This is what would happen to me. Guaranteed. If an alien visited Earth and granted superpowers to one person, I’d just have stepped outside, or gone to make a sandwich, or (like Luke in My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons) needed to go for a wee.
Luke knows everything there is to know about superheroes. His brother Zack is a bit boring, a bit of a swot, and spends most of his time with his nose in his schoolwork instead of in comics like any sane human being. So it’s just completely not fair that Zack is granted the powers of Star Lad, saviour of humanity, and Luke is left standing idly by.
Zack doesn’t even want a cape or a mask, for goodness’ sake. He makes do with a hoodie to protect his identity when he’s out on patrol, using his powers to save people. He just doesn’t understand superheroes at all.
David Solomons does understand superheroes, and comics, comic book fans, and general geekiness. Barely a page goes by without a reference to Batman or the SHIELD helicarrier or Star Wars. (Luke and Zack’s dad is a Star Wars fan – there’s a reason Luke is called Luke. It must be purely a coincidence that David Solomons’ own son is called Luke, too.)
He also understands action and humour, and My Brother is a Superhero has both in abundance. When Star Lad is kidnapped by a supervillain, Luke and his friends Serge and Lara have to track him down before the end of the world – doom is coming to Planet Earth in the form of Nemesis (although Luke’s a bit shaky on who or what Nemesis is) and only Star Lad can save the world. It’s a race against time, and the story uses this urgency to keep the plot racing along.
The frantic pace of the action is matched only by the quality of the jokes. The Internet acronym LOL is used far too often these days, but I did literally Laugh Out Loud several times reading this book. The geeky humour struck a real chord with me, from Luke’s geek references to Lara’s malapropisms and Serge’s in-depth knowledge of hack attacks on snack vending machines.
There are simple chapter title illustrations by Laura Ellen Anderson that set the scene nicely for each chapter (and a neat flip-animation at the bottom right of the pages that might rightly be termed a spoiler). The red, yellow and blue cover with its sparkly starry background couldn’t be more appropriate, either.
Geeky, exciting, and funny. Recommended.
Oh, and there’s a free tie-in iOS game app, too, at which I am less than competent.