Agent 9: Flood-a-geddon

James Burks, creator of the Bird and Squirrel comic series, offers a new adventure comic filled with action and humor. Agent 9 is a lovable, high-spirited, and highly skilled cat spy with impulsive and reckless tendencies. For Agent 9, the ends justify the results, even if that means destroying everything else along the way. Determined to beat the not-so-brilliant King Crab’s master plan to flood the world and turn it into a worldwide water park, Agent 9 rushes headlong into danger accompanied by Fin, a trusty robotic fish sidekick and the more sensible half of the heroic duo. 

Silly humor abounds, especially when King Crab is on the page. A villain with a fondness for mail order, he’s ready to terrorize but, unfortunately, his giant robotic fish turns out to be much smaller than it appeared in the ad, and the world’s brightest flashlight didn’t come with batteries. Kid readers will love being smarter than this not-at-all-intimidating baddie. In fact, it turns out Agent 9’s most dangerous enemy is…Agent 9. Head Super-Secret Spy O (an orangutan) has put Agent 9 on probation for wreaking havoc, and Fin often cautions Agent 9 to stop and think, but Agent 9 pays no mind to either of them. Ultimately, it is friendship that gets the goggles-wearing cat to reconsider: when King Crab captures Fin, Agent 9 finally understands that it’s time to stop and think before acting or Fin will be destroyed. After executing a plan to save both Fin and the rest of the world, the secret agent then turns the moral lesson around on King Crab, offering him a suggestion to “Think things through a bit more,” and letting readers know that Agent 9 has at last internalized Fin’s advice.

Burks excels at visual storytelling. Rich, deeply saturated colors fill the pages and bold lines make it easy to follow the non-stop action that flows across the panels. As in the Bird and Squirrel series, Burks also makes great use of sound effects: the opening page panels are almost wordless as Agent 9 and Fin traverse the jungle with a BEOOOP!! and SPLASH. On one double page spread the only word is BLAST, repeated 10 times, as Agent 9 jumps and backflips through the panels to dodge a shooting laser gun. 

This new series is lots of frenetic fun filled with silly, punny humor and dangerous antics that never seem too threatening. Agent 9 is a great choice for kids who are coming off early readers and are ready to dive into longer action comics, or for readers who are already fans of comics like Dog Man, Lunch Lady, or Catstronauts.

Agent 9: Flood-a-Geddon! 
By James Burks
Penguin Random House Razorbill, 2021
ISBN: 9780593202944

Publisher Age Rating: 8-12:

NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11)

  • Sally

    | she/her Children's Librarian

    Sally Engelfried received her MLIS from San Jose State University in 2013 and has worked as a children’s librarian for Oakland Public Library in California ever since. A longtime graphic novel and comics fan, Sally loves getting great graphic novels into the hands of the kids at her library.

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