Great Showdowns: The Revenge

illus. by author. 144p. ebook available. Titan. Oct. 2015. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781783296972.
Gr 9 Up—Reading a book without words can be frustrating for some teens, but that is the premise of Campbell's "Great Showdowns" graphic series. This third installment depicts visual interpretations of clashes from a litany of well-known movies. The illustrations seem at first glance simplistic, but the detail given to each individual character is deceptively dense. The muted, beige color palette used helps to keep each of the pages standardized. This is also exemplified in framing each of the characters in the same size and position from picture to picture with the exception of a few full-page spreads, including ones for Star Wars, Purple Rain, and Attack the Block. Sometimes the fight is individual, while sometimes it's against a larger group. For example, the Karate Kid faces off against a group of angry students on Halloween while Pennywise faces off against his potential child victims in It. While teenage readers may appreciate some of the more contemporary references, the homages paid to films such as The Usual Suspects, Groundhog Day, or When Harry Met Sally might be lost on a modern young adult audience. This graphic work also suffers from a lack of an index, especially if non-film buffs pick this title up. That said, the work provides a unique, visual way of presenting interesting pieces of cinematic history.
VERDICT For avid movie history fans and pop culture aficionados.

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