PS238: With Liberty and Recess for All

These humorous stories are based on a terrific concept: superpowered kids going to school to learn how to use their abilities. PS238 is an elementary school for these special kids, with faculty that include a magic-working illusionist and a technical wizard. The teachers need exceptional abilities help them deal with alien students and over-protective parents.

PS238: With Liberty and Recess for All cover
With Liberty and Recess for All
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The students run the gamut, from Captain Clarinet, a Superboy type who just wants to play music, to the young Hulk-like Bernard. There’s also a boy speedster, the explosive Suzi Fusion, a couple of wannabe super-villains, and some parodies. For example, a Sandman-like boy appears mumbling, “I have been before, am now, and shall ever be.” when asked what his name is, so they call him Murphy.

Tyler doesn’t have any powers, but because his parents are superheroes, they’re convinced it’s only a matter of time. In the meantime, he’s in over his head in gym class. The stories take a playful approach to some of the genre conventions all readers are familiar with — costume changes, secret identities — and universal relationship issues, such as parents dealing with children who disrupt their lives.

Unfortunately, the book isn’t in color, so the only place we see the kids in their splendor is on the cover. The cartoony, open linework by Aaron Williams helps them look like children, though. They’re a little doughy, not quite fully-formed, with their time in the oven still ahead of them.

Discipline is a particular concern, given what these kids are capable of. One of the little super-villains, Zodon, floats around in an egg-shaped personal ship and has quite the potty mouth until an implanted microchip changes his swearing into non sequiturs and show tunes. His cynicism and educated insults help keep the book from being too sappy.

The children are adorable because they act like real kids, not tiny adults, but the real star is their teacher, Miss Kyle. She’s quite creative at outwitting them though nothing more than knowledge of why children do what they do. The result is a funny book with substance.

There are sample comics online at the official PS238 website. Back issues can be ordered from the online store. Williams also does the Full Frontal Nerdity online comic strip.

4 Responses to “PS238: With Liberty and Recess for All”

  1. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] There’s a new PS238 volume, No Child Left Behind! (Dork Storm Press, $15.99, MAY06 3098). The collection includes five series issues, #11-15, plus additional material. […]

  2. PS238: Not Another Learning Experience! » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] all that, I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first volume. I liked the focus then on the non-powered kid coping intelligently with the world he was thrown […]

  3. PS238: Senseless Acts of Tourism! » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] can read the comic online. I’ve also reviewed the first and fourth volumes. […]

  4. PS238: When Worlds Go Splat! » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] do miss the focus on the kids and their education that was more prominent in the earlier issues. I liked the quieter, down-to-earth stories with more […]




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