Sunday, October 5, 2008

The New Cryptozoo Revue

Imagine if Doc Savage and Lara Croft spawned a kid who was a cryptozoological Beastmaster whose pets are an invisible monitor lizard, a pterosaur, and the lovechild of Ooklah the Moc and Scooby Doo, and you would get the new Cartoon Network show, The Secret Saturdays. The Saturdays are a family of scientists dedicated to tracking the world's most bizarre creatures and powerful artifacts, all the while fighting to thwart the global domination plans of V. V. Argost, the host of a t.v. show called Weird World (picture Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not's Jack Palance, only slightly less creepy).

From the little I've seen so far, I am eagerly awaiting the next episode, both as a father who wants to expose my kids to quality cartoons and as a fan of the greats of the genre: Jonny Quest, The Herculoids, Thundarr the Barbarian, and Scooby Doo. Saturdays creator Jay Stephens even credits Jonny Quest's Doug Wildey and Alex Toth as part of the inspiration for the show although he also gives props to such greats as Roy Crane, Harvey Kurtzmann, Jack Kirby, and Herge.

Following in the tradition of these luminaries, Stephens fills his show with of all of the things that made his predecessors great: rocket packs, jazzy Hoyt Curtin-style pursuit music, bad guys with Warsaw Pact accents, witty fight banter, and more weird science than you can shake a Tibetan Fire Sword at.

If there's any Secret Saturdays crew member who should be fired, it's Wardrobe. While the action, characters, and backgrounds look like something that Doug Wildey would be proud of, the Saturdays costumes are wholly yawnable "speed-suits" one would expect to see on anonymous henchmen, not on the stars of the show. With the exception of Zak's emo kit, that is. Perhaps, they could hire Rob Liefeld to re-work the costumes. He was always good at designing costumes with lots of pouches, holsters, and packs.

Aside from that minor flaw, the show looks quite brilliant, and I eagerly await the next installment.

  • Jay Stephens's Monsterama
  • V. V. Argost's Weird World
  • Cryptids Are Real
  • Cryptids Are Real @ YouTube
  • Chris Roberson, one of my favorite bloggers, weighs in
  • Jay Stephens on an earlier incarnation of the show, The Cryptids
  • An interview with Stephens
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