Mister Invincible: Local Hero

Magnetic. Aug. 2020. 96p. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781942367611.
Gr 3-5–Masked superhero Mister Invincible tries to live a mundane life but often gets drawn into crime-fighting escapades. Cleverly, and often paradoxically, Mister Invincible breaks the fourth wall to outmaneuver wrongdoers and solve problems—in one tale, he saves himself from being shot by crossing panels to future scenes, where he disarms the gunman. Jousselin’s collection, translated from French, has an innocent, old-fashioned, episodic feel, despite featuring modern technologies. With 30-plus entries, it contains both single- and multipage stories that touch upon quotidian issues like running out of bread as well as more complex but age-appropriate story lines that explore the power of words, military weaponry, and empathy. The one-page stories are quick and can be read individually and easily paced through multiple sittings, while the longer tales—in which their shorter companions are nested—either build upon themselves or reference previous longer installments. Many contain cartoon violence, complete with emanata. With the exception of one story that features visually loud 1990s neon-colored pixelated backgrounds, the book is dominated by a subdued beige and soft, creamy orange color base, with a mossy green and cornflower blue used to depict the minimalist nature around Mister Invincible. Character features tend to be exaggerated. Though there is a diversity of body types, racial representation is lacking. Most characters, including Mister Invincible, are white, with the noticeable exception of the Black president of the United States.
VERDICT This mind-bending and fun escape from the confines of reality will entice readers looking for a collection with a hint of newspaper comics nostalgia.

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