STARRED REVIEW
March 11, 2019

Superman: Dawnbreaker

By Matt de la Peña
Review by

As part of the DC Icons series, where blockbuster authors reexplore and reimagine iconic superheroes for a new, young audience, Newberry Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña’s Superman: Dawnbreaker explores Clark Kent’s early years as a teenager in his small hometown. And just as Clark is learning his true identity and extraordinary abilities, he is simultaneously balancing the risks and responsibilities that accompany such power and exploring what it means to belong in today’s America.

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As part of the DC Icons series, where blockbuster authors reexplore and reimagine iconic superheroes for a new, young audience, Newberry Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña’s Superman: Dawnbreaker explores Clark Kent’s early years as a teenager in his small hometown. And just as Clark is learning his true identity and extraordinary abilities, he is simultaneously balancing the risks and responsibilities that accompany such power and exploring what it means to belong in today’s America.

Set against the backdrop of a fictional, modern-day Smallville, Kansas, readers meet a cast of familiar characters, including Clark’s parents, Lana Lang and Lex Luthor, but de la Peña also introduces readers to a bevy of new characters who are involved with the powerful Mankins Corporation. The multi-millionaire Mankins family, including Clark’s fellow high school student Bryan, have moved into Smallville to supposedly bring new jobs into the farming town. But as Clark and Lana befriend Bryan and do some digging into his father’s company, they soon learn that the corporation is not as kindhearted as the bosses would like the town to believe. All the while, Smallville’s Mexican-American residents have started suddenly disappearing, and it’s up to Clark and his friends to get to the bottom of it all before it tears the town apart.

De la Peña writes in an introductory note that “Superman belongs to all of us . . . he is an outsider who longs to make the world a kinder, safer place,” and the author does a phenomenal job of humanizing this powerful superhero in a way that makes him more relatable than he’s ever been before.

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Superman: Dawnbreaker

Superman: Dawnbreaker

By Matt de la Peña
Random House
ISBN 9780399549656

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