I was skeptical when I read about a new all-ages graphic novel in the works by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Bendis & Oeming, co-creators of the series Powers, are better known for their more mature themed work at Marvel. However, being a strong supporter of mainstream publishers putting out more all-ages material, I was more than willing to give such talented creators the benefit of the doubt.
I’m glad I did.
Bendis & Oeming put their heads together and came up with Takio. It’s the story of two sisters granted strange and amazing powers by a lab accident. Ah, the old lab accident origin. We’ve seen this before. Siblings with powers? Been there, done that.If the creators stopped at just those basic themes Takio wouldn’t shine like it does. But shine it does because Bendis & Oeming make Takio a story about relationships. The real story is about older sister Taki dealing with her annoying but lovable younger sister Olivia, both sisters dealing with the death of their father and a mother still dealing with the loss of a husband.
Don’t get me wrong. The superpowers and related plot are fun and entertaining. What’s not to love about kids using Kung Fu telekinesis on bad guys? But had this story just been about the relationship of these two sisters, I would love it all the same.
I especially liked the way Bendis & Oeming handled the fact that Taki is Olivia’s adopted Asian sister. Taki being adopted is such a natural thing for Olivia to accept. My hope is that kids reading Takio will take away the lesson that a sibling is a sibling no matter their race or parentage.
Okay, I’ve rambled on about why I liked Takio. But will kids like it?
As I sat on the couch reading Takio my nine year old daughter asked what it was. I told her and mentioned that as soon as I was done she could read it too. For the next thirty minutes my daughter waited intently by my side to read. You see, as she told me later, she wanted to read it “Because there’s girls in it!” and she pointed to Olivia on the cover with a smile.
My daughter really liked the art and she loved the writing, laughing here and there at Olivia’s witty dialogue. She really thought the kids talked and behaved like kids. My daughter even pictured herself as Olivia and whipped out some “tele-netflix-is” martial arts moves.
All in all Takio is a really good read that left us wanting more. While this book is a graphic novel, I’d really like to see Takio as a monthly book. Although given the busy schedules of both Bendis and Oeming, we’ll probably have to settle for future graphic novels.
Takio is in stores now. Grab one for your family; you won’t regret it.