Pax Samson: Vol. 1; The ­Cookout

Oni. Aug. 2021. 200p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781620108512.
Gr 4-7–On the planet Soltellus, Pax Samson comes from a long line of superheroes, starting with his grandmother, who at over 400 years old is a force to be reckoned with. Though Pax has a lot of support, he also has a lot to live up to, and it doesn’t help that he would rather be perfecting recipes and cooking for his family than practicing his superhero skills. A multitude of characters and superhero names are thrown at readers from the book’s start; combined with creative names of towns and places, and it’s a lot to keep up with. The artwork does help differentiate the many characters, with different color patterns for flashbacks. However, supporting characters aren’t fleshed out, and even Pax is kept at surface level. Doucet offers some backstory for Pax’s grandmother, which connects to a tale told in a previous chapter. Still, this is a beautiful book—colors are bright and vibrant, and panels are mostly linear and easy to follow. Different adventures are broken up into chapters, which is a bit disjointed, but it leads to a large battle, with the many family members supporting one another by the end. Pax and his family are Black.
VERDICT Recommended where graphic novels are flying off shelves, and where readers are seeking something new and different.

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