In the next panel, the little guy looks fine and not even bothered by the trauma he experienced.
Stories with multiple layers sometimes fail to find a voice that connects with the reader because they can’t decide what they are trying to be. Whether we are talking about a goggle-wearing fighter pilot pterodactyl who loves to go fast, or a surly triceratops who kind of has a Han Solo thing going on, all of the story elements are executed at the right moments and to perfection.
Laughter filled my soul at times, while other moments captivated my imagination by the real stakes involved. Then there was an occasion or two that made my eyes water a little bit.
What ultimately makes this graphic novel unique lies in its simplicity as it is easy to follow and aimed towards a younger reader. Rexodus is an eclectic gathering of heartfelt action, adventure, and humor that is highly imaginative and never lets up.