I have been waiting for Season 2 of Kid Cosmic for months. I adored the first season of the show which had a nice twist on the traditional superhero narrative – and I’m happy to say Season 2 continues the story in an interesting and engaging way.
While Season 1 focused largely on Kid – Season 2 is all about Jo and her growth and development as the leader of the Local Heroes. After being transported to outer space and learning of the new Cosmic Stones of Power – the team must find a way to find them and defeat Erodious the Planet Killer.
The only thing standing in their way? Well, aside from Jo’s inexperience as a leader, there’s a new villain Fantos. Yes…Fantos – a fanboy parody of Thanos complete with his own Infinity Gauntlet suit. He wants the stones for his collection of Erodious memorabilia.
It would be funnier if he wasn’t actually a legitimate threat to the team.
Craig McCracken has always done parodies and satire in his shows – but it’s much more obvious here than it was in Season 1 (or I’m just not up to date on my superhero media.) McCrackin’s signature style is pasted all over the season – and goodness, I didn’t realize how much I needed that in my life right now – the same way, I didn’t know I needed Steve from Blue’s Clues telling me how proud he was.
Not to mention there are the references to his other properties.
I loved seeing the shoutouts to his previous works and seeing this universe’s PPG (Planet Protection Group), who by the way are voiced by the original VAs of The Powerpuff Girls. All the references to the show made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I knew he never forgot about the show – but for some reason, it made me so happy to see a reimagining, of sorts, played with such love and respect to the original show.
And what I really like about McCracken’s parodies is that they have their own identities. It’s not necessarily making fun of the characters or their motives – it’s just a big What If… in a way. Fantos easily exists as his own character – who just so happens to share a similar look to the Marvel villain and who also is collecting magic stones.
The show also avoids making all the powers – the new Cosmic Stones of Power imbibe the user with – too cliche. Sure, there’s the Fire and Ice Stones, a Speed Stone, and an Invisibility Stone but there are also less common superpowers: like the Goo Stone (which Kid gets stuck with) and the Pain Absorption Stone – which is pretty cool.
I can’t help but think back to all the Justice Friends shorts from Dexter’s Laboratory. I used to love those, even though at the time I had no idea what heroes they were referencing. (I only knew about Spider-Man, Static, and The Justice League.) That’s how a good – satire is made. You don’t need to understand what the satire is parodying to find it funny or smart.
And while S1 was more clearly a reimagining of the superhero genre, S2 really allows for more world-building and understanding of the other characters’ motivations. It keeps things fresh and interesting.
HOW TO BE A LEADER
While Queen Xhan isn’t exactly a villain this season, she’s definitely NOT the best influence on Jo. As the leader of the Local Heroes – Jo needs to learn, well, how to lead. Nobody really knows what they’re doing – and I relate to that.
So when an alien named Krosh is willing to help defeat Erodious, I can’t exactly blame Jo for taking on the help. How she deals with it isn’t great but at least Krosh has control over the stones (and isn’t a child.)
But Jo has a lot to learn still – and she gets that through experience. She has to fail A LOT before she understands what it means to lead and friendship is a huge factor in that. Being a leader isn’t bossing other people around or expecting total obedience, it means listening and taking others’ contributions into mind and making decisions based on that.
FRIENDSHIP ISN’T ALWAYS THE ANSWER
Whereas in Season 1, the main conflict was solved via communicating with the alien invaders (the survivors of Erodius)…this wasn’t the case for Season 2. I mean, how are you going to communicate with a non-sapient, planet-sized being who consumes everything in its path?
And Fantos is also left to die and presumably does. It’s not very clear but I feel like we’ll find out next season. There does need to be a villain after all.
But – and I’ve talked about this a lot – sometimes, villains can’t be reasoned with. Maybe next season will be a combination of friends and foes. Sometimes, they aren’t going to be your friends, no matter what happens. And always, you’re gonna have to punch a Nazi. Maybe you can get a Nazi to stop their hate – but you usually gotta punch them first.
And there are no qualms about harming Erodious, though I assume it being non-sapient helps. There’s no need for that debate. But at the same time, teamwork and friendship among the Local Heroes are important factors in winning.
So, it’s not like the message is totally erased,
WHERE TO GO FROM HERE
I have no idea what next season will bring. None. I imagine there will be a lot of criminals who want to use the stones of power for themselves and a lot of regular people wreaking havoc. I hope Chuck and Kid both get more development – maybe we’ll finally deal some more with Kid’s past at some point.
Since each season so far has focused on a different character – I wonder who Season 3 will focus on. My guess is that Papa G will get more focus and we’ll learn more regarding his and the Kid’s relationship.
Like how he felt when he learned his child died leaving his grandson an orphan…Things like that. It makes more sense than having Rosa be the focus, no matter how much I want to see more of La Nina Gigantica. And both of those make more sense than Tuna Sandwich…As for the villains of next season…I have no idea.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Fantos somehow teamed up with the Biker in Black as a way of both of them getting what they want. After all, Erodious turned out to be full of Stones of Power from the planets it consumed – and with all the stones landing on Earth, there are plenty of ways for both of them to get what they want.
It would also bring the story full circle.
But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I hope we get to find out if the Earth had any other superheroes prior to the stones falling and that the Kid’s comic books were actually based on true tales.
This show seems ripe for a “Don’t Meet Your Heroes” narrative and I bet it would be done in a really creative and interesting way. But let’s leave that for a prediction post – I need to get back into the groove of this blog and let’s focus on something else.
I said it earlier but I loved the references to The Powerpuff Girls and how nicely it fits into the story. It was really made for the fans of the original series – without overtaking the narrative.
I might have to visit The Powerpuff Girls on this blog someday soon. It was one of my favorite shows growing up – I even had a Powerpuff Girls-themed cake at my sixth birthday. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
But for now, I’m content with waiting for the next (and unfortunately final) season of Kid Cosmic. After that? I can’t wait to see what our man does next.
And that’s the scoop.
Grade: A –
Year of release: 2021
Length: 8 episodes: 17 – 28 minutes
Creator: Craig McCracken
Executive Producers: Craig McCracken, Rob Renzetti, Melissa Cobb
Producer: Dave Thomas
Developers: Craig McCracken, Francisco Angones, Lauren Faust
Directors: Craig McCracken, Rob Renzetti, Benjamin Balisteri, Dave Thomas