IDW has done an impeccable job with their comics based on classic Cartoon Network properties such as the Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Ben 10, and Dexter’s Laboratory. From dead-on character renditions to well-written storylines that really nail the vibe of each character and the world they inhabit IDW’s Cartoon Network comics have not disappointed. With that said one has to wonder when IDW is going to have a misstep with one of these properties and not quite nail it. I mean it’s the law of averages, right? They can’t all be home runs, right?
Well, in the case of the Super Secret Krisis War, and the particular chapter that runs through Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, IDW has definitely ignored the law of averages and put forth another spirited effort.
Just to catch up those not “in the know”: Super Secret Krisis War, helmed by Louise Simonson (X Factor, New Mutants), is a Cartoon Network spin on the classic mega-event/crossover. The evil Aku, main baddie of everyone’s favorite roaming hero Samurai Jack, has reached into all corners of the Cartoon Network Universe to compile a League of Extraordinary Villains. These villains, of course, are such familiar faces as Mandark from Dexter’s Laboratory and Mojo Jojo from the Powerpuff Girls among others. When the Cartoon Network heroes and heroines discover Aku’s plot they band together to fight back and defeat this villainous assortment and their cadre of evil robot minions. So far the crossover event has been supremely fun, with a six-issue miniseries running alongside a smattering of one-shots that have all found a way to integrate Aku’s devious planning into the respective worlds of each series. One-shots starring Johnny Bravo and the gang from the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy have both maintained the whimsy and style that each animated property is known for while furthering the plot of Simonson’s overall story arc. That positive momentum continues with the Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends one-shot tie-in.
The writer of this particular one-shot, Ivan Cohen, is obviously a fan of the Foster’s animated series because it shows in his treatment of the characters and the way the book ties in to the current mega-event. Cohen has written cartoon and comic adaptations of cartoons, most recently Beware the Batman, and his mastery of straddling the line between the two worlds shows. Everyone from Mac and Bloo to Frankie and Mr. Herriman are well-represented and feel like their cartoon counterparts. Cohen’s quirky story that, of course, touts friendship like a good Foster’s story should, is buoyed by the top-notch artwork by Paulina Ganuchea. I’ve seen Paulina’s work on other IDW properties like Bravest Warriors and the Amazing World of Gumball and she is great at matching the style of a cartoon and translating it to the printed page. Her work in this particular one-shot is spirited and looks like a series of highly-detailed cartoon storyboards. She also nails the color palette of the animated series, with each page being colorful and appealing while feeling right on all fronts.
If you’re a fan of some of Cartoon Network’s classic cartoons then you owe it to yourself to check out the work that IDW is doing with these properties. And if you’re a fan of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends? You should pick this book up on pretense just to, hopefully, sway IDW and Cartoon Network toward making this a regular series. With this team on the book I’d happily add this series to my pull box. As for now I’m just happy that IDW keeps knocking these out of the park.