It’s 80 pages of animal action from across the DC Universe! Your Major Spoilers review of Dog Days Of Summer #1 awaits!
Writer: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing/Joshua Williamson/G. Willow Wilson/Andrew Marino/Phillip Kennedy Johnson/Kenny Porter/Dan Didio/Mariko Tamaki
Penciler: Cully Hamner/Kyle Hotz/Stjepan Sejic/James Harren/Christian Duce/Paul Fry/Tom Raney/Cian Tormey
Inker: Mick Gray
Colorist: Dave McCaig/David Baron/Dave Stewart/Luis Guerrero/Ivan Plascencis/Hi-Fi/John Kalisz
Letterer: Andworld Design/Tom Napolitano/Steve Wands/Clayton Cowles/Travis Lanham/Rob Leigh
Editor: Alex Antone & Dave Wielgosz
Publisher: Groupname Comics
Cover Price: $9.99
Release Date: May 29, 2019
Previously in Dog Days of Summer: It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and the DC Universe is wearing Milk-Bone underpants.
8 DIFFERENT STORIES
In the face of an alien device that means the end of the world, Superman and Krypto’s bond is tested, leading to the Dog of Steel saving the day, while Killer Croc escapes to Florida to visit an old friend (with a really dark ending.) Ferdinand the Minotaur seeks out a more humane form of barbecue, while Captain Carrot and Justice Incarnate face a Crisis on his cartoon home-world with the grimdark Atomic Batman at odds with the silliness of the rabbit’s reality. Animal Man comes face to face with natural selection in all the wrong ways, while Green Lantern Dex-Starr has learned to speak (and also hates himself some Khunds.) The Bat-Cow has and adventure, sort of, featuring a Jokerish bull, while Beast Boy remembers that its not the size of the beast that matters, its the beast in the size… or something.
8 DIFFERENT SETS OF SUCCESSES AND PROBLEMS
As with any anthology book, each story in this issue is its own (you should excuse the expression) beast, and as such, it is a little bit hard to judge the whole package. The best story of the issue for me is Bat-Cow’s turn in the spotlight, featuring a meta-joke that is incredibly hard to justify by actually works in the context of the story. (That Dan DiDio wrote it is one of the bigger surprises here.) Stjepan Sejic’s Wonder Woman tale is probably the most successful visually, with Beast Boy’s chapter the least so, but all in all, the art is strong. The biggest problem comes in the transitions from artist to artist and story to story, making for some jarring transitions between stories. There are a couple of stories that just try too hard to fit the premise (Animal Man’s beautifully-drawn outing stands out in that regard) and I’m still not sure what exactly Ferdinand’s story was all about, but on the whole this book shakes out on the positive side.
BOTTOM LINE: HARD TO JUSTIFY THE PRICE
The idea of the big, super-sized summer annual has always been a good one, but it’s been a long time since they were 25 cents, and the ten dollar price tag knocks Dog Days of Summer #1 down a little bit, but the mix of funny, dramatic and flat-out awesome cow-related content sort of evens out to a right-down-the-middle 2.5 out of 5 stars overall. That’s not to say that it’s a bad book by any means, but it’s one that has as many downs as it does ups with a steep price tag, making it more of a curiosity for those who really love themed books or one of these characters.
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DOG DAYS OF SUMMER #1
It's really hard to get past the price tag, even for an 80-page giant, but there's a lot of things in this issue that are good and a few that just don't work, making for a variegated reading experience.