School Is Full of Superheroes

Capstone. (DC Superheroes: Bk. 1). Jan. 2024. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781684468621.
Gr 1-3–In this dismally insensitive outing, a cadre of recognizable, if mostly unidentified, DC superheroes are shoehorned into an invitation to regard school faculty and staff as superheroes in their own right. Plastic Man battling robots, for instance, represents a classroom teacher who “stretches brains.” In equally strained parallels, just as long distance teachers “reach out” (online) to students, so does Cyborg to collar a jewel thief, and Batman and Robin supposedly do the work of protective playground monitors by collaring bank robbers. Scenes representing a librarian reading “legendary myths” to children include Nubia racing to the attack brandishing a sword. And to demonstrate working together, select members of the Justice League gather to hurl a bomb, arrow, or other weapons at the villainous Starro. Despite alternating scenes of adult workers and multicultural groups of happy, busy students, crime or violence is at least implicit in most of the scenarios and, adding insult to injury, Lozano’s costumed figures look less like their melodramatic selves in the actual comics than fan art.
VERDICT An unusually ill-conceived, poorly executed media tie-in.

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