Review Detail

Young Adult Nonfiction 243
A DC Starter
(Updated: May 28, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
2.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
An alternate reality take on the Super Sons series, featuring the middle-school aged offspring of Batman and Superman. When "climate disruption" threatens coastal cities, both boys are displaced. And with their fathers busy off trying to save the planet in their own ways, they get caught somewhere between school bullies and investigating the source of a mysterious virus outbreak.

What I Liked:

I did enjoy the artwork. The coloring was vibrant and the use of shadow gave it a vaguely cell-shaded appeal. It often reminded me of the art style found in the The Iron Giant movie, (which elicited fond feelings.)

The character of Candace presented as a strong, promising female MC. She's African royalty of some kind, and outside of nebulous visions, her abilities are unclear. So there is plenty of room for expanding on her character in any future installments.

What Didn't Work for Me:

The storytelling format was disjointed and often difficult to follow. Transitions were jerky, and the pacing sometimes felt uneven. A lot of the plot drive seemed to be a result of off-screen events we readers simply aren't privy to.

While the author did give the introductory disclaimer that he was essentially told by DC to do his own thing, I wasn't expecting him to dive right in without having any real knowledge of the characters he was adapting. And yet, that appears to be what happened.

Existing fans of Damian Wayne are advised to brace themselves. This alternate version of him comes across as a bratty, arrogant rich kid with incredibly bad (and inexplicably underfunded) costuming choices. When his dad doesn't allow him to tag along and play vigilante, he throws a tantrum and demands to be called 'Ian' rather than Damian. And there's sadly no mention of his intriguing backstory as the grandson of Ra's al Ghul. (It also doesn't help that the artwork seems to have divested him of all hints of his ethnic background.)

Please be forewarned that this interpretation is unrelated to the established Superboy or Robin, and has nothing to do with the original Super Sons comic. While some aspects of this book may appeal to young readers who have little or no familiarity with the DC Universe, I wouldn't advise it for anyone who is easily put off by inconsistency with canon.
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