Wednesday, September 27

Wonder Woman at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer borrowed this book from the library. No monetary compensation was offered to him by the author or publisher. He couldn't even find a job as a C-list superhero sidekick. Cover art is copyright of Random House Kids.*

Diana has moved from Themescyra to Metropolis to attend Super Hero High. There she will learn to be an ambassador for her people and the greatest hero she can be.

This is the first novel to accompany a cartoon series and doll line called DC Super Hero Girls, which highlights the women of DC. To have a series focused on female superheroes that has a young target demographic is significant.

There has been some upset that Wonder Woman attends Super Hero High with the likes of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Many have mansplained, "They're not heroes, they're villains!" Well, let me hogsplain something to the decriers: It's called the Multiverse. In this particular universe, characters of all designs attend Super Hero High and do not share the same continuity as their counterparts from Prime Earth. Calm yo' nips.

Indeed, while Super Hero High aims to produce superheroes, there is no guarantee that each student will become a superhero. There is every possibility that it will produce its fair share of villains. This is blatantly stated by the principal, Amanda Waller. Yes, you read that right. Also, Gorilla Grod is VP.

If this is all flying over your head like a bird or a plane, never fear! You do not need to know anything about Wonder Woman or her fellow DC comrades to understand and enjoy this novel. Those who do know some of the characters may delight in seeing how they are incorporated into the story in various roles. Without giving too much away, I will tell you that there are students from three other schools featured, there are male students (Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, Beast Boy), and a couple contemporary heroes are Black Canary and Firestorm. Batman doesn't...seem to exist. Readers can be left to wonder if this means the Wayne glass is full or empty.

Back to Wonder Woman! Diana is the perfect protagonist to lead into the world of Super Hero High. She is not only new to the school but clueless about mortal customs. Too clueless. She takes everything literally and doesn't even know about handshakes, despite having had access to the internet. There is sheltered, and then there is this girl.

My prickly point is that Wonder Woman takes on the nickname "Wondy" thanks to Harley Quinn. I have no issue with characters being referred to by their superhero names, but Wondy? NO. Ridiculousness.

I listened to 'Wonder Woman at Super Hero High' on audio, read by Ashley Eckstein. She did an excellent job. I would happily listen to another audio book narrated by her. She is currently the only narrator in the Super Hero High book series who does not voice a character in the DC Super Hero Girls cartoon.

The next book in the series is 'Supergirl at Super Hero High.' I read that one first because I have no care for the order of things and do as I please. I liked it also.

*It is not clear whether penguins or puffins live there.

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