An unlikely assemblage of robot-builders and cheerleaders rally together for a common cause.
Charlie and Nate have been friends forever, and even though Charlie is a quiet jock and Nate is the president of the robotics club, they remain friends against the high school grain. However, when Charlie’s ex—coldly calculating cheerleader Holly—threatens to usurp precious school funds away from the robotics club so her squad can have new uniforms, Nate decides to run for student council president to ensure that the funds go to his club. Not to be outdone, Holly decides that Charlie will run against him. When the mud-slinging election goes too far, both sides find themselves without any school monies. They must then join together and enter a Robot Rumble contest in hopes of snagging a top prize. Shen’s writing is spot-on and often laugh-out-loud funny. Hicks’ modish art serves as an apt complement, with many panels deftly capturing deadpan looks where words would otherwise fail. Perhaps the only flaw in this truly enjoyable read is the overbusy panels during the Robot Rumble, which can be a bit confusing.
Smart and funny; don’t miss this one. (Graphic fiction. 13 & up)