Monday, November 7, 2016
DC Superhero Girls: Hits and Myths
I caved in last week and bought the DC Superhero Girls second trade Hits and Myths. I will remind people that all ages books are books for all ages, even old fossils like me. I have been pretty floored with the entire concept of DCSHG as it mixes DC history, empowering messages, and fun! And I have been impressed with how writer/creator Shea Fontana gives each character a unique view on life without making them caricatures or two dimensional.
Hits and Myths continued this streak. Fontana loosely bases the long form story on the Odyssey. She also adopts a tried-and-true storytelling format by having the Girls split into teams to investigate a crime. It is shades of classic Justice League.
And, as usual, artist Yancey Labat brings a bright freshness to the art here. I also love his interpretations of some of the quirkier DC characters we get here. In particular, I love the Silver Banshee! But the whole book is gorgeous!
I'll try to keep this review brief, just hitting on some of the highlights that struck me.
After an opening action sequence, we hear that Diana is hosting a sleepover party on Paradise Island. And it can't come at a better time. Diana is clearly stretched thin. Between classes, heroics, and family obligations, she is tired.
So tired that she falls asleep in poetry class (taught appropriately by the rhyming Etrigan) while learning about the Odyssey. And, in a bit of foreshadowing, we see some of the upcoming scenes in the book through the lens of the classic story.
I especially love the last panel with the heroes saying 'Lalala' and plugging their ears instead of listening to the sirens! Seriously, I love it.
But the trip home can't start because Batgirl's batplane (the transport for many) is missing. The girls grab some friends and split up to track things down.
Batgirl and Bumblebee find some pink wig hair where the plane should be. Grabbing the other members of the Detective Club, the head to the theater department. The oh so serious Ravager is in charge of the theater and attacks the heroes for interrupting the group's drama practice.
It becomes clear that the prop room was ransacked and a pink wig stolen. And the one clue there is Professor Etrigan's copy of the Odyssey. Etrigan is missing.
For me, the thing I loved about this was Ravager being such a diva. Ravager has always been a super-dramatic character. So making her a theater junkie is just perfect.
Diana and Harley rush into the school, with Diana running ahead. Harley has to tell her to slow down.
In a nice moment, Diana realizes that she has been stressed out lately and this delay is making her feel worse. She pauses to thank Harley for being such a good friend. I love it this little scene in the middle of the action.
Both realize that maybe magic was used to steal the plane. So they head to the Professor June Moone!
I love that the Enchantress is a teacher here!
I also love that the girls act so silly when she thinks they are there for a love potion. Too funny!
It turns out that Professor Moone was hoping to celebrate Professor Etrigan's birthday and sent out invitations into the underworld. There is a price on his head and people are gunning for him.
That includes a young Lobo who needs to get put down by the heroes.
But now we know that there are two mysteries. Etrigan is in trouble. And the batplane is gone.
The last team of Supergirl, Miss Martian, and Beast Boy stumble onto a battle of the bands at a night club called Portal. The Batplane is there and listed as the prize.
The heroes become an ad hoc band and enter. And I love the other bands. Silver Banshee, Jinx, and Gizmo are the Bad Banshees. And Black Canary, Black Condor, and Magpie are the Birds of Prey. Both are great.
I must admit that I was hoping Magpie was Black Flame - making all the bandmates having Black in the name.
And oddly enough, Canary act like a bad guy here.
I always wondered who would win if Supergirl fought Black Canary. Turns out it would be short work by Kara.
Unfortunately, eventually Canary escapes and flies off with her band in the batplane. Supergirl and Batgirl gives chase. Meanwhile, Portal is a true portal. The rest of the girls head into the underworld to save the kidnapped Etrigan.
There we learn that Etrigan once worked with Trigon but rebelled when he was exposed to the beauty of poetry. Learning that the Enchantress' invitations could lead to danger at the school, he grabbed a pink wig and took the Batplane to escape. But Trigon's troops forced it down at Portal and captured him.
There is a nice sequence where the Diana-led heroes free Etrigan (with the help from Raven!) and make it back to Earth.
Of course, Supergirl and Batgirl bring the plane down at ... the Kent Farm. Seems a bit to coincidental. But that's okay.
In the skirmish, Canary yells and hurts the Kents. And Kara won't have any part of that. She says 'no one messes with my family!' That is about as close to a sneer you are going to get in this book. And as such, it speaks volumes. And I love how family is so key to Kara which it should be given all she's lost.
In the end, the Birds of Prey are captured. Canary tries to talk her way out of it but it doesn't really get her out of trouble. And the girls do make it to the slumber party but are so exhausted they fall right asleep.
Not much to add. I loved this as a nice story showcasing the SuperHero Girls, adding a bunch of DC characters into the universe, and building on the concepts of heroics and friendship.
This is totally worth the price, especially if you can pay it forward to some kids!
Overall grade: A