DC Super Hero Girls: Finals Crisis
I’m glad to see that, in all the material they’ve brought out to sell under the DC Super Heroes Girls brand, that they remembered to make a comic. This original graphic novel (written by Shea Fontana, art by Yancey Labat) is actually thicker (128 pages), glossier (with colorful, shiny paper), and slightly smaller than a typical comic, which allows it to be sold in bookstores and provide more kid appeal and value.
The cast and plot of Finals Crisis is similar to the Hero of the Year movie. Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Bumblebee, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Katana are getting ready for their big final exam. But a mysterious villain is taking them out one by one.
Each character gets a focus chapter. Supergirl has test anxiety, due to her treatment by bullies back home on Krypton. Poison Ivy gets detention for growing too big a plant. Bumblebee stops a thief at the local cafe. Katana plays hide-and-seek with Beast Boy. Wonder Woman, Shiva, and Hawkgirl fight Giganta. Batgirl is looking for a quiet place to study. Harley throws a party (in a chapter full of DC cameos, including XS, Ray, Hawk, and Mary Marvel).
The art is on-model without being static. The panels look like they could have come from a cartoon (which is how many fans are going to know the characters), with good choices for poses for the figures to convey story, action, and emotion.
Supergirl’s section isn’t really in keeping with the rest, which seem like playful everyday events at a superhero school. Her situation is also fixed too easily and abruptly, with a quick piece of advice from a mentor. I also thought having Harley save the day was a little too unbelievable, although in keeping with the current media focus on the character.
More of a problem is that the motive is in service of a character we never meet, making for a less-than-satisfactory wrap-up, and a competition briefly mentioned earlier — who’s the top student — isn’t resolved. However, there’s a heartwarming message, about being stronger as a team, and kids will find the adventures entertaining enough.