Awesome Dog 5000 and the Zeroes Club return for another wacky adventure.
After an advertisement for the sequel of the kids’ favorite video game—starring Sheriff Turbo-Karate, who attacks with “infinity farts”—the story provides readers an explicit recap of series opener Awesome Dog 5000 (2019), reintroducing new kid Marty Fontana, daredevil Skyler Kwon, and trivia-spouting Ralph Rogers. Soon a threat emerges in the form of Mayor Manny Bossypants, a Napoleonic megalomaniac. When the unveiling of a giant statue of the mayor goes badly and Awesome Dog 5000 saves the day, he declares war on the heroes so that the spotlight will be his alone. Meanwhile, the heroes learn that the new video game’s affordable version, the “meh edition,” isn’t worth buying—but if they win the school science fair, they’ll be able to afford the “gold deluxe” version. When their early science-invention attempts fail, they gamble on concealing Awesome Dog in their machine, which leads to chaos as the mayor’s forces zero in on them. Along the way there’s a quickly resolved friendship plot and a message about responsibility that meshes surprisingly well with the silliness. The ending reveals a secret message hidden in the illustrations, which depict the characters rather as though they were cartoon Legos. Diversity among main characters is primarily conveyed through naming convention; Skyler’s implied Asian while Marty and Ralph present white.
A silly sugar rush of a story. (Science fiction. 7-11)