Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers
Dav Pilkey’s 10th epic Captain Underpants novel is just as strange and funny as the previous nine, and it culminates in a big bang of a finale. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE REVOLTING REVENGE OF THE RADIOACTIVE ROBO-BOXERS has all the action and hijinks that fans of the series have come to anticipate.
"The latest installment of the series is perhaps even smarter and interesting than its predecessors but has all the elements readers have come to expect."
The book begins, after a brief comic book-style introduction to the main characters --- young George and Harold, their school principal Mr. Krupp a.k.a. Captain Underpants and an evil guy named Tippy Tinkletrousers (formerly named Professor Poopypants) --- where they last left off, with George and Harold narrowly averting danger and bemoaning the dull and uninspiring educational system. But by chapter three, Tippy Tinkletrousers has returned, in his Tinkle-Time Travelometer time machine, to change the events that were described in the last book. Armed with his Freezy-Beam 4000, and other even more dangerous weapons, he begins his dastardly work. But, he is soon thwarted, not by George and Harold or Captain Underpants, but by a future version of himself, also recently arrived in a pair of Robo-Pants. The newcomer is zapped and shrunk down to a much smaller size. When George and Harold arrive on the scene, there are two Tippys to contend with. With Mr. Krupp hot on their tails with their trusty animal sidekicks, George and Harold head for their own problematic time machine, the Purple Potty, to try to fix the future (and the past).
The duo arrives safely back 65 million years ago only to find that Mr. Krupp has come along and that there are now three Tippys! It takes a lot of time travel, a lot of luck and the help of Captain Underpants, not to mention some friendly but timid cave people, to defeat the evil Tippys and get back to the present day. Young readers will laugh out loud at the silly antics of the characters and be thrilled by the comic book and Flip-O-Rama interludes. Pilkey outdoes himself with explanations of ancient European cave paintings, the extinction of the dinosaurs and the origin of the universe, not to mention a couple subversive digs at horrible teachers, dull children’s literature and “misdirection” in “politics, history, education, medicine, marketing, science, religion and the Oprah Winfrey Network.”
While Captain Underpants is far from fine literature, the wildly popular series is fine fun. Irreverent and weird, full of visual gags and unexpected plot twists, it is a good book for all types of young readers. The adventures of George and Harold and their superhero creation are action-packed and the characters themselves sweetly offensive. The latest installment of the series is perhaps even smarter and interesting than its predecessors but has all the elements readers have come to expect. Dav Pilkey is clearly having a great time writing these books, and that enjoyment is contagious. While this book is one of many in a series, it is irresistible enough to work as a stand alone title.
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on January 7, 2013