Monday, February 05, 2018

Bumblebee and Killer Moth fight over buttlerflies.

I was pleasantly surprised by the first of Shea Fontana and Yancey Labat's DC Super Hero Girls original graphic novels, all of which to date have been very well-made and offered more than enough Easter Eggy content to engage a middle-aged DC Comics fan like me. That said, I would have totally ignored this book, DC Super Hero Girls: Butterfly Battle by writer Courtney Carbone and illustrator Pernille Orum-Nielsen if I could have, because a) It's totally not meant for me at all and b) it feels kind of cruel to critique a book in the "Step Into Reading" program, which encourages kids to read (This is, by the way, a "Step 3" book, meaning it has engaging characters, easy-to-follow plots and popular the escapades of Killer Moth. There is no topic more popular among children who are ready to read on their own than what hijinks moth-themed criminal Drury Walker is getting up to!).

But come one--how could I not devote the three-to-five minutes of my time it took to read this? It's Bumblebee vs. Killer Moth, with space butterflies as the prize!

The premise is familiar from all those graphic novels I mentioned previously. If you're not familiar with the toy-line-turned-all-around-lucrative-IP, it imagines many of DC's superheros as teenagers attending Super Hero High School in Metropolis, where Amanda Waller is principal and various villains and Golden Agers are on the faculty. A clique of heroines serve as the main characters.

In this background-free story, "Bumbelee is giving a presentation in science class about alien butterflies." A breed of alien butterflies called "Space monarchs" apparently visit earth once a century--and they are headed to Metropolis right now. Everyone, the book says, was excited:
I don't know. "Excited" isn't a word I would use to describe Killer Frost in the above image.

But maybe that's just the way Killer Frost always looks. She has the same expression on the next page, and later when she is incapacitated by a villain and everyone else is freaking out. (Oh, by the way, apparently Killer Frost is just "Frost" in the Super Hero Girls-iverse; I guess "Killer" is a little too hardcore for the target audience? The last OGN in the line I read, Date With Disaster, listed her simply as "Frost" on the opening spread introducing the cast). It makes me wonder if they will go ahead and call Killer Moth "Killer Moth" or...just...Moth? That doesn't sound quite right. Of course, "Killer Moth" probably doesn't sound right to most people either.

As everyone is enjoying the butterflies, "the Mothwing," a moth-themed plane descends: "And that means Killer Moth!" Batgirl, in her stupid hoodie, says. Huh. Well I guess they can say "Killer" sometimes...
No comment.

Killer Moth then busts out his butterfly net and...begins collecting butterflies...? Is that illegal? Is that a crime? Are Space monarchs an interplanetary protected species or something? Look how happy the guy looks!
Bumblebee shrinks down to bee-size, gets herself scooped up in his net and brought aboard his ship, and then she grows back to girl size and blows open his ship, freeing the butterflies and kicking his ass.

Look how happy she looks to be about to punch Killer Moth in the face!
Punching Killer Moth makes Bumblebee feel the way that collecting butterflies makes Killer Moth feel.

The day saved, I guess, Amanda Waller delivers a pun so terrible I think she should have a tiny bomb implanted in her brain, which can be detonated if she ever makes a joke that bad again. She tells the girls, "I'm nominating you all for..."
Look at Babs grabbing her stomach like it was so funny that she might burst from laughter. What a brown-noser.

1 comment:

Jose Gregorio Bencomo Gomez said...

I think the trick is they can say 'Killer' when referring to villains, but not when labeling heroes, which Frost technically is here.