Review: InvestiGators: Agents of S.U.I.T. 1
Anyone who watches any network TV knows that spinoffs work! How many Law & Order franchises are there? There’s FBI, FBI Most Wanted, and FBI International. And I lost count of how many NCIS spinoffs there are. I’ve only touched on two networks, but I’d better stop now. My point? It’s been done before in the comic universe too. Wasn’t Sabrina the Teenage Witch just a tertiary character in the Archie Universe before she had her own series? Well, why not spin off a great comic?
InvestiGators: Agents of S.U.I.T. 1
By John Patrick Green and Christopher Hastings; illustrated by Pat Lewis
First Second, February 2023
Readers who love the Investigators series will jump to this new series by John Patrick Green. Cilantro, the Chameleon who is in charge of setting up the training at S.U.I.T., finally gets the chance to be an Investigator herself.
The action starts when she apprehends a criminal dog, who’s been stealing fast food condiments from people’s homes. It’s a small case, but she loses the suspect because she didn’t have handcuffs when she took off her VEST to use her chameleon abilities. So, she ends up being sent to work with another division and her first very vague mission is at an old abandoned outpost. Cilantro quickly figures out her mission is to find out if the new crop circles that are showing up on the Milford Farm are genuine or a hoax.
The series has all the same great punny humor and built-in suspense as the original InvestiGators books, with familiar characters and great new characters. Brash and Mango make cameo appearances in the story (and it’s hilarious) but readers new to the series don’t need any of the S.U.I.T. backstory to start delving into the new universe. This series is likely to bring in loyal and new readers.
The artwork is bold and funny. I love how when I look at the artwork, I feel like it’s so simple that “even I could draw that.” (Says she who cannot draw a straight line with a ruler.) The artwork is busy and vibrant, rounding up this title to be another great addition to the middle-grade comic universe.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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