DC has announced two new middle-grade graphic novels for release in Spring 2023, and Abrams has another handful in its Amulet imprint that are scheduled for late 2022 and early 2023. Here’s a look.
Both of the DC titles are new takes on Batman, one serious and one silly. Bruce Wayne: Not Super, by Spy School writer Stuart Gibbs and Flash artist Berat Peckmezci, finds 13-year-old Bruce Wayne at a school for future superheroes, where he stands out as the one student with no superpowers. He’s still trying to figure out what his future will be when he hears that two of his fellow students are bullying and extorting the other kids (including one Dick Grayson). The book is slated for release on February 7, 2023.
Fann Club: The Batman Squad, by Jim Benton (Catwad, Clyde, Attack of the Stuff), stars a whole group of kids (plus a dog) who have zero superpowers but decide to start fighting crime anyway. Their neighborhood patrol includes activities like Standing Mysteriously on a Roof, but they have to get moving when they end up in a bank that’s in the process of being robbed by a werewolf. Fann Club: The Batman Squad is due out on June 6, 2023.
Abrams has a bit more variety in its lineup. The Cosmic Adventures of Astrid and Stella, by Sabrina and Eunice Moyle, is the first in a planned series of early-reader graphic novels that feature two best friends who explore the universe with their pet robot Bobo, visiting new planets, helping resolve friendship struggles, and battling evil, pausing at times for snacks and dance breaks. The Moyles are the creators behind the Hello!Lucky brand of cards, books, and other gift items. This title was one of our Best Bets picks for this year (See “Kids’ Graphic Novels: Best Bets for 2022”). The 112-page, full-color hardcover is rated for ages 6 to 9 and will go on sale in September 2022 with an MSRP of $12.99.
Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan is an interactive graphic novel similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure books licensed by Oni (see “Oni to Produce ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Graphic Novels”). Shiga has already created the ambition Meanwhile, which offered 3,856 possible outcomes and has sold over 100,000 copies. Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan, is set in a medieval village, and the reader has to try to vanquish the titular monster while learning more of the backstory as they proceed. The 144-page, two-color hardcover for kids 8 to 12 will be available in August 2022 and will have an MSRP of $17.99.
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales have been a huge success for Amulet, with over 1.3 million copies in print, and he shows his readers how to create their own history comics in his newest book, Let’s Make History! The familiar characters from the scaffold (the patriot Nathan Hale, the goofy hangman) lead readers ages 8 to 12 through 71 different challenges to help them build their own ten-page comic. The 128-page hardcover, with two-color illustrations, will be released in October 2022 with an MSRP of $14.99.
Abrams also plans to release a deluxe edition of one of Hale’s earlier titles, The Underground Abductor: Bigger & Badder Edition, an oversized version with 16 pages of new material, in September 2022 with an MSRP of $19.99.
And with the midterm elections looming, well known nonfiction creator Don Brown devotes the fourth volume of his Big Ideas that Changed the World series to voting. We the People!, narrated by Abigail Adams, depicts the history of voting and voting rights in a kid-friendly manner for readers aged 8 to 12. The full-color, 128-page hardcover is slated for October 2022 release with an MSRP of $14.99.