"Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures In The 8th Grade"
Written by Landry Q. Walker
Illustrated by Eric Jones
(DC Comics, 2009)
Wow, what a great comic for anyone (like me) searching for an intelligent, relatively nonviolent superhero comic with a positive female role model as the protagonist. Although this book is pitched at a slightly older age group ('tweens and teens) than my grade-school daughter, she absolutely *loves* this book. It's a funny, fast-paced, stylishly illustrated lampoon of the Superman/Supergirl mythos, starring a young extra-dimensional heroine (Kara) who gets marooned on Earth and has to learn how to "fit in" until her cousin Superman can figure out how to get her back home. Instead of a busty, anorexic bimbette (standard-issue superhero chick) this Supergirl is a gangly, socially challenged, self-conscious middle-schooler, a perfect stand-in for just about any young reader who's struggling with the social scene at school.
This series (sadly, canceled) sits alongside a small number of titles that are ideal for younger readers who are new to comicbooks -- "Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane," "The Legion Of Superheros In The 31st Century," "Sentinel," "Franklin Richards Lab Rat," and a handful of others. These are all great books, and we desperately need good titles for new readers (especially for young girls) that aren't as gory, graphic, or as fetishistic as most mainstream comics have become. But why oh why do they all get canceled? Because the world sucks. Regardless, a few great books do come through, and this is definitely one of them. Trust me: snap it up while it's still in print.
(By the way, writer Landry Walker has moved on to script Boom! Comics' "Incredibles" series (also pretty good) and has become one of the writers that I definitely have my eye on. Note to comics industry: I want more good stuff that my daughter can safely read.) (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain children's book reviews)