Justice League: Secret Origins

    (Random House, 2003)
™ and © DC Comics, Inc.

Justice League: Secret Origins is the novelization for children of the first three episodes of the Justice League cartoon that ran on Cartoon Network. Amazon.com says that the book is for children ages 9-12. Expecting a 9-year-old to understand the word “gelatinous” may be asking a little too much, but for the most part the book is clearly aimed at young readers.

Written by Michael Teitelbaum, the book doesn’t seem to be designed to leave much for readers to think about after they’ve finished it. Since the target audience is a young one, that’s to be expected; it’s not Catcher in the Rye. As is the case with most Justice League stories that feature Martian Manhunter, Secret Origins revolves around a group of invading Martians. (If The Martian Manhunter is the last Martian in the universe, how come it’s Martians who keep popping up to invade Earth?) J’onn J’onzz might want to try looking for his family, since it appears that at least half of the population of the red planet managed to survive.

Adults who taped the episodes and can rewatch them may find the book of little interest. Parents trying to get their children into reading, on the other hand, will find this is a great way to introduce them to some of the most recognizable comic-book characters out there.

— Nathan Melby

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No copies available
Mass-market paperback; 176 pages; Text story, not illustratedMichael Tietelbaum