Chock full of inventive narrative tweaks.

MISTER INVINCIBLE

LOCAL HERO

Need ice? Cat up a tree? Giant robot on the attack? There’s no job too large or too small for “the one and only true comic book superhero!”

Masked, caped, chubby, and imperturbable, Mister Invincible earns his moniker here in dozens of mind- and narrative-bending graphic mini-adventures thanks to his unique power to reach or chuck things into neighboring panels above or below. Catch a speedy thief? Mister Invincible nimbly drops into the next row! Foil a mad scientist’s “mega-virus”? Just roll a lawn mower into the adjacent panel’s microscopic world. Being clever as well as able to clobber unsuspecting villains from a later scene, Mister Invincible can even take on adversaries like Old Grandpa Jack, who can hurl words—or, more precisely, dialogue balloons—to damaging effect, and the Jester, a would-be supervillain capable of darting suddenly into view from the subsequent page and vanishing the same way. Jousselin too shows uncommon cleverness, as all these exploits and hijinks require exact, frequently ingenious placement of figures on both the same and neighboring pages to make them work. As Mister Invincible explains to one mystified witness, “It’s just the incredible magic of comics, ma’am.” The episodes in this French import, all drawn cartoon-style (with colors by Croix) in rows of squared-off panels, run one to 15 pages each. Mister Invincible presents White; there is a handful of secondary characters of color.

Chock full of inventive narrative tweaks. (Graphic adventure. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-942367-61-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Magnetic Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

Ironically, by choosing such a dramatic catalyst, the author weakens the adventure’s impact overall and leaves readers to...

ESCAPE FROM BAXTERS' BARN

A group of talking farm animals catches wind of the farm owner’s intention to burn the barn (with them in it) for insurance money and hatches a plan to flee.

Bond begins briskly—within the first 10 pages, barn cat Burdock has overheard Dewey Baxter’s nefarious plan, and by Page 17, all of the farm animals have been introduced and Burdock is sharing the terrifying news. Grady, Dewey’s (ever-so-slightly) more principled brother, refuses to go along, but instead of standing his ground, he simply disappears. This leaves the animals to fend for themselves. They do so by relying on their individual strengths and one another. Their talents and personalities match their species, bringing an element of realism to balance the fantasy elements. However, nothing can truly compensate for the bland horror of the premise. Not the growing sense of family among the animals, the serendipitous intervention of an unknown inhabitant of the barn, nor the convenient discovery of an alternate home. Meanwhile, Bond’s black-and-white drawings, justly compared to those of Garth Williams, amplify the sense of dissonance. Charming vignettes and single- and double-page illustrations create a pastoral world into which the threat of large-scale violence comes as a shock.

Ironically, by choosing such a dramatic catalyst, the author weakens the adventure’s impact overall and leaves readers to ponder the awkward coincidences that propel the plot. (Animal fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-33217-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more