Review: ‘Be A Star, Wonder Woman’
Be A Star, Wonder Woman
Writer: Michael Dahl
Artist: Omar Lozano
Picture Window Books; $15.95
Yes, the name of the blog is Good Comics For Kids, and this is a picture book rather than a comic, but I think we can all agree that the fact that this stars comic book superhero Wonder Woman puts this well within the “close enough” category.
Be A Star, Wonder Woman is the third in writer Michael Dahl’s now four-book series of inspirational, instructional picture books in which little kids try to apply the examples of their favorite heroes to their own every day lives. The first was Bedtime for Batman, in which a little boy gets ready for bed, and that was followed by Good Morning, Superman, in which another little boy gets ready to start his day.
Now comes a book starring the third member of the DC’s “Trinity” of superheroes, Wonder Woman. The book, which is drawn by Omar Lozano, artist of Good Morning, Superman, starts with a little girl on her way to school and follows her throughout her day there.
As with the others, the action is split between our child protagonist’s real life and the dramatization of their imaginings of their hero in action. So, for example, on the second spread, the left-hand page shows the little girl striking a heroic, determined pose at the door as she takes in the classroom, while on the right-hand page we see Wonder Woman striking the same pose atop a building, looking out over the city below for signs of trouble.
The rest of the book then consists of various challenges the girl faces—breaking up a fight between two classmates, climbing a high rope on the playground despite her fear of doing so, doing some schoolwork—being paralleled by a Wonder Woman adventure, in which she faces a pair of dragons and must capture her arch-enemy Circe (and, at one point, getting an assist from a trio of other female superheroes—Batgirl, Supergirl, and Bumblebee).
It ends with a checklist of things you need to do to “be a star,” like “Be Prepared,” “Be Kind,” and so on.
Lozano’s artwork here quite consciously follows the style of Warner Bros animation producer Bruce Timm, whose designs informed those of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, and Justice League. Even though that was a few cartoons ago, this Wonder Woman is the one from Justice League (and the other characters are similarly Timm-esque, although Bumblebee has her Teen Titans cartoon costume—she’s just been Timm-ized a bit).
The kid characters are simple enough in design to seem to belong in the same world as Wonder Woman and the adult characters, but they don’t bear the stamp of any previous artist quite so strongly. Every image looks more painterly than anything from any of the old cartoons though, giving Be A Star a distinctive look that is part cartoon, part picture book illustration.
Dahl and Lozano must have enjoyed the brief appearance of Supergirl in this story, as Be A Star was soon followed by Sweet Dreams, Supergirl, which is a similar to the Batman book, albeit with a different hero.
About J. Caleb Mozzocco
J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.
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