Science needs sisters! Dexter has achieved the impossible—Dee Dee no longer exists in this universe! Dexter’s science can proceed unimpeded! It is truly the best of all possible timelines.
Or is it?
The writing on the Dexter’s Laboratory comic so far has been spot on. Not only has it retained the spirit of the TV series, but it also still manages to change up the status quo enough to make it engaging as a continuous series. Where the TV series could leave you on a final note at the end of twenty minutes, this series needs to keep delivering cliffhanger moments to bring you back. So far, I’m 100% in for them. I love where they’re going.
Dexter wakes up at the beginning of this issue, afraid to believe that perhaps the Dreamwish-O-Tron 5000 has actually worked and that Dee Dee has been eliminated from his timeline. When it turns out that she has, he proceeds to become his most productive self until he realizes that not having a sister to stress him out makes him less creative, and makes life less challenging. He goes on a quest to get her back from an alternate dimension, and that’s where we leave off.
Fridolfs and Jampole are starting to show the ways that they can branch out from the Dexter’s Lab “prime” universe, if you will, as well. There’s another Tartakovsky show cameo that’s a lot of fun, but the reveal at the end is an alternate “Dee-mension” that should be a laugh and a half for these guys to play around in. Basically, this book is just crazy fun, and it’s bringing us an all-ages comic that works on several levels. It’s nothing new, but it feels comfortable to dive back into.
Dexter’s Lab could get a pass for its nostalgia value, which would allow it to function on old tropes and busted cylinders instead of trying something different. With this series, they are diving into different areas with Dexter, areas that are interesting for the theoretical all-ages reader to question. Is life better without a sibling? What are the things that truly make us creative? It’s nice to see it done in a more traditional setting, as it seems like a... I’m loath to use this word, but “safer” alternative to Adventure Time and the like. (Although, let it be known that I think literally everyone is the target audience for Adventure Time, so this should be taken with a grain of salt).
Dexter’s Laboratory is actual fun for the whole family. If you’re a twentysomething like me, it’s a cozy trip down memory lane into the shows of your childhood. If you’re older (especially with kids), it’s fun and would be fun to read to kids. These would be excellent family-bonding comics, which is a genre that I think should be more prevalent because it sounds adorable. And if you’re a little kid who has somehow stumbled onto this review, this is the perfect comic for you to read, and also I’m sorry for cursing. Don’t tell your mom.
Writer: Derek Fridolfs Artist: Ryan Jampole Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/21/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital