Graphic Novel Review: Batman Overdrive

Batman by Shea Fontana
Batman: Overdrive
by Shea Fontana,  Marcelo Di Chiara (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars

Young Bruce Wayne is weeks away from getting his driver’s license, and decides to repair his father’s classic car, and maybe give it some upgrades, and maybe start calling it the Batmobile. Bruce is tracking a car theft ring, and hoping they will lead to clues about his parents’ murders. He is isolated and alone, but as he searches junkyards for replacement parts and tracks the car thefts, he befriends two teens that he is certain he can trust… until he can’t.

I loved this graphic novel! Batman has never been my favorite superhero- too dark for me- but I really enjoyed reading about a young Bruce who is just forming his identity as a hero and learning from his early mistakes. Bruce is charming and just so cool. He takes too many risks and has a lot of anger inside though. It was great to see his character growing and developing as he dealt with some of those issues.
I especially loved the scenes with the butler, Alfred. He is so serene and calm. His relationship with Bruce is full of conflict, but eventually Bruce works through his fears, his anxiety, and his rebellion, and the two have a renewed relationship of trust and family love.

I loved the illustrations, and the use of bright and dark colors in the artwork to enhance the mood of each scene. Each character has a distinct look, and I appreciated how expressive their faces are. The art tells the story just as much as the text does. I also appreciate how clear the action scenes are. You can tell very clearly exactly what movements people are making as they chase, fight, and punch each other.

The story line is emotional, mysterious, and full of clues and adventure! I liked the way themes of forgiveness, inner peace, identity, and friendship are incorporated with each relationship and decision that the characters make.

A very cool introduction to Batman’s origin story, and I hope there are many more books in this series!  This graphic novel is perfect for middle grade and YA readers!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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