BATGIRL AT SUPER HERO HIGH

BATGIRL AT SUPERHERO HIGH
Written by Lisa Yee
Published by Random House Kids

Reviewed by Marc Mason

How addictively popular are these DC Superhero Girls books? Let’s just say that before I could review book two, focused on Supergirl, it vanished into thin air. Now, did my twelve-year old step-daughter “borrow” it?

I’ve never found conclusive evidence.

Now, the third book in the series, focusing on Batgirl, is here, and I am pleased to report it is an absolute gem, continuing Lisa Yee’s fantastic work in bringing this version of these classic characters to life. Here, Barbara Gordon puts on the cape and cowl and joins the ranks of the heroes, even though she is without superpowers. Not only is that a challenge, but she also must navigate a very real teenage existence. Issues of confidence, learning who to trust, developing strong decision-making skills, and more arise, and all of it entertains as well as develops the character nicely.

One terrific sequence takes place in the lunchroom as Batgirl and Supergirl decide to defy stereotypes and stand up for the bullied and shunned Big Barda, whose reputation makes the other students avoid her. By leading by example (even though the encounter doesn’t go perfectly) it encourages the reader to do the same in their own lives. It isn’t preachy, but Yee’s delightful prose does the trick. And really, she’s quite good at this; all three of the books in the series have moments that lead the reader to ideas for being a better person in their own lives.

Of course, this is not the end for the series, and BATGIRL ends on a cliffhanger. Whatever comes next, I am sure it will have the same charm and grace that the first three in the series have displayed. I know one thing for sure: I’ll be happy to read it… and pass it on to my younger reader.

 

THE OLD GUARD 1

THE OLD GUARD #1
Written by Greg Rucka and Drawn by Leandro Fernandez
Published by Image Comics

Reviewed by Marc Mason

Isn’t it great when expectations exceed reality?

A while back, when THE OLD GUARD was announced, I thought to myself “That sounds like it’s going to be the best new comic of 2017.” I mean, what wasn’t to like? Greg Rucka writing the kind of intelligent action thriller that he does better than anyone else? Art by Leandro Fernandez, a massive talent with a gift for moody and evocative pages? So I rubbed my hands together and waited.

I powered through this absolutely delicious tale of immortal warriors still doing their thing in our modern world like a thirsty man attacks a water fountain, and all I could say when I was done was this:
“Yep. Best new comic of 2017. Good luck to the rest of the competition along the way. They’re gonna need it.”
Compelling characters. Intriguing story. A powerful plot twist. The hint that our old guard may get some new blood. Crackling dialogue. Eye candy art on every page. Letterer Jodi Wynne and colorist Daniela Miwa holding up their end and elevating their parts of the book as well.

There is literally nothing about THE OLD GUARD #1 that isn’t great. End of story.

No, wait – there’s the fact that I have to wait for issue two for a few more weeks. That kinda sucks. Because I really want to read that right now. I suspect that’s how it’s going to be as this series goes forward. Ah, well. Guess I’ll deal.