CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 12 . . . .February 18, 2005
Many children will immediately recognize Stan Lee as being the co-creator of a number of comic book superheroes, including Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men. Unfortunately, Stan Lee's Superhero Christmas is one of those cases where a book's text is completely overshadowed by the illustrations. Full of action and drama, Jessell's pastel and mixed media illustrations are visually engrossing. The somewhat tongue-in-cheek but choppy storyline involves Santa Claus's being captured by the evil Ice King so that Santa cannot deliver presents to all the children. A superhero, the Protector, goes to rescue Santa, but, in turn, he is also captured by the Ice King. When the Protector's wife reveals to her children, Carolyn and Robert, that she, too, has superpowers, they plead to "go with you to save Dad." The two children come up with an idea to assist their parents who are fighting the ice trolls, and they manage to release Santa from the ice cage in which he had been imprisoned. On Christmas Eve, the children's parents give Carolyn and Robert their own super hero costumes, and the siblings imagine what super powers they will have.
Accompany promotional material indicates that "Stan Lee has also partnered with DIC Entertainment to develop a television Christmas special based on Superhero Christmas." Perhaps the animated version will smooth out the plot line.
Recommended with Reservations.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and adolescent literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.