AWESOME ORIGINS by Chris Giarrusso


From the "The G-Man Super Journal" series
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 11
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Spun off from Giarrusso’s G-Man comics series, a wannabe superhero’s journal assignment records epic triumphs along with a catalog of middle-grade woes.

Jumping late aboard the Wimpy Kid bandwagon, the author couches young Michael G’s narrative in a mix of “handlettered” text and line-drawn cartoons with punch lines in the dialogue balloons. All on ruled paper, natch. Also predictable are Michael’s exaggerated but drearily familiar battles with a games-obsessed older brother, clueless parents who reflexively blame him for everything whether he’s culpable or not, a repellent rich kid at school, and a particularly loathsome teacher who not only assigns detentions for trumped-up reasons, but laughs in his face when he’s (falsely) accused of cheating on a test. Michael’s superhero ambition isn’t that odd, as this is set in a world well-stocked with costumed crime fighters—seven in his own class—and supervillains. Not only does he ultimately achieve said dream, by cutting a cape from what turns out to be a magic blanket, but he also cleverly sets up his hateful teacher for a fall and even joins his superfriends to take on mind-altering villain/cyborg Mister Mental.

Formulaic, built on well-worn tropes and replete with cheap jabs at grown-ups—destined, in other words, to be an easy sell. (afterword) (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 9-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4494-5844-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2014


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