Just in time for Dawn of Justice, Scholastic gives us the Dc’s Backstories series: digest-sized origin stories of The Big Three (Bats, Supes, Wondy); each book includes a foreward from the superhero being profiled, lists of friends, foes, and family; a chronology of the characters’ origins; a short biography in chapters; timelines; glossaries; fast facts, and indexes.
Wonder Woman: Amazon Warrior tells the story of Wonder Woman’s Themiscyran childhood; her warrior training; and the Amazons’ war with the Greek god, Ares, where Diana Trevor, the mortal woman who crash landed on the island and fought with the Amazons against the creature, Cottus, died. The Amazons gave their princess Trevor’s name to honor the fallen warrior.
We learn about Steve Trevor’s – Diana Trevor’s son – arrival on the island, and how Diana won a contest of skill to be the one to take him back to America, where she would defend the human race against Ares. We also learn about Diana’s allies, foes, and armor – did you know that her tiara’s edges are razor sharp and can be thrown like a chakram? Me, either!
Gotham City’s Guardian tells the story of a mugging gone bad and the creation of an icon. We read about a young Bruce Wayne’s world travels, where he sought knowledge from experts in martial arts, investigation, even acting, gaining the skills to avenge his parents; how he embraced the image of the bat, and how he eschews firearms because of the devastation they brought to his life at such a young age. The guide is comprehensive, covering such major events as Batman’s back being broken at the hands of supervillain Bane and the Joker’s murder of Jason Todd’s Robin. Heavily illustrated, we also have fun touches like Bruce Wayne’s own drawings, newspaper clippings, and schematics for such gadgets as Batman’s utility belt and several important vehicles.
Superman: Man of Tomorrow, tells the story of farm boy, Clark Kent, and how he discovered that he was more than just the son of Martha and Jonathan Kent. Graduating from college with a degree in journalism, and went to work in the big city of Metropolis, where he found a job at the Daily Planet. The biography, told through pictures, newspaper excerpts (with a Lois Lane byline!), and artwork, also touches on Clark Kent’s Kryptonian heritage, both sets of his parents, and his first big feud with Lex Luthor.
Each book is loaded with black and white artwork created specifically for the series. These books are a good addition to a juvenile library; in my library system, the superhero trade paperbacks are largely in the teen area for content. When the kids ask for superhero stories – and they do! – I have to make sure that I’ve got a rich set of offerings for them! I’ve got easy readers and chapter books; solid little origin stories like this will really round out my superhero collection.
For those of you not living the library life, these books are great for your up-and-coming superhero fans. Pair these up with Capstone’s DC superhero chapter books and build your favorite kids’ superhero library!