Written by: Michael Northrop
Illustrated by: Gustavo Duarte
So I just finished reading Dear Justice League, written by Michael Northrop with art by Gustavo Duarte. I have to say this is one of the best books I’ve read in a while and that’s not just because it’s a kids book so it’s easier for me to read. This book captures all the light and joy that these heroes bring to the world, from being a kid and seeing these heroes to being an adult and the realisation that comes to you that no hero is perfect.
The art in this book is bright and beautiful, with bright colours, clear visuals, and classic suit designs of our favourite heroes such as Superman in his classic red underwear, to batman having two costumes (one in a flashback) the first if which is very reminiscent of Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ design with a much wider and bolder bat symbol whilst his other suit includes the classic yellow oval with bat symbol inside. All the characters are instantly recognizable, there’s no odd changes in details like the hairstyle, or facial features that will make you question if you’re looking at a different character. As I said the designs are classical and iconic so you know exactly who you’re looking at, but not to take anything away from Gustavo Duarte’s art style because he really makes it his own. I’ve not seen much of his art before this but I can tell you that this book has it’s own unique look from other DC content which makes it stand out from the rest.
The writing from Michael Northrop is kept simple for kids, and captures the true nature of the characters. Superman is honest and kind, The Flash jokes around with bad puns, Diana answers with truth, Aquaman is a little self conscious , and through it all this book has an awesome and fun overall plot that plays throughout the time that these heroes are answering their fans. The chapters layout the book nicely so that each hero gets a spotlight moment to tell their story, although Flash’s is more of an interlude.
There’s even references to Back to the Future, Top Gun and I’m sure a few other references that I didn’t pick up on but this shows that this wasn’t just written for kids. It was written with those of us, that are now adults, that grew up with these heroes, in mind.
The end of the book rounds off the whole theme of the book beautifully, as all the heroes come together to tell us readers that yes they mess up, they’re not always perfect, they’re not always super, but they don’t let it get them down!
Also at the end of the book are sneak peaks at next year’s sequel to this book called ‘Dear Super Villains’ which looks just as much fun, if not more so, than this one as the preview shows us a look at Harley Quinn answering a question, so you can imagine how that goes, as well as a new also giving us a sneak peak at ‘Superman of Smallville’ brought to us by Art Balthazar & Franco, the New York Times bestselling creators of ‘Tiny Titans’. This also looks like a fun little book that introduces us to the younger Clark Kent/ Superman growing up on the farm, being told to do hard work instead of use his powers which leads to some fun and I’m sure deep messages about how powers don’t always help. Either way I’ll be keeping an eye out for both of these books, the first of which (Dear Super Villains) is due for 2020 whilst Superman of Smallville’ is due for release on the 3rd of September this year!
Overall this book is a brilliant and heartwarming love letter to all our favourite heroes, even those that weren’t included. It shows kids, that even all of these ‘SUPER’ heroes can’t be super all the time. It speaks to people of all ages, that mistakes happen to the best of us, but it’s how we deal with them and carry on that makes us ‘Super’.