DC Super Heroes: Flash Series

DC Super Heroes The FlashThese three adventures give a good picture of this illustrated beginning chapter book series. In Gorilla Warfare, Flash must save the city from Grodd’s evil plans – even when he gets turned into a gorilla! In Master of Mirrors, Flash has to beat his old nemesis, the Mirror Master – in another dimension! Finally, in Trickster’s Bubble Trouble, Flash must save Metropolis from the Trickster’s exploding bubbles – and himself from a diabolical trap!

Each of these stories emphasizes Flash’s scientific training as well as his superpowers. In Gorilla Warfare, Flash has to figure out how to get past Grodd’s defenses, designed to combat his super-speed, and then destroy Grodd’s machine by making it short-circuit. In Master of Mirrors, Flash has to defeat the Mirror Master’s army using sound and light. In Trickster’s Bubble Trouble, Flash has to figure out a way to release himself from Trickster’s electrically charged trap bubble and does so by remembering the properties of glass.

The art is colorful and cinematic, with a classic superhero feel that’s still accessible to intermediate readers. Each chapter has an eye-catching title with comic panel background, and action words like “Snap!” and “Whooosh!” are popped out in colors and sharp fonts. Most of the pictures cover one page, but in a few places they spread out across the text. The books also contain a profile on the featured villain — unfortunately presented like a web page which will date fast, even if it is a Mac — biographies of the author and artists, a glossary, discussion questions, writing prompts, a plug for Capstone’s website, and more book titles.

My only complaint with these titles is the sometimes odd layout that mismatches text and illustrations. In Gorilla Warfare, Flash is shown rescuing a window washer, but the text describing the rescue happens on the next page. In Master of Mirrors, almost none of the pictures match, showing the villains escape, Flash’s defeat of the mirror monster, Flash in a fight with one of the minions, and more on the previous page before the description of the action. I found myself flipping back and forth to figure out what the pictures were about, which was annoying.

Flash isn’t a superhero that gets asked for much, at least not at my library, where Batman and Spider-Man are the heroes of the day. However, the colorful covers and combination of superheroes, villains, and science will grab kids’ attention and keep them asking for more. These are available in affordable paperbacks and make a great addition to your series collection. Parents who are concerned about their kids reading too many comics will be pleased by these illustrated chapter books and intermediate readers – ages 7-11 – will enjoy reading more about their favorite characters and meeting new superheroes.

DC Super Heroes: Flash Series

Flash: Gorilla warfare
Written by Laurie Sutton
Art by Dan Schoening, Mike Decarlo, and Lee Loughridge
ISBN: 9781434226181

Flash: Trickster’s Bubble
Written by Michael Dahl
Art by Eric Doescher, Mike Decarlo, and Lee Loughridge
ISBN: 9781434226273

Flash: Master of Mirrors
Written by Laurie Sutton
Art by Dan Schoening, Mike Decarlo, and Lee Loughridge
ISBN: 9781434226297

Stone Arch Books, 2011