Capstone Young Readers is an imprint we speak of often around here. Their DC Origins line is another example of the commitment they have to bringing readers into the fold young.
Of the four “Origin Story” titles, two, Batman An Origin Story and Wonder Woman An Origin Story, were written by John Sazakalis and the other two, Superman An Origin Story and Green Lantern An Origin Story, were written by Matthew K Manning. All have artwork from Luciano Vecchio which lends a nice cohesive feel to the series, and makes you want to own all four.
These are story books to be certain, with an image accompanied by text on each page, still they maintain the comic book feel and Vecchio’s animated series style lends itself beautifully to this type of book. My five year old and I read three of them together and this cohesiveness was evident in the fact that he was just as interested in Wonder Woman’s book as the other two. The writing is a little over the heads of the younger set, but I always believed it’s never too early to learn words like, imagination, or banishes, or communicates.
Each story is treated with the gravitas it deserves. Pages like the death of Bruce’s parents carry real emotional weight without being graphic. Understated narration such as “Two shots ring out” “Bruce becomes an orphan” and “Wayne Manor is big and empty.” “The laughter is gone.” may invite some uncomfortable conversation but “Bruce decides that no one else should feel such pain.” and “Strength is not enough.” “Bruce also trains his mind.” really gives the opportunity to talk about real heroes and true heroics.
The Batman book obviously affected me but Superman was just as well done. The wonder and awe shown as he learns of his powers and his past really highlight how innocent and good-natured Clark is. And the story of the princess who defies her queen in order to go out in the world and fight for good shows Wonder Woman’s strength of character and drive to be a hero.
Couple these wonderful characterizations with the back matter in each volume that includes reading comprehension questions and this series is an obvious winner. I think these books are the perfect addition to your little super hero’s library. The art is gorgeous and the writing is spot on.