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DC Super Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle

Review

DC Super Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle

written by Shea Fontana with illustrations by Marcelo DiChiara and Agnes Garbowska

The DC Super Hero girls are back with their most delightful story yet! Author Shea Fontana has combined powers with illustrators Marcelo DiChiara, Agnes Garbowska and Mirka Andolfo to create the fifth volume of this graphic novel series: DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: Out of the Bottle. Art teacher Ms. Moone has asked each of the Supers to create a comic book in their own style, and while this assignment comes naturally to heroes like Katana and Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn struggle to give their comic that special something. Despite being told that Ms. Moone’s magic potions are strictly off limits, Harley decides to “borrow” some magic paint, causing everyone’s comic creations to come to life and begin wreaking havoc all over Super Hero High --- and Metropolis!

"OUT OF THE BOTTLE is a fun, hilarious read packed with a mix of super art styles and big hero action. Don’t worry if you haven’t read any of the other books in the series --- although I highly recommend them --- you’ll be able to jump right in and enjoy!"

In this adorable and hilarious novel, readers get a glimpse of each Super’s unique characteristics shown through their own comic creations. Supergirl’s comic is a super-cute, My Little Pony-esque creation all about her and her best friend Batgirl, complete with unicorns, baticorns and, of course, butterflies. Katana’s comic shows off her cool demeanor with a noir-style comic, and Harley Quinn’s shows off her quirky personality with a unique art style and meta storyline in which she is the villain, though she prefers the term “anti-hero.” Wonder Woman, with all her strengths, is having some trouble with her art, and so her comic stars three scribble-style Wonder Women. Readers get to explore each of these distinct mini stories and get an in-depth glimpse at their Super authors, but when Ms. Moone’s magic paint brings these comics off the page, they become much more sinister than they look.

These comics-come-to-life make OUT OF THE BOTTLE the most laugh-out-loud installment of this series that is sure to have a few jokes for readers of all ages, though I have to say I have a soft spot for the three Wonder Women who can’t seem to get their sayings right. In addition to these wild drawings, OUT OF THE BOTTLE has another antagonist known as The Enchantress --- an evil being who dwells within Ms. Moone. Through Ms. Moone’s own comics, the Supers discover the origin of The Enchantress, and devise a Super plan to get their art teacher back.

As always, the power of friendship and teamwork lies at the heart of OUT OF THE BOTTLE. The Supers are endlessly supportive of one another’s art, are always willing to help each other out, and are quick to figure out the best way to save the day --- even when tied together with a cartoon Lasso of Truth. There are nuggets of great lessons for young readers in this story, too. For example, Harley mentions that she sees a therapist, telling everyone that doing so is totally healthy. Normalizing therapy and treating mental health with as much importance as physical health is just one of the necessary life lessons to be found within the DC Super Hero Girls series, and this teaching is done in such a fun way that young readers are sure to take these ideas to heart.

Perfect for middle-grade readers, OUT OF THE BOTTLE is a fun, hilarious read packed with a mix of super art styles and big hero action. Don’t worry if you haven’t read any of the other books in the series --- although I highly recommend them --- you’ll be able to jump right in and enjoy!

Reviewed by Katherine Szabo on August 20, 2018

DC Super Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle
written by Shea Fontana with illustrations by Marcelo DiChiara and Agnes Garbowska