Agents of SLAM

Oni. Apr. 2022. 160p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781637150221.
Gr 4-8–Combining multiple genres and themes—professional wrestling and espionage adventure chief among them—this is an entertaining romp featuring dazzling, larger-than-life characters, told through the point of view of a kid who gets an opportunity to experience the action firsthand. Though she may be young, Katie Jones is a world-renowned vlogger who covers pro wrestling, and she is granted an exclusive interview with Bruno Bravado, an obvious ersatz Hulk Hogan and the most famous wrestler in the world. The president of the United States, a former pro wrestling promoter, decides to extend Katie’s invitation to interview the full team that is the Agents of S.L.A.M.: professional wrestlers who use their in-ring abilities to fight against the World Domination Society. It’s not long before Katie is off on a mission with the Agents of S.L.A.M. to protect a mystical championship belt, and what follows is a wild ride complete with monsters, aliens, magic, and a secret moon base. Katie is Black, while other characters represent a fairly diverse spectrum of ethnicities, genders, and even age groups.
VERDICT Any kid who has fantasized about being part of the action in a superhero or action film will enjoy seeing this tale play out. It’s a quick and exciting read with colorful artwork, cartoonish character design akin to contemporary animation, and a great hook for a sequel.

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