DC Announces Two Middle Grade Books for Spring 2023
Next Spring, two new DC middle-grade graphic novels will introduce new takes on the iconic Batman—one through the eyes of a young Bruce Wayne, just discovering how he can be a Super Hero, and one through the eyes of a young Batman super-fan, who is learning how he can be like his hero.
On sale February 7, 2023, Bruce Wayne: Not Super follows a 13-year-old Bruce Wayne as he attends an exclusive prep school for the gifted. But, in this book written by Stuart Gibbs (Spy School) with art by Berat Peckmezci (Flash), this school is for the super-gifted. Bruce doesn’t stand a chance of winning a race against the future Flash, or a swim meet against the future Aquaman, and he always gets picked last for dodgeball.
It’s hard enough being in middle school, but it’s even worse when you’re the only kid at your school who doesn’t have super-powers. Bruce does have a goal though: he wants to make a difference in the world. But how can he do that when he doesn’t have any powers? While the Future-Supers are currently content to simply use their gifts to glide through school and court popularity, Bruce struggles to figure out if he has any gifts at all — and if so, how to use them. His challenge comes when he discovers fellow student Jack Napier and his hired bully Bane shaking down lesser-powered students for money, including that hapless kid Dick Grayson. Someone must stand up to them and somehow, it’s going to be Bruce!
Bruce Wayne: Not Super represents an alternate origin story for Batman and a number of other iconic DC characters, imagining them all as school age kids and with Bruce as the misfit. Filled with a lot of humor, this is a light-hearted take on a well-known and beloved character.
Then on June 6, 2023, Fann Club: The Batman Squad takes on the neighborhood. Written and drawn by satirist Jim Benton (Dear Dumb Diary), the book follows the adventures and misadventures of Ernest Fann, a boy who idolizes Batman.
With no particular training or superpowers, Ernest decides to set up a crimefighting unit consisting of his immediate friends and his dog. Ernest takes on the name of Gerbilwing, his best friend Jack becomes Nightstand, his sitter Harriet is dubbed Nightshadow, and his dog Westy takes on the crime-fighting alias of Night Terrier.
Their very important training exercises—all designed by Ernest, of course, consist of Scowling, Standing Mysteriously on A Roof, and going on neighborhood patrol. But things get complicated when Ernest and Jack—a.k.a Gerbilwing and Nightstand–visit a bank that happens to be in the middle of a robbery. And not just any robbery, but one that’s being committed by a werewolf! What’s his connection to a number of “disasters” that have been going on in Ernest’s neighborhood? Will The Batman Squad taste defeat on their very first day of crime-fighting?
Fann Club: The Batman Squad is a great send-up of the Batman mythos as well as a series of silly adventures fill of great, tongue-in-cheek satire for readers of all ages.