Illustrated by Gretel Lusky
Ashley is a foster kid who has bounced around houses because she hasn't quite found the family for her, and it could also be because she likes to sneak out in the middle of the night to create graffiti art masterpieces. Then, she meets Yuka and Kitch Nolan, a couple who might just be the perfect fit for Ashley. Yuka is a research scientist who is also a huge football fan, like Ashley, and Kitch is an artist who wants to inspire Ashley to express herself in legal ways. One day, Ashley finds the products of Yuka's experiments - body paints that imbue the wearer with super powers! Of course she has to experiment with them and see what wonderful combinations she can make! But the military want their investment back, and they send a ruthless soldier after the paints. Ashley is put to the test, emotionally and superhero-ly.
Ashley is a great lead character, and I sincerely wish all foster children would find a family as perfect for them as the Nolans are for Ashley. Ashley's experimentation with the body paints is fascinating, and there are so many combinations to try that no action sequence is ever the same. This story has a ton of funny moments, especially with the banter between Kitch and Ashley because they have nearly the same humor style. The use of color is beautiful throughout the book, and not just when the art from Ashley is involved (although her graffiti works are dazzling!).
DC rates this as a "graphic novel for kids". The back cover description says Ashley is 16, but within the story, she is in middle school. While this isn't part of the DC Zoom line, it probably should be, because this is a perfect middle grade story. There is some violence during the fight scenes, and there is implied murder, but no blood is show, and characters are more or less incapacitated instead of show bloody or bruised. Overall, this is a really enjoyable read that will have great readership amongst readers looking for a strong, female super hero
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 3-8
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Comicbooks, Humor, Superheroes, School-Age
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