Captain Amazing is getting old. Sure, he can fly, he’s got super-strength and invulnerability, but that can’t keep him from aging. Oh, and he’s got a peanut allergy. When he can’t stop four supervillains from stealing a DNA transfer device, he decides it’s time to audition for a new sidekick. “No, not one of my pets this time. My heart can’t take it.”
His pets, however, have something different in mind. Roscoe the dog and Fluffy the hamster are both tired of sitting at home watching Captain Amazing on TV. They want to spend more time with him, too, and they figure the best way to do that is to become sidekicks.
That’s the premise of Dan Santat’s new comic book for tweens. Sidekicks follows Roscoe and Fluffy (along with new pet Shifty the chameleon and old frenemy Manny the cat) as they try to win the coveted spot by Captain Amazing’s side. Sometimes they work together, but they spend a lot of time bickering and jockeying for position, too.
Santat, who also illustrated Oh, No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) and was the creator of the Disney cartoon series “The Replacements,” has a great eye for action scenes and a sense of humor that your kids (and you) will love. The story is a good mix of superhero tropes and this parallel world of talking animals (the scene in The Igloo, an animal club, is terrific). There are a lot of different subplots and minor mysteries throughout the story which all get tied up by the end — they probably won’t fool adults and older kids, but they may be fun surprises for the target audience. Plus, even if you can see some of it coming, it’s still a fun ride.
At a little over 200 pages long, it’s a pretty quick read (I read it in one sitting) but it’s also a book that I know my kids will be re-reading again and again. If you like your superhero stories with lots of action and a side of silly, take a look at Sidekicks. For more info, visit Dan Santat’s website.
Disclosure: GeekDad received an uncorrected proof for review purposes.