Our band of intrepid campers are split into two groups engaged in very different adventures in this edition, which collects single issues #9 through #12. Mal and Molly have wandered off for a picnic date that naturally involves much more than a basket full of food and lounging around in the sun. The rest of the gang languishes back in camp during a “free day” that doesn’t offer much in the way of fighting monsters or saving the universe. These two storylines are woven together seamlessly with high levels of adventure and humor in both.
Mal and Molly find themselves in a Jurassically dangerous “lost world” with seemingly no way to get home. As the danger escalates, both confess their feelings of inadequacy and, ironically, admiration for the other who each feels is the braver, more capable person. This culminates in a couple of lovely moment of mutual reassurance that they are smart enough, strong enough, and brave enough (Cue Stuart Smalley!) to get back to camp.
Cue hordes of dinosaurs, man-sized carnivorous plants, lava fields, and adorable baby velociraptors wearing eye-glasses…
Back at camp, Jo and April are finding “boring” badge achievement to be much harder than saving the universe. Learning to let go of the “do-or-die” competitive spirit and embrace the enjoyment of the task proves to be a huge quest.
As always, the gang tackles every obstacle thrown their way with their usual passionate attitudes. Some of my favorite moments in this volume involve Ripley’s enthusiastically successful completions of the “boring” badges, always done in her so-very-unique style and frequently with the invaluable assistance of the group’s loyal raccoon companion, Bubbles. The enormous amount of satisfaction she expresses in every single one of the activities, from cake decorating to watching paint dry, is endlessly delightful.
And I don’t want to fail to mention the first issue in this volume is the “If You Got It, Haunt It Badge” collection of ghost stories with guest illustrations by Brittney Williams, Aimee Fleck, Faith Erin Hicks, Rebecca Tobin, Carolyn Nowak, Felicia Choo, and T. Zysk. Head over HERE for my earlier review of this single issue.
FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX!!
Favorite Line: “What does one even DO here when they’re not chasing friggin’ chupacabras, anyway?"
Favorite Line Honorable Mention: “Were we scared? You bet Jurassic!"
Favorite Exclamation: “For the love of Mary Anning . . . !" Exclaimed while fleeing a pack of dinosaurs, of course, because Mary Anning is all about dinosaurs.