For many kids, it would be the ultimate dream come true: to unexpectedly gain superpowers and be able to save the world! Unless, of course, your dad won’t let you.
In Sort of Super, the debut graphic novel by Eric Gapstur, 11-year-old Wyatt Flynn was covered in glowing space dust, doused with nuclear waste and electrocuted—all during a rapid sequence of accidents on “Bring Your Kids to Work Day.” Now he has a ton of amazing abilities, including flight, superspeed, superstrength, super tough skin and invisibility. He also has an overprotective father who will under no circumstances allow Wyatt to be a superhero until he’s at least 36 years old.
After Wyatt, his little sister, Adeline, and their father move in with Wyatt’s grandmother, Wyatt must navigate the ordinary challenges of a new school year while concealing the fact that he’s now, well, a pretty extraordinary kid. It all goes (mostly) smoothly at first, but when animals in town begin mysteriously disappearing, Wyatt enlists the help of un-superpowered but extremely smart Adeline to discover who has been stealing them and why.
Filled with over-the-top action and slapstick humor, Sort of Super is a fantastic graphic novel for younger middle grade readers. Perfect for kids who have moved on from Captain Underpants and Dog Man but are not yet ready for Marvel, DC and other adult superhero comics, Sort of Super introduces many tropes of the genre (hidden identities, secret villains, sidekicks who are better prepared than the superhero, expansive universes) without being trite or condescending toward the reader.
Wyatt and Adeline succeed because of their strength of character and their trust and belief in each other, and Gapstur surrounds them with wonderfully supportive adults. His art is bold and colorful, and it perfectly complements his storytelling and on-point dialogue. Sort of Super is a funny, engaging book that will leave readers eager for more adventures with Wyatt, Adeline and their extraordinary family.