BATMAN by Shea Fontana


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12
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A teen Bruce Wayne fixes up an old car.

Obsessed with finding the answers to the mystery behind his parents’ murders, Bruce Wayne doesn’t have many friends. He spends his days brooding and being waited upon by his butler, Alfred. The one thing Bruce looks forward to is getting his driver’s license on his 16th birthday. Inspired by a picture of his father standing beside a (fictional) 1966 Crusader, Bruce decides to restore the vehicle after finding it in storage. In doing so he meets Latinx teen mechanic Mateo Diaz and the mysterious Selina Kyle, who seems to be white, like Bruce. As the trio works to repair Bruce’s Crusader the teens develop a friendship and uncover startling revelations about the Wayne murders. This middle-grade graphic novel is the latest in DC’s run of colorfully illustrated attempts to draw young readers into the world of DC Comics. While the action is crisp and the characterization is strong, there’s a problem here that other DC heroes don’t have: Teenage Bruce Wayne is pretty hard to like. Moody and spoiled, Bruce Wayne is a real drag. The authors seem to know this; Bruce starts to moonlight as a masked vigilante pretty quickly, and the bat motif shows up faster than expected. This is one character who doesn’t benefit from the “this is what they were like when they were a teen!” lens.

A decent piece of graphic storytelling with a bad headliner. (Graphic adventure. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-4012-8356-8
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: DC
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2020