It is always a challenge to be the new kid at school but it is even more challenging when you have a reputation for being weird. When Joey meets the elementary school’s resident weird kid, Jerome, they strike up an immediate friendship. Jerome does not believe Joey when he tells him why he only eats white foods, but several encounters with the school bully, Bug, quickly convinces Jerome about the truth of Joey’s story. Food containing color gives Joey super powers! Friendship, however, is equally powerful.
A simple, but satisfying tale for young readers, the story is told in large panels, bright colors and simple backgrounds. The focus of the illustrations is on the body language and facial expressions of the three main characters, with a cameo appearance from one of the soccer team and Jerome’s mother. Even the scene in the library (which incidentally threw this reviewer out of the story), the person shhhhing the boys for talking in the library is off camera.
The storyline develops logically over the period of a week and highlights the themes of bullying and friendship without being didactic. I particularly liked the fact that although Joey took off his glasses and added a cape when confronting the bully, neither Bug nor the reader are in any doubt to Joey’s super identity.
Power Lunch, vol. 1: First Course
by J. Torres
Art by Dean Trippe
Oni Press, 2011
Publisher Age Rating: All Ages