Review by Woodrow Phoenix
Super Hero School is book three of Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, a revision of Supergirl especially designed for a middle-school readership, with an origin and a story that’s outside regular DC continuity.
Fragments of a giant red meteorite fall around Stanhope boarding school, giving most of the kids superpowers. Principal Mr Pyckelmeyer divides the students into those with powers and those without. The second group (which includes Lena Thorul and Linda Lee) are put into a class for the ‘superheroically challenged’. Their new teacher Mrs Bigglestone pulls no punches in explaining their new status: “Your fate, which I am here to ensure you embrace, is one of mediocrity and fear. As non-super powered citizens, you may stand back and witness the majesty of your betters.” However, scientific genius Lena is not going to let herself be bossed around by cosmic rock-powered cretins. Her technological solution to destroy those powers creates big dangers for Supergirl to deal with, and an irresistible temptation for Belinda Zee to create more chaos! Can Supergirl find a way to stop them both before somebody really gets hurt?
This is a brilliantly conceived and well-executed series. Writer Landry Q. Walker and artist Eric Jones take an old concept and make it completely fresh through their intelligent and witty reworking. Jones’ cartooning is both dynamic and hilariously expressive, and Walker crams in lots of sneaky 1960s call-backs for parents to enjoy while their kids laugh at all the jokes.
Supergirl’s adventures continue in Secret Entity! Readers should note that although the hardcover binding makes this a thick book, it’s only 22 pages of story: each volume of this series reprints a single issue of the original comic. These short stories are ideal for young readers, but there is also a trade paperback available with all six parts complete in one place – Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade. It’s not as sturdy as this single hardcover volume in library binding, but is much better value for almost the same price.