Rating: 3.7 Stars
What if young Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince went to the same school together? What if that school had all kinds of mysterious happenings that couldn’t really be explained? Well you’d have this delightfully charming graphic novel. Bruce Wayne heads to a new school, and realizes quickly that there are some odd things going on, and its not just because he’s the new kid that he doesn’t fit in with the regular crowd. These three friends find each other, and seek to uncover t
he answers to what’s really going on.
What I liked about this graphic novel, was the method in which the story was told. Frequently the graphics are interrupted with “case files” and “letters” which I think added a bit more depth and clarity to the story that you don’t always get in graphic novels. The story uses this world to examine common themes of isolation, friendship, and sticking to what you believe in. All important facets for the age group it targets.
Derek Fridolfs has written extensively about Batman, and he adds in really nice subtleties matching the original comic stories with this ‘school world’ he’s created. DC pros will be quick to spot younger versions of the famous DC villains we know from Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
I would have liked more opportunities for Diana to show off her feministic side. This book lent itself to such an opening here that wasn’t really taken. I was not impressed that her first ‘mission’ was to head to cheerleading tryouts. She was later utilized better, but there was still quite a bit of untapped potential here.
Recommendation: Its a great little graphic novel for those middle grade readers (grade 4-7) who like the comics, and a bit of a different spin on the DC world. Its also got a little more text in the book than your standard graphic novel.
Themes: Isolation, friendship, standing up for what you believe in, mystery