Today’s Free Comic Book Day review is of FCBD 2016-DC Superhero Girls 1 Special Edition. “Super Hero High” was written by Shea Fontana and drawn by Yancey Labat.
This book is an intro to the upcoming graphic novel, “Finals Crisis.” That’s a pretty good nerd pun. Super Hero High is the setting for the issue that features DC characters in high school. I’ve seen other takes on this concept, including concept art for an abandoned Batman cartoon, but this version works really well. The girls are dealing with teenager problems and superhero ones at the same time. The school is staffed by other DC characters, Amanda Waller as the principal, Wildcat as gym coach, Gorilla Grodd as vice principal, etc. I really like that idea and it’s reminiscent of another really good DC title, Tiny Titans. Bonus, the character reboot I have been waiting for probably 17 years happens here. That’s right, someone found a new role for Crazy Quilt.
How this character made it out of the 90’s without getting all grim and grittied-out, I’ll never understand. Here he is re-imagined as a fashion designer that teaches the students how to make their costumes. The trademark lights on his helmet are redesigned into Prince glasses now. Man, now I want to go watch Brave and the Bold.
Probably the most notable segment of this book is a flashback Supergirl has to her time on Krypton. A demonstration that she had in science class was ruined by bullies and now she is having anxiety about her finals present day. When Kara rides to school on her horse Comet, a bully teases her that “Eorx 8999 telecommunicated. They want their mode of transportation back!” You just know that that burns in any language. Eventually the Kents reassure her that everything will be ok and she returns to school while danger lurks in the shadows. After the main story there are a couple of info pages for Katana and Bumblebee. Honestly, probably the least recognizable of the main characters in this, so those are probably good choices.
Initially, when reading this I wondered why there isn’t some cartoon tie-in to this as the art style seems ready-made for this. An ad on page 6 quickly reassured me that there is animated content online. Looks like they have that covered. Other ads throughout show some of the other merchandise they have to support this line.
My only disappointment with this comic is the lack of inclusion with the boys. The teenage counterparts of the male DC heroes are relegated to the background and almost read as easter eggs. Hopefully, as this series continues there is more interaction with their male counterparts.
This issue embodies what a FCBD comic should do. It introduces the reader to its concept and gets you excited to keep reading to see what happens next. It’s definitely appropriate for all ages so anyone could pick this up. You get a pretty good story that tees you up for the graphic novel.
For me though, the most significant part of this book though is the following ad.
This is an advertisement for Comics 4 Kids a Seattle-based charity that gives comic books to children. Before this I did not know that they existed. I encourage you to check out their site and consider a donation. I will definitely be making a donation to them. http://www.comics4kidsinc.org/