Chabon snags his youngest audience yet with this first-person profile of a superhero who battles both bad guys and anger issues.
Awesome Man zooms about in his stylin’ costume, decapitating a giant killer robot with the positronic rays that shoot out of his eyes here, schooling Professor Von Evil’s Antimatter Slimebot (“Antimatter slime is extra gross”) there. In between, he stops both a disaster-bound train and mutant talking Jell-O from Beyond the Stars with his Awesome Power Grip. But when arch-nemesis Flaming Eyeball gets away, Awesome Man needs a timeout (plus a snack delivered by costumed sidekick Moskowitz the Awesome Dog) to cool off before heading out again to “kick a little bad-guy behind.” Awesome indeed is masked Awesome Man in Parker’s melodramatic illustrations, cutting a heroic figure as he poses with granite-jawed nobility between bouts with one oversized and luridly menacing foe after another. A.M.’s secret identity remains unrevealed until his closing return to the suburban Fortress of Awesome, but sharper readers may pick it up early from several ingenious verbal and visual clues.Rest easy, regular people; you supervillains better watch out. (Picture book. 6-8)