I love comics and graphic novels, so what do I do with that love? Well, I turn it into a new feature!
From Panel to Panel is a new feature where I talk about the awesome (and perhaps not-so awesome) comic books and graphic novels I’ve read. Basically, this will be me pushing them onto your laps. You’re welcome.
You get a graphic novel, you get a graphic novel, everybody gets a graphic novel!
That is—DC Comics announced a bunch of awesome books of our favorite superhero characters and villains for young readers and young adults with some good authors and excellent artists.
Last year, DC Comics first announced DC Zoom and DC Ink, which are imprints that focused on graphic novels for young readers and young adult. I was extremely excited about this announcement because young people can get the chance to experience these superheroes/villains without worrying about where to start or if it’s appropriate for them.
There’s a lot of wonderful creators—writers and artists—tackling wonderful superheroes, so you gotta know about it. (The * next to titles are ones I’m excited about.)
Here are four titles that have been released already:[lightbox src=”http://www.thenovelhermit.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/dc-kids-already-released.png”][/lightbox]
The polar ice caps have nearly melted away, causing devastation to coastal cities. Erratic, deadly weather forces everyone inland, tearing families apart. Earth is facing its greatest crisis–and Superman and Batman are nowhere to be found.
From New York Times bestselling author Ridley Pearson (Kingdom Keepers) and artist Ile Gonzalez comes the first book in an epic new series that follows the Super Sons of Superman and Batman as they struggle to find their place in a rapidly changing world![/spoiler]
I’ve actually read this one, and well…it’s boring. I was initially excited about readers experiencing Jon and Damian, but this is not it. If you wanna read my thoughts on this graphic novel, I talk about what I liked and didn’t like about it over here.
When the Xebellian military plots to overthrow Atlantis and break free of its oppressive regime, Mera seizes the opportunity to take control over her own destiny by assassinating Arthur Curry—the long-lost prince and heir to the kingdom of Atlantis. But her mission gets sidetracked when Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love. Will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side, or will he die under her blade as she attempts to free her people from persecution? An astonishing graphic novel that explores duty, love, heroism and freedom, all through the eyes of readers’ favorite undersea royalty.
From New York Times best-selling author Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die) and artist Stephen Byrne comes a Mera and Aquaman origin story that explores Mera’s first steps on land, and her first steps as a hero or villain, forcing her to choose to follow her heart or her mission to kill.[/spoiler]
Everybody knows Mera is the woman who falls in love with Arthur Curry aka Aquaman, but she is so much more than that. She’s no longer the supporting character in the story. She’s the main character! You get to meet a teenage Mera trying to figure out how to free herself and her people from an oppressive regime. What is Mera willing to do?
- Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle (The Infinite Moment of Us) and Isaac Goodhart (Postal)
She rejects human cruelty, but sometimes it seems as though brute force is the only way to “win.” And if Selina is to survive on the streets, she must be tough. Can she find her humanity and reconcile toughness with her desire for community … and love?[/spoiler]
A homeless Selina Kyle is trying to survive on the streets. Does this book embody Selina Kyle? Or just a regular teeth that happens to be named Selina Kyle? You be the judge.
- DC Super Hero Girls: Spaced Out by Shea Fontana (DC Super Hero Girls + Wonder Woman) and Agnes Garbowska (DC Super Hero Girls)
Earth’s new Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz, learns that she must report to Oa and introduce herself to the Green Lantern Corps–as if learning new powers and being the new girl at Super Hero High weren’t enough! Luckily, some of her new friends are willing to accompany Jessica. But when they arrive, instead of the Green Lantern Corps they find General Zod, Faora and Non. While the spacefaring girls take on this intergalactic threat, the Earthbound students are faced with their own challenge–pet-sitting Krypto! It’s Kryptonian chaos across the universe![/spoiler]
Everybody gets to meet the greatest Green Lantern—Jessica Cruz. She’s the lesser known in the sense that everybody is more familiar with the male Green Lanterns like Hal Jordan and John Stewart. It’s this Latina superhero’s book to shine amongst the kids.
DC KIDS[lightbox src=”http://www.thenovelhermit.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/dc-fall-2019.png”][/lightbox]
- Dear Justice League by Michael Northrop (TombQuest series) and Gustavo Duarte (Inhumans)
[Will be published on August 6, 2019]
Does Superman ever make mistakes? Does Wonder Woman have to listen to her parents? Does Aquaman smell like fish?
The greatest heroes in the DC Comics Universe, the Justice League, answer mail from their biggest fans–kids!
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![/spoiler]
Kids have all sorts of questions that they wanna ask to adults, and for role models like Wonder Woman and Superman, they’ll have some wisdom to impart to those curious kids.
- Superman of Smallville by Art Baltazar and Franco (Tiny Titans)
[Will be published on September 3, 2019]
Acts of awesomeness are happening around town. People are being rescued, runaway tractors stopped, and fires extinguished. This is all in a day’s work for the hero known only as “Superman.” But who is he, really?
Thirteen-year-old Clark Kent knows. He has a super-secret—one his parents are constantly worried will get out. Clark promises to be extra careful, but when random objects begin to take flight and disappear, his parents threaten to ground him. Except he’s innocent! If Superman isn’t responsible…who is? Join Clark in this hilarious adventure as he sniffs out the real culprit.
From New York Times–bestselling and Eisner Award-winning creators Art Baltazar and Franco, comes a fun, whimsical story featuring young Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, and of course Clark Kent.[/spoiler]
Thirteen-year-old Clark Kent has been framed! He puts on his detective hat to figure out what the heck is going on, and kids will enjoy this mystery of who’s getting Clark in trouble.
Anyone caught reading this notebook without my permission will be tossed in the bayou with a rabid snapping turtle! Seriously, I mean it!
My name is Russell Weinwright and if you think you’ve got problems in middle school, try being a half kid, half algae swamp creature who’s terrible at sports! It’s not easy. I eat sunlight for lunch, I’ve got duck weed for hair, and I think a frog might be living in my tree trunk arm. I’m literally pond scum! Some kids call me Swamp Kid, but my best friends Charlotte and Preston keep me sane.
I wish I could let you read this notebook to get the real scoop on being an eighth-grade outsider (please ignore the doodles and ketchup stains!), but things have gotten a little crazy lately. Men in black are spying on me, my science teacher might be an evil mastermind, and a hulking beast in the bayou may or may not be my super swamp mentor. Believe me, you don’t wanna know! Turn back now![/spoiler]
Who is this mysterious Swamp Thing named Russell Weinwright? What do readers get to know about this kid and the stuff that encounters for being so incredibly different than everybody else?
- Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) and Cara McGee (Dodge City)*
[Will be published on October 29, 2019]
When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of Dinah’s goals and threatens her friends and family, she’ll learn more about herself, her mother’s secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life.[/spoiler]
Black Canary needs to be protected at all cost! She’s no stranger to anything musical related and kicking ass via the police academy. (100% this is the graphic novel I’m excited for because I love Black Canary and Cara McGee’s art.)
- Super Sons: The Foxglove Mission by Ridley Pearson (Kingdom Keepers) and Ile Gonzalez
[Will be published on October 29, 2019]
We can only hope that The Foxglove Mission will capture readers’ attention more than The Polarshield Project.
- Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) and Gabriel Picolo*
[Will be published on July 2, 2019]
Starting over isn’t easy. Raven remembers how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can’t remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. When strange things start happening–impossible things–Raven starts to think it might be better not to know who she was in her previous life.
But as she grows closer to her foster sister, Max, her new friends, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she’s ready to face what’s buried in the past…and the darkness building inside her.[/spoiler]
Just who is Raven Rath? Why can’t she remember anything about her life before the tragic accident? How does she deal with the unknown? (I’m so thrilled that Gabriel Picolo is illustrating some of the Teen Titans graphic novel. He regularly creates fanart for them so he’s a perfect choice.)
- Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki (X-23, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me) and Steve Pugh (All New Invaders)*
[Will be published on September 3, 2019]
But when Mama’s drag cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harley gets mad. She decides to turn her anger into action and is faced with two choices: join activist Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join her anarchist friend Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.[/spoiler]
What a great reimagining of Harley Quinn. Girl is gonna deal with activism and gentrifications, get on board! (And I know this will be excellent because Mariko Tamaki is fantastic.)
- Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu (Legend), Stuart Moore, and Chris Wildgoose (DC Rebirth’s Batgirl)
[Will be published on October 1, 2019]
Bruce Wayne is turning 18 and inheriting his family’s fortune. But on the way home from his birthday party, he makes an impulsive choice that leads him to Arkham Asylum, the infamous mental hospital. There, he meets Madeline Wallace, a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope. Madeline is the mystery Bruce must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?
Bruce Wayne is proof that you don’t need superpowers to be a superhero, but can he survive Madeleine’s game of tense intrigue and deception?[/spoiler]
A graphic novel adaptaion of Marie Lu’s Batman: Nightwalker. Why would Bruce Wayne go to Arkham Asylum? How will be release himself from one of the resident’s holds?
- Diana: Princess of the Amazons by Shannon Hale (Real Friends), Dean Hale (Princess in Black), and Victoria Ying
(Will be published January 7, 2020)
After an escapade goes wrong, Diana gets in trouble for not living up to the Amazonian standard. She just can’t seem to measure up no matter what she does. Every other person on the island is an adult proficient in their trade and mighty in body, while she is gangly, sometimes clumsy, and not particularly good at anything. She’s not Wonder Woman … yet. What Diana needs is a friend; someone her own age whom she can talk to. But when she decides to take matters into her own hands, she may just make a monster instead of a friend.[/spoiler]
Every kid wants someone to play with—someone preferably of similar age. That’s what Diana, Princess of the Amazons, desperately want. But it’s hard when you live amongst women who hold you to a high standard. It seems to let kids know that they can
- Green Lantern: Legacy by Minh Le (Drawn Together) and Andie Tong (Zodiac Legacy)*
(Will be published on January 21, 2020)
Thirteen-year-old Tai Pham lives in the apartment above his grandmother’s store, where his bedroom is crammed with sketchpads and comic books. But not even his most imaginative drawings could compare to the colorful adventure he’s about to embark on.
When Tai inherits his grandmother’s jade ring, he soon finds out it’s more than it appears. Suddenly he’s being inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns, his neighborhood is being overrun by some racist bullies, and every time he puts pen to paper, he’s forced to confront that he might not be creative enough or strong enough to uphold his ba’s legacy.
Now Tai must decide what kind of hero he wants to be: will he learn to soar above his insecurities or will the past keep him grounded?[/spoiler]
First it’s a Latina Green Lantern, now it’s a new Green Lantern—a Vietnamese boy who inherits his grandmother’s jade ring which brings him to the Green Lanterns. What this boy finds may be belonging and much more.
- Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society)*
(Will be published February 2020)
Damian Wayne dreams of becoming a real boy wonder–as long as he can avoid telling lies and making his nose grow.
Batman’s butler takes an unexpected trip through the looking glass and finds himself in a topsy-turvy world, for Alfred’s in Wonderland!
Gotham City Police Department detectives interrogate Gotham’s most dangerous criminals looking for the princess who stole the pea.
And in our final tale, Batman meets a snow queen who leads him on a dangerous quest.
The creative team behind LI’L GOTHAM returns to their Bat-roots, this time with a fairy-tale flair![/spoiler]
Batman bedtime stories for all the boys and girls in the world!
- Zatanna & the House of Secrets by Matthew Cody and Yoshi Yoshitani*
(Will be published February 2020)
Zatanna and her professional magician father live in a special house, the House of Secrets, which is full of magic, puzzles, mysterious doors, and storybook creatures–it’s the house everyone in the neighborhood talks about but avoids. Not that Zatanna cares, though, because she is perfectly content.
But at school one day, Zatanna stands up to a bully and everything changes … including her friends. Suddenly, Zatanna isn’t so sure about her place in the world, and when she returns home to tell her father, he’s gone missing, lost within their own home.
With thrilling twists from writer Matthew Cody and dazzling artwork by Yoshi Yoshitani, Zantanna and the House of Secrets will delight readers at the turn of every page–and the opening of every door![/spoiler]
Experience the wonder and magic of Zatanna! Experience the gorgeous art from the wonderful Yoshi Yoshitani!
- Batman: Overdrive by Shea Fontana (DC Super Hero Girls + Wonder Woman) and Marcelo DiChiara
(Will be published March 2020)
Driven to solve the mystery of his parents’ murders, teenage loner Bruce Wayne hones his detective and combat skills as he scours the underbelly of Gotham looking for clues. Feeling responsible, Bruce is eager to find someone to pin the blame on so he can absolve himself of the guilt he feels. His quest for freedom while still clinging to the past is revealed in his effort to rebuild his dad’s first car. Finding the correct parts forces Bruce to open himself up to new friendships and challenges, ultimately leading him to what he desires most: freedom![/spoiler]
Sleuth Bruce Wayne! Healing Bruce. Car guy Bruce.
- DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless by Amy Wolfram (Teen Titans Go!) and Agnes Garbowska (DC Super Hero Girls)
(Will be published March 2020)
When the electric grid and cloud computing get knocked out on the same night, the Metropolis High Hamsters aren’t quite sure how to deal…with a cafeteria that only accepts CASH?! And some of the girls are more affected than others–Batgirl without her smartphone barely makes it to school at all, but Green Lantern is mostly determined to keep her friends safe. Speaking of which, has anyone seen Bumblebee?
With half the team out of commission, how will the girls find the source of the problem and fix it before Sweet Justice runs out of non-frozen desserts?![/spoiler]
You get more of these Super Hero Girls saving each other one day at a time.
Young Bruce Wayne is drawn to the fun and excitement he sees going on at Arkham, but to Wayne Enterprises, it’s just another property they own. Bruce is determined to find out why Arkham is full of so much fun and laughter. What exactly is going on over there? Time to sneak over when no one is looking…even though it’s like the house is laughing at him! HA HA HA![/spoiler]
What do Wilder and her friends uncover about their town? What could the secret pirate’s treasure hold?
- Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (Grisha Trilogy, Six of Crows) and Kit Seaton (Afar)
(Will be published on January 7, 2020)
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law–risking exile–to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer–a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies–mortal and divine–determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.[/spoiler]
Warbringer comes to life! See Diana and Alia in illustrated action.
- Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz (Descendants series) and Thomas Pitilli
(Will be published February 2020)
After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents’ murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.
When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight–but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes … and where everyone is a suspect.
With enchanting art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies–all within the hallways of Gotham High![/spoiler]
What happens when you put these well-known characters from Batman into high school?
- The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp (This Is Where It Ends) and Manuel Preitano*
(Will be published March 2020)
But is this suspicion simply a result of her trauma? Fellow patients try to connect with Barbara, but she pushes them away, and she’d rather spend time with ghost stories than participate in her daily exercises. Even Barbara’s own judgment is in question.
In The Oracle Code, universal truths cannot be escaped, and Barbara Gordon must battle the phantoms of her past before they swarm her future.[/spoiler]
I’m incredibly happy that we’re getting a Babs book where it touches upon her disability and how she’s living with it, and what she learns about herself.
- Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn (Heroine Complex) and Nicole Goux (F*ck Off Squad)*
(Will be published April 2020)
Cassandra Cain is the daughter of super-villains and a living weapon trained from birth to be the ultimate assassin. But that doesn’t mean she has to stay that way, right? She’ll have to go through an identity crisis of epic proportions to find out. But how do you figure out who you’re supposed to be when you’ve been trained to become a villain your entire life?
After a soul-shattering moment that sends Cass reeling, she’ll attempt to answer this question the only way she knows how: learning everything she possibly can about her favorite hero–Batgirl. But Batgirl hasn’t been seen in Gotham for years, and when Cass’s father threatens the world she has grown to love, she’ll have to step out of the shadows and overcome her greatest obstacle–that voice inside her head telling her she can never be a hero.
Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Complex and I Love You So Mochi, takes on her favorite hero of color for a new audience of readers. Featuring the edgy art style of Nicole Goux, Shadow of the Batgirl tells the harrowing story of a girl who overcomes the odds to find her unique identity.[/spoiler]
More Cassandra Cain means a better world. You get to see her struggle with being a hero and being a daughter to supervillains.
- Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel by Michael Moreci (Roche Limit) and Sas Milledge*
(Will be published May 2020)
Haly’s traveling circus no longer has the allure of its glamorous past, but it still has one main attraction: the Flying Graysons, a family of trapeze artists starring a teenage Dick Grayson. The only problem is that Dick loathes spending his summers performing tired routines for a dwindling crowd.
When the Lost Carnival, a wild and enchanting new attraction, opens nearby and threatens to pull Haly’s remaining customers, Dick is among those drawn to its magical nighttime glow. But there are forces ancient and dangerous at work at the Lost Carnival, and when Dick meets the mysterious Luciana and her carnival workers–each stranger than the last–he may be too mesmerized to recognize the danger ahead.
Beneath the carnival’s dazzling fireworks, Dick must decide who he is and who he wants to be–choosing between loyalty to his family history and a glittering future with new friends and romance. Writer Michael Moreci and artist Sas Milledge redefine Dick Grayson in The Lost Carnival, a young adult graphic novel exploring the power and magic of young love.[/spoiler]
Dick + the circus. Back to his roots. If the art takes on an art deco aethestic, then Lost Carnival will have won my heart.
First Raven, now Beast Boy. (Hoping for the entire team with Picolo illustrating.)
|REST OF 2020/2021
UPCOMING MIDDLE GRADE TITLES
- Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld – Written by Shannon and Dean Hale
- Anti/Hero – Written by Kate Karyus Quinn & Demitria Lunetta and illustrated by Maca Gil (April 2020)
- Batman and Robin…and Howard – Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown
- DC Super Hero Girls – Written by Amy Wolfram
- Dear Super-Villains – Written by Michael Northrop and illustrated by Gustavo Duarte
- Green Arrow: Stranded – Written by Brendan Deneen and illustrated by Caleb Hosalla
- Indestructibles Book 1—Written by Ridley Pearson
- Lois Lane – Written by Grace Ellis and illustrated by Brittney Williams*
- Metropolis Grove – Written and illustrated by Drew Brockington
- Primer – Written by Thomas Krajewski and Jennifer Muro and illustrated by Gretel Lusky
- Superman Smashes the Klan – Written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Gurihiru
- Super Sons Book 3: Escape to Landis – Written by Ridley Pearson and illustrated by Ile Gonzalez
- Teen Titans Go! to Camp – Written by Sholly Fisch
- Teen Titans Go! Roll with It – Written by Heather Nuhfer and P.C. Morrissey
- The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel – Written by Ryan North and illustrated by Derek Charm*
UPCOMING TEENS TITLES
- Catwoman: Soulstealer – Adapted by Louise Simonson from Sarah J. Maas’ DC Icon prose novel and illustrated by Samantha Dodge
- Galaxy: The Prettiest Star – Written by Jadzia Axelrod and illustrated by Cait Zellers
- House of El Book 1 – Written by Claudia Gray and illustrated by Eric Zawadzki
- I Am Not Starfire—Written by Mariko Tamaki*
- Mister Miracle – Written by Varian Johnson*
- Nubia – Written by L.L. McKinney and illustrated by Robyn Smith
- Swamp Thing – Written by Maggie Stiefvater and illustrated by Morgan Beem
- Victor & Nora: A Mr. Freeze Story – Written by Lauren Myracle and illustrated by Isaac Goodhart
- Whistle – Written by E. Lockhart and illustrated by Manuel Preitano
- Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed – Written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Leila del Duca*
- You Brought Me the Ocean – Written by Alex Sanchez and illustrated by Julie Maroh
- Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend – Written by Alys Arden and illustrated by Jacquelin De Leon