The World’s Finest answer emails from middle schoolers.
Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, and more correspond with their fans in this middle-grade graphic novel, multiple vignettes hanging on the throughline of heroes answering fan mail. Some are silly while others are a bit more weighty; all are illustrated amicably by Duarte. There’s a hazy, muted quality to the colors that ground the Justice League and their foes in an approximation of the real world. This grounding compliments the novel well: The transition from Arthur “Aquaman” Curry’s thwarting Black Manta to chatting with his fish and typing away at a laptop would be jarring without this unified color palette. Unfortunately, the coloring’s flatness chips away at the book’s pacing, and the text gets a bit repetitive after a while. It’s all well and good for kids to see bits of themselves in their favorite heroes, but when that’s the book’s only move it gets old quickly. Even at a slim 132 pages, the novel feels overlong. Young fans of the DC characters will be attracted to the cover, but there’s little here to keep them engaged, and few will rank this as a favorite. There’s little exposition regarding the heroes’ background, so those unfamiliar with the characters will feel as though they’re on the outside looking in.
A gently illustrated text that will appeal to die-hard completists. (Graphic fantasy. 9-12)