Four classic tales, considerably reworked to feature the Dark Knight and various foes and associates.
The creators of the Secret Hero Society series (kicked off with Study Hall of Justice, 2016) turn from middle school to another fertile milieu—classic tales. The creators follow wooden “Waynocchio” on his quest to become a “real Boy Wonder”; send the butler Alfred into Wonderland to rescue his costumed charges from the “Jokerwacky” and “Harley Queen”; cast Nora “Mrs. Freeze” Fries as the Snow Queen, who seeks help from Batman to thaw her captive husband, Mr. Freeze; and reimagine “The Princess and the Pea” as a series of interrogations by police seeking a hefty stolen diamond. As dialogue constitutes the only text in all but one of these, readers unfamiliar with the originals may have trouble following at least the first two. Moreover, Batman himself takes only a supporting role in all but “The Snow Queen.” Still, from the Cheshire Catwoman on, the characters (all white), though largely drawn as children or at least with young faces, will be recognizable to fans of DC comics and films. Being loosely drawn and brushed in transparent inks, the art has a quick, sketchy look reinforced by impressionistic backgrounds in both the spacious panels and unbordered larger scenes.
Clever if rough-hewn concept bearing at best a chancy resemblance to its literary models. (Graphic fantasy. 9-12)