As a tie-in to a new Mattel toy line, Capstone publishing is releasing a new series, DC Super Friends, which follows our favorite superheroes as they fight crime and put wrong back to right. Starring Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash, Aquaman and Green Lantern, these big-calfed power players use all their skills — mental and physical — to keep bad guys in check and the world in perfect harmony.
In Dinosaur Round-Up, some very careless scientists have opened up a time portal to prehistoric times. Instead of leaving someone to guard said time portal, they all go in, thus dinosaurs start coming out and wreaking havoc on the city. It’s up to the Super Friends to get all the dinosaurs safely back to their time and all the humans safely out of the dinosaurs’ way.
In Wanted: The Super Friends, the friends know there’s something up when Superman takes an ancient relic and totally blows a hole in a major highway, yet cannot remember a thing about it. When the Super Friends realize that villain wizard Felix Faust can take control of Superman, they go out of their way to protect the other relics. But they soon realize that the wizard Faust is starting to take control of them, too!
I certainly love my superheroes, DC characters, especially, and I did enjoy these quick reads that involve all of my favorite characters. The stories are a bit didactic at times, and I felt like they were really pushing the message of the story pretty heavily, but, all in all, I liked these books and I definitely think younger readers will, too. I’m not thrilled that they are associated with a toy line, but the toys are never referenced in the books and no advertisements for them are included, so readers aren’t being pressured to purchase something.
The stories include interesting facts about geography and science, as the Super Friends are working out the best solutions to their problems. The panels are laid out well, and speech bubbles are thoughtfully placed and used throughout. The action matches the description perfectly, and the books are really easy to read in addition to being entertaining.
The artwork is colorful and engaging. All the Super Friends are well represented and easy to identify. Their bodies are drawn stoutly, with their calves being absolutely huge in proportion to the rest of their bodies, but I see that they match how the toy line looks, so it’s more of copying the toys rather than a new way of drawing legs on superheroes. The panels are bright and really pop, making these over the top illustrations fit in well with the exaggerated storylines. The books also contain secret messages to decode and discussion panels at the end of each book, which will allow for good reading analysis to go on after readers are done with the story. These will be extremely popular for younger readers who love superheroes; there just aren’t that many superhero books that are appropriate for early readers, so these books definitely fill a void in that area. These books would certainly fit in any comics collection for younger readers.
DC Super Friends
by Sholly Fisch
Art by Joe Staton, Horacio Ottolini, Stewart McKenny, Phil Moy
Dinosaur Round-Up ISBN: 9781434245427
Wanted: the Super Friends ISBN: 9781434245434
Stone Arch Books – a Capstone Imprint, 2012