Kid Cosmic: A Brand-New Show that Feels as Classic as The Powerpuff Girls

Ana Generelli, Staff Writer

Lots of people feel as though Saturday morning superhero cartoons just aren’t what they used to be. They claim that they don’t have the same tone and energy as older cartoons like Ultimate Spiderman, Teen Titans, and The Powerpuff Girls. The world of those with superhuman abilities saving the day makes little kids feel like they can do anything. To those looking to feel like little kids again, a fairly new cartoon on Netflix might just be able to bring back the nostalgia of comic books and crime-fighting that has been missing.

Kid Cosmic tells the story of an imaginative kid—simply known as “the Kid” by his neighbors—who discovers five cosmic rocks from outer space that can provide the holder with different abilities. After finding the superpowers he’s always read about in his comics, he recruits four other town locals to form the team: “Kid Cosmic and the Local Heroes.” They start off as you would expect, hilariously bad at controlling their powers and having to learn to cooperate with each other. But over time, the team starts to feel closer as they fight off evil aliens who want to take the power stones for themselves. Kid specifically shows a lot of growth in the first season by having to deal with the reality that becoming a superhero isn’t exactly what he expected it to be. He begins to show issues with controlling his temper by having to take moments to “breathe it out” and acts very realistically for a young kid who wants his superhero team to be just the way he wants it. He isn’t perfect, but he learns from his mistakes and becomes more open to others’ ideas, which makes him a pretty dynamic character. In fact, each character is written with their own strengths and flaws, which makes them feel more human.

The show was created by Craig McCracken, famous for previously creating The Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and Wander Over Yonder. This show is a lot different than his previous ones because each episode contributes to a linear storyline. The three previous shows were mostly episodic, meaning that something will happen in one episode and everything will be back to normal in the next one. However, Kid Cosmic is the first show of McCracken’s that tells its story from episode 1 to episode 10 without any events feeling unrelated to what happened before. You’d think the change in storytelling would be disorienting considering his past work, but each episode flows well into the next. The first episode is about Kid discovering the first stone’s power and the next episode builds off of having him learn how to use it. Each episode also has its own freeze frame to introduce the title of that episode, almost like the cover of a comic to really give it that comic book vibe. Speaking of a comic book vibe, the art style fits perfectly with the dynamic poses of superhero comics and the simplistic style of Sunday funnies like Calvin and Hobbes. The colors are also bright but slightly faded to illustrate heat, as the setting seems to be around New Mexico. As for the character designs, they’re both simple and iconic, with little quirks in every single character. Plus, all of the evil aliens the team fights are heavily inspired by science-fiction movies.  A good example of this is the character Stuck Chuck’s design being an homage to the movie Mars Attacks!

I highly recommend Kid Cosmic to anyone who loves nostalgic cartoons or superhero comics. Season 1 is only 10 episodes long, but McCracken has said that the second season is in the works too, with the promise of “more adventures and stories to tell with these characters.” The show is available on Netflix and YouTube. You can find free animated shorts with each member of the Local Heroes. With beautiful visuals, an awesome original soundtrack, and realistic characters you grow to love, this show perfectly captures the “ordinary superhero” trope that people have become nostalgic for.