DC Super Hero Girls: Past Times at Super Hero High
The collected edition of the digital comic series DC Super Hero Girls: Past Times at Super Hero High will be available in comic shops on September 27, in bookstores October 10.
As written by Shea Fontana, the concept is simple, but there are entertaining touches throughout, illustrated by Yancy Labat, Agnes Garbowska, and Marcelo DiChiara.
Liberty Belle (an old favorite of mine) is the teacher taking a group of superhero kids on a time-traveling field trip to study dinosaurs. Batgirl and Harley Quinn are engaged in a rivalry to see who’s the biggest dinosaur fan; the other students include Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Beast Boy, Katana, and Poison Ivy. Bumblebee, left behind because time travel makes her sick, also plays a key role.
When a dinosaur damages the trip bus and splits up the group, the kids have to avoid the reptiles and figure out how to reconnect. Then they find out that their activities have accidentally changed time, so that instead of Principal Waller, their school is run by Vandal Savage.
One of the things I liked were the cameos by interesting women of the past: paleontologist Mary Anning, aviator Amelia Earhart, and poet Emily Dickinson. I assume because she was created in 1942, Belle talks in old-fashioned slang (although sometimes it reads a bit more 30s than 40s). She’s not the only obscure DCU cameo — later on, the Atomic Knights and their gigantic Dalmatians appear.
Beast Boy leading a group of dinos is amusing, as is a baby pterodactyl named Bitey. I like the way the characters plan and talk things out before jumping into punching, too. It’s colorful adventure with plenty of friendship and action with a purpose. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)