Review: I AM BATMAN & I AM SUPERMAN
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
Writer: Brad Meltzer
Illustrator: Christopher Eliopoulos
Reviewed by: Joshua Raynor
**Thanks to Penguin Random House for the review copies**
I Am Batman:
The Dark Knight. The Caped Crusader. The World’s Greatest Detective.
Yet before Batman became the protector of Gotham City, he was Bruce Wayne—a young boy full of fears after losing his parents. And even before that, he was simply an idea in the minds of artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, who wanted to show people the power of an ordinary person.
This adventurous and fun introduction to Batman comes from the team who brought you the New York Times bestselling biography series Ordinary People Change the World. Now, they’re featuring the fictional characters who have sparked the imaginations of generations of kids.
I Am Superman:
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…
Yet before he was Superman, he was rocketed from the planet Krypton and raised as Clark Kent by two of the kindest, nicest people in Smallville. And even before that, he was simply an idea in the minds of two creative teenagers, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. At seventeen years old, they gave the world something to believe in.
This adventurous and fun introduction to Superman comes from the team who brought you the New York Times bestselling biography series Ordinary People Change the World. Now, they’re featuring the fictional characters who have sparked the imaginations of generations of kids.
These two books are simply wonderful. They give us the origins of these iconic characters, along with a brief history, but what’s most impressive is how they make it relatable to kids. Brad Meltzer doesn’t dumb things down for the children who are reading it. Instead, he speaks to them in a way that is easy to understand, yet cuts to the core of who these amazing characters really are.
In I Am Batman, Meltzer and his illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos take us through the death of Bruce’s parents, but it’s never actually shown. Instead, what they do is show you the before and the after, we see the Waynes at the theater and leaving, we’re told about the robbery, and then we are at the funeral. But they don’t sugar coat it, which I loved. They tell you that his parents died, because kids need to be able to process and comprehend what that means. Kids are smarter than they’re given credit for.
And one of the best parts of this book is how they give so much due credit to Bill Finger. From the first page, to the last, Meltzer makes sure to let every single reader know just how important Bill was to the creation of this character. I was amazing to see after all the years he was ignored and pushed to the side.
I Am Superman is similarly structured, showing Kal-El of Krypton as a baby, being sent to Earth, and growing up with the Kents, learning about who he his, and eventually becoming Superman. It showcases some of his greatest villains, as well as his greatest allies, and like I Am Batman, doesn’t tiptoe around the death of Jonathan Kent, as it was a major event in Clark Kent’s life. We also get an amazingly heartfelt scene with Superman attending a little girl’s birthday party that made me tear up reading it. It was beautifully done.
Both of these books leave the reader with amazing messages, whether it’s we fall so we can learn to pick ourselves back up, never let anything stand in your way, or that everyone deserves help. These are life lessons that every child should learn.
And I don’t want to end this without talking about Christopher Eliopoulos and his amazing artwork. It’s beautiful and vibrant and so full of life and energy. I adored looking at every single page of both of these books. I hope to see more of his art, and particularly this style, in possible future books.
I couldn’t find a single thing to complain about in these. They’re wonderful.
They are the perfect books for young readers who love superheroes, or even for those not familiar, but who want to learn. Every parent should pick up a copy of these, whether it be for the superheroes, the beautiful artwork, or the much needed life lessons. You won’t regret it!
I Am Batman – ORDER HERE
I Am Superman – ORDER HERE