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Review: G-Man: Learning to Fly

Learning to fly turns out to be the least of Mikey’s problems. As G-Man he must cope with a host of unpleasant surprises, such as the bratty son of a superhero, the crazy activities at the Sunnyside Superhero Summercamp, the Christmas Tree of Doom, and, worst of all, his brother Dave, aka Great Man.

G-Man: Learning to Fly
Chris Giarrusso
Image, June 2009, ISBN 978-1-60706-087-1
96 pages, $9.99

Part of the fun of reading G-Man as an adult is getting all of the inside jokes about superheroes and superhero comics. The last few comics in the book are a long series of jokes about ultimate crisises and reworkings of backstories that pick gentle fun at recent events in the Marvel and DC Comics universes. But the nice thing about G-Man is that you don’t have to know about those events to think that things are funny. Giarrusso has a kid-friendly sarcastic wit which will resonate with readers ages 8 and up.

To make things even more fun, Giarrusso’s humor is just the right kind of juvenile. A few potty-type jokes and a repeated gag strip about the brothers being mean to each other are all part of the fun and give G-Man a boy-friendly slant. The first third of the book is a longer story about G-Man and Great Man’s origins. The rest of the collection is a series of shorter strips, many just one to three pages long. This makes the book a fast read, increasing the boy appeal.

The whole book is reminiscent of older comics. The layout, size, and cover art are an homage to the Marvel Adventures all-ages line, which should make the book fly off of displays. The bright primary colors will be familiar to readers of 1980s style comics, but the simpler drawing style is will be familiar to today’s animated tv show fans. The pages are small and the text even smaller and there’s a lot of detail on each page, so this probably isn’t a good choice for readers who aren’t familiar with superhero comics. But for the multitude of boys who do want to read superhero comics–and for their parents and older siblings who want to read them also–this is a great pick. A fun new superhero title that brings some freshness to the world of kids’ graphic novels.

This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Image.

Snow Wildsmith About Snow Wildsmith

Snow Wildsmith is a writer and former teen librarian. She has served on several committees for the American Library Association/Young Adult Library Services Association, including the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She reviews graphic novels for Booklist, ICv2's Guide, No Flying No Tights, and Good Comics for Kids and also writes booktalks and creates recommended reading lists for Ebsco's NoveList database. Currently she is working on her first books, a nonfiction series for teens.

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