Author: Faith Erin Hicks
Colors: Cris Peter
Published 2013 Dark Horse Books.$16.99US, $19.99CAN
Graphic novel, humor, action-adventure, superhero
Available in print
Why I Read It
Superhero Girl’s art caught my eye consistently. I’m like a magpie, only instead of shiny objects, I’m attracted to bright colors. The dot style made it look like a classic comic book, so I had to have it. I imagined there would be some POWs and BANGs. I couldn’t wait to read it.
Are you really a superhero if everyone knows your secret identity and you have no arch nemesis?
Superhero Girl was born with superpowers. She can leap buildings smaller than eleven stories, lift objects ten times her size, and has laser beam eyes. What she can’t do is fly, nor does she have an arch nemesis, and really, the crime level in her town is so low that she only has to glare at a criminal to make him stop. Originally a web comic, the graphic novel is the first compilation of the comic strips.
Here’s what I think
At first, I didn’t realize that Superhero Girl was a web comic. It became clearer, though, as I went further into the book. After a particular arc, there would be a break or a seemingly unimportant panel that didn’t make sense in light of the previous comics. It is a much simpler superhero story than we are used to nowadays, without all the complicated back stories, the multiple universes and different character/story arcs.
I truly enjoyed the brightness of the colors. It can only be assumed that the original strips were done in black and white, but the colors really bring the story to life. Also, there are a few POWs and BANGs thrown in for good measure. It was nice to see the everyday superhero struggles that we don’t see in the more popular comics, no job, running out of money, roommate problems, sibling rivalry. Ok, that last one plays out quite a bit, but still.
It was fun and quick. While easy to see where it works better in the original, web comic format, the change in format did not detract from the story.
3Q–Readable, without serious defects.
4P–Broad general or genre appeal.
Readalikes, courtesy of NoveList Plus
Strong Female Protagonist, Brennan Lee Mulligan
JLA, Mark Waid
Civil War, Mark Millar
Funny, offbeat, witty, engaging, nonlinear, colorful, bold, sarcastic
Book talk ideas
Bear with a Monocle
Book discussion questions
1) Is Skeptical Guy right? Can a superhero only be born from some tragic past?
2) Will Superhero Girl ever get a job?
3) What is Superhero Girl’s real name?
4) Have you ever been overshadowed by a sibling in the way Superhero Girl is by Kevin?
Clues to the Future
graphic novel, sequential art, online comic, Superhero Girl, Faith Erin Hicks, King Ninja, Kevin, Skeptical Guy, Bear with a Monocle
Awards and Lists
2014 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens
2014 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers
Links to the Author, Interviews, and Reviews
Author site: http://www.faitherinhicks.com/
Paste Magazine review: http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2013/02/the-adventures-of-superhero-girl.html
DCPL interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BrHY38pMwI
Comic Book Resources interview: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=46985