GRAPHIC NOVELS

Superman Smashes the Klan

DC. May 2020. 240p. ISBN 9781779504210. pap. $16.99. Rated: Teen+.
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This adaptation of a story line from the 1940s The Adventures of Superman radio show opens in 1946, as Chinese American siblings Roberta Lee and brother Tommy move to Metropolis. They quickly befriend their next-door neighbor Jimmy Olsen, but not every resident of Metropolis is as welcoming, and Roberta’s family soon find themselves targeted by the Klan of the Fiery Cross. After meeting Roberta and Tommy while investigating the Klan in his capacity as a reporter for the Daily Planet, Clark Kent realizes that an intervention by his alter ego Superman is in order, especially after a Klan leader undergoes a procedure to gain enhanced powers. Flashbacks to Superman’s personal battle to overcome a sense of alienation as a teenager and discomfort at coming to terms with his alien heritage highlight the character’s enduring appeal. 
VERDICT Yang and Gurihuru (Avatar: The Last Airbender-- The Promise Omnibus) spin a thrilling and timely, all-ages adventure that explores the immigrant experience, bigotry, and internalized racism through a range of perspectives that includes an African American police inspector and a young Klan member forced to confront his family’s legacy of hatred.

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