Tuesday, February 21, 2017

DC Comics Secret Hero Society, Book 2 - Fort Solitude

The adventures of elementary-school age Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, and Diana Prince continue in the second DC Comics Secret Hero Society book, Fort Solitude.  As with the first book, this is not a typical prose novel, nor is it wholly a graphic novel.  Rather, it is a combination of comic book pages, journal entries, "photo" album pages, notes, e-mails, text conversations, and more.  However, despite this form of storytelling, the story and plot flow nicely and it makes for a very easy, fun read.

The second volume of this series finds our trinity of young heroes headed off to Evergreen Adventure Camp (the name should have given me a clue - and no, I'm not talking about Poison Ivy - but I'll admit, even I didn't catch it until the villain was revealed at the end!), where they and tons of other young future heroes and villains hope to have a week of crafts, hiking, competitions, and adventures.  Only, one by one, some of the campers begin to disappear (specifically, those who exhibit any kind of powers that help them win a particular game or tournament).  Bruce is suspicious from the get-go, but eventually Clark and Diana jump on the bandwagon, along with Victor Stone (a/k/a Cyborg) and several other campers who grow concerned that they may be next.  The counselors seems totally unconcerned, even going so far as to make excuses as to why the other campers are missing.

Clark finds a hidden treehouse, where one Lois Lane, a camper from a previous year, had set up a station to keep all her secrets about the camp.  It seems this year is not the first year campers went missing, and Lois was doing everything she could to expose what was going on.  Clark and his friends set up headquarters in this "Fort Solitude" to figure out what's going on.  Using themselves as bait, however, they do ultimately overcome the villainous plan and reveal the true culprit to be a long-time enemy of Superman in the comics (and no, not Lex Luthor, if that's what you are thinking).

The little Secret Hero Society expands with this story, as Barry Allen, Victor Stone, Ollie Queen, and Arthur Curry join the ranks, and their adventures appear to be just beginning...

Derek Fridolis tells a romping fun tale, very worthy of the characters he is writing.  Definitely intended for children, it is not dumbed down in any way, and quite frankly I'd be willing to bet just about any comic book fan would enjoy the story.  Dustin Nguyen provides the art for the cover and the interior, and frankly, it fits perfectly with the storytelling technique.  It's not overly childish (such as the art in certain DC books supposedly aimed at children), but it's not all dark and gloomy like a lot of the mainstream comics.

Fun and easy - exactly what comic and comic-related books should be!  Definitely an A++ read!

RATING:  9 cabin inspections out of 10 for actually making me enjoy stories about Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman as kids!

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