THE LAST BATTLE by Justin Larocca Hansen


From the "Secondhand Heroes" series, volume 3
Age Range: 9 - 12
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In this trilogy closer, two superhero brothers and their magical friends face their nefarious foe for the ultimate battle.

Jumping right in where middle volume In the Trenches (2017) concluded, brothers Tucker and Hudson—also known as the magically enhanced superheroes Stretch and Brella—are breathing a bit easier after defeating their evil teacher Mr. Motstander. Unfortunately, their small island home does not stay quiet for long, and the brothers soon discover that their adversary has persisted. Motstander seeks to destroy the brothers’ reputations, exploiting the fickleness of public favor in the age of social media. With the help of their friends who possess their own magically imbued objects, the motley crew gears up for what can only be a battle to the death. Genre constraints are thoroughly smashed as this nontraditional superhero tale weaves a quirky pastiche of time travel, light romance, and fantasy. Brothers Tuck and Hudson are white, while secondary characters offer some diversity both racially and in terms of disability; shallow development among these characters is particularly frustrating. Hansen’s bold line-and-wash illustrations easily transition from world to world, whether he is evincing the boys’ small island community, prehistoric scenes of rampaging dinosaurs, or a fantastic, medieval-ish landscape populated by dragons. Though this volume declares itself the conclusion, the end hints at more adventures to come.

An interestingly unconventional amalgamation of tropes and genre. (Graphic adventure. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 10th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-8037-4096-9
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2018


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