House Of El Book One is titled The Shadow Threat and is DC’s latest original young adult graphic novel. I am so glad to see that we have a new title relating to our favourite hero… Superman.
These YA graphic novels by DC have featured a variety of characters in out-of-continuity stories, mostly showing the characters themselves as young adults. Pretty much all of these have been charming, engaging, and excellent, and now, they’ve released their newest Superman related title, House of El Book One!
House of El Book One focuses on two young adults from different social castes, living on Krypton in its last days. Through various circumstances, their paths intersect, as they work to discover the truth about what’s happening to their society and their planet.
This volume is written by Claudia Gray, and let me say, she does a fantastic job! The story is filled with political intrigue, romantic tension, engaging science fiction, and of course, some great Superman mythology. Our two main characters, one from the Military caste, the other from a leadership caste, are likable and relatable, and have interesting and unique obstacles to face in their own personal lives. Characters we know and love linger on the peripheral, teasing further and deeper involvement as the story progresses.
The story of Krypton’s last days is one that’s been told time and again, with new and interesting twists and concepts added with each retelling, and this story is no exception. Concepts we’ve seen before in comics, TV, and film, are present here, but shown in new lights, expanded upon, and given new depth and further perspective.
The artist for the book, Eric Zawadzki portrays a dense and alive vision of Krypton, from shining spires, to lower dregs, the world feels thoroughly fleshed out. His style brings just the slightest “grunge” effect to the art, something we don’t usually see when looking at the usually Utopian vista of Krypton, but I think it works perfectly for this story. His characters are solid and expressive, and the design of Krypton’s architecture and technology feel unique and original.
This book has left me frustrated in the very best way, in that I will have a thoroughly tough time waiting for more, when I want to read the next installment right now!
House of El Book One continues DC’s winning streak of excellent Young Adult Graphic Novels, delivering a tale of Krypton’s last days full of political intrigue and human drama. A must have for any Superman enthusiast.
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