Louise Simonson,
JLA: The Gauntlet
(Bantam, 2002)

The challenges of translating comic-book icons into literate fiction are enormous, but Louise Simonson here proves more than merely adept at meeting the situation.

Simonson obviously is well aware of the tremendous backstory, not just to her protagonist, Wonder Woman, but also of Jack Kirby's New Gods/Darkseid/Apokolips franchise. She, while remaining consummately respectful of these characters and their formidable history, is not afraid to play a bit with it and make the characters her own.

How delightful it might be if she were to take on the Amazing Amazon's monthly series! Not only are the characterizations apt and appropriate, her plot keeps the pages turning. This series is a strong addition to the growing body of 'tweenage fiction.

Better written than the loathsome Junie B. Jones series and a bit more sophisticated than the rudely humorous Captain Underpants, these belong in all library collections. Not just for comics fans either, although Justice League and especially Wonder Woman lovers will not be disappointed, and perhaps the books will inspire non-comics readers to pick up some additional great material in this much-beloved, if oft maligned format.

by Stephen Richmond
1 July 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.