Dear Justice League is the latest DC Zoom graphic novel for kids and the kid inside all of us. It features each member of the Justice League as they try to reply to children with good advice while revealing they may not be as perfect as we sometimes think. It’s cute, clever, and endearingly drawn.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
From New York Times bestselling author of TombQuest, Michael Northrop, comes a new middle grade graphic novel series where iconic heroes are asked questions both big and small, and when they’re not busy saving the world the Justice League even finds time to respond. Their honest and humorous answers will surprise and delight readers of any age, as it turns out that being a superhero is not too different from being a kid. Full of feats, follies, and colorful illustrations by Gustavo Duarte, Dear Justice League gives readers the inside scoop into everyday heroics, no matter who wears the cape!
Why does this matter?
This is a fun book that supports children writing — writing letters, at that. It’s not the main drive of the book by any means, but it’s a clever concept to wrap some superhero psyche exploration.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The creative team has to be proud of how this book came out since it’s so damn cute, funny, and beautiful to look at. Written by Michael Northrop, with art by Gustavo Duarte, colors by Marcelo Maiolo, and letters by Wes Abbott, it’s possibly the most endearing Justice League story you’ll ever read. Broken up into nine chapters, this book features a Justice League member in each chapter reading a child’s letter and then answering them the best they can. Each chapter feels very different from the rest which keeps the book feel fresh every step of the way. Wonder Woman reflects on her 11th birthday, Green Lantern tries out a new costume, and Aquaman seriously questions what he smells like. Each character has some bit of advice for the kids they’re writing back to and it’s incredibly cute to see a bit of humility in each of the heroes. Superman, in particular, reflects on how he is not perfect by any means.
There is also an underlying story that builds towards the final chapter nicely. Each story leads to the next and that makes the book as a whole have a cohesive story. There’s a looming alien threat that eventually rises up and it’s fun to see how they are integrated here and there leading up to the finale.
Duarte’s art is so clean and fresh it’s hard to put this book down. I seriously want an ongoing drawn by Duarte since the designs are so iconic yet uniquely his own. A lot of the endearing qualities of the book are due to Duarte’s style, which is very good at comedic timing and instantly recognizable facial expressions.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Cyborg’s story seems a bit half baked. His letter back to the kid actually kind of makes him seem like an egomaniac and most of his chapter is devoted to setting up the alien threat for the finale. It’s also a tad odd his chapter is the third to last with a Batman chapter tucked between, setting up the alien attack and then the heroes actually fighting them back.
Is it good?
This book is so good I recommend everyone read it, no matter your age. It’s heartwarming, hilarious, and endearing to no end.