If Fridolf and Nguyen’s Li’l Gotham wasn’t enough to convince me that cuteness and American Superheroes mix, Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice is. I think it’s something about Western superhero masculinity that just doesn’t gel with Nguyen’s beautiful watercolour imagery. I can’t put my finger on it, but maybe it’d work better with Japanese magical girls?
A kid version of Batman investigates mysterious events at the elite academy he’s recently enrolled in, alongside a young Superman and Wonder Woman. It bothers me he doesn’t figure out Clark is an alien. I get this is effectively an Elseworlds tale, but being the World’s Greatest Detective is a fundamental component of Batman’s character.
The most interesting thing about this book was how diary entries, comic strips, forms, reports and even security camera footage was woven in a comprehensible narrative. I’d love for the Fridolf and Nguyen team to write a more adult book in this style.
Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice wasn’t for me. I can’t say whether it’s for you.