The search for a missing hamster leads two siblings into a monstrous underworld.
Edison Beaker and his little sister, Tesla, last saw their beloved father four years ago. After his mysterious disappearance, Edison, always afraid of the dark, has kept close the trusty flashlight his dad had left him. One night, when tagging along with their uncle, a “creature seeker” masquerading as an exterminator, the Beaker siblings learn firsthand what types of pests he hunts when Tesla’s hamster, Scuttlbutt, rolls his ball through an unusual portal known as the Night Door. Once over its threshold, Edison and Tesla find themselves in the monster-filled Underwhere (expect the obvious jokes) and promptly pair with an androgynous, purple-skinned creature named Knox in order to find the missing Keystone needed to seal the Night Door and keep the nefarious Darkness and its monsters at bay. This first graphic novel in a proposed series will not disappoint, and its cheery illustrations, fast pace, and easy humor will appeal to fans of Judd Winick’s Hilo series or Ben Hatke’s work. The tale feels comfortably familiar in its worldbuilding and its accessible theme of light versus dark, but fresh details keep it from feeling formulaic. Character diversity is all but nonexistent, as the Beakers are all the white default. While this volume has a satisfactorily tidy resolution, enough threads are left dangling to foster interest in subsequent adventures.
A series opener with straightforward appeal. (Graphic fantasy. 6-10)