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Firstly, you are already a super mom. But the thing is, if you want to be SuperMom, in my house this means being able to answer questions like “What’s Hawkeye’s real name?” and “Who’s the super hero who wears yellow, and he has brown skin, and black glasses and he’s friends with Spider-Man?” I’ve always had a peripheral fascination with super heroes. I enjoyed watching the X-Men cartoon as a kid, and the retro live-action Batman was very serious television for me. In the past decade, I’ve followed the crowd to most of the blockbuster super hero movies, and I tend to greatly enjoy them. (Except Green Lantern and Green Hornet—I couldn’t get through those two.) Inevitably, I emerge from the films with questions about character backstories. When will Paul Rudd get to hang out with RDJ and Chris Hemsworth? Will furry Bradley Cooper ever join them? What’s this new movie coming out with Will Smith and a bunch of other bad guys?
Cub is crazy about super heroes, and let’s just say that his father and uncle indulge his passion and their own inner-children. It seems that grown ups love super heroes as much as little boys! Cub likes to create hybrid heroes, including Captain Iron Bat.
While I turn to the Internet to find the answers to my super hero-franchise questions, I like to keep things old school with Cub. If I use my phone to look up the answer to one of his super hero secret-identity questions—Hawkeye is Clint Barton, by the way—then I open the door to “Click there! I want to watch that video! Can we send a message?” If we open a book, on the other hand, then we get to go down the rabbit hole of reading that I remember so fondly from my youth. Learning! Pouring over images, charts and statistics, flipping back and forth to different sections, reading captions, then drifting into a reverie inspired by the characters on the page.
While Cub needs no motivation to pick up a book, I don’t doubt that these DK titles would inspire even the most reluctant reader to turn some pages. Especially since the Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Character Encyclopedia comes with Pirate Batman!
Cub was pretty excited to discover many of his Lego figurines on the pages of this book. His father was excited to see all the Lego sets he hasn’t bought for
himself his son yet. Who knew there were so many versions of Lego Batman?
Here are the titles in Cub’s Super Hero Reference Library, to which we can turn when we just have to know why there is more than one Robin and how Night Wing fits into the Batman story:
The DC Comics Super Heroes Character Encyclopedia is like your favourite DK “Eyewitness”-style books, with lots of fun facts about all the DC Comics figures ever (ever!) released. My favourite part of the book is the interviews with Lego designers.
I just didn’t know that there were so many characters in the DC Comics universe. The DC Comics Ultimate Character Guide reminds me of a guide to “Days of Our Lives” that I took out of the library during my soap opera phase in high school. Everyone is connected in some way, and disguises as simple as a pair of glasses hide secret identities from the world. I don’t know that I’ll ever waste 2.5 hours of my life watching Batman VS Superman, but at least I now know what they were fighting about.
With The Avengers franchise being my favourite of the recent spate of super hero movies, this tome is my favourite to read with Cub before bed. Who knew. Seriously. WHO KNEW there was so much to the Avengers story? (I’m sure lots of people know … I just didn’t.) There’s an episode where the Avengers appear on David Letterman. There are multiple iterations of the Avengers team. Including a zombie version. Black Widow isn’t really a huge part of the group like she’s made out to be in the movies. I’m totally ready for Captain America: Civil War thanks to this book. PLUS, we figured out who Cub’s mystery super hero was (the one with a yellow suit, brown skin, black glasses and who hangs out with Spider-Man): Luke Cage, aka Power Man. (Apparently soon to have his own Netflix series.)
While the Star Wars franchises isn’t exactly a super hero franchise, the encyclopedic knowledge required to truly understand the movies means we definitely need this title on our bookshelf. Cub isn’t as into Star Wars as he is super heroes, but I am confident that is just around the corner. Star Wars Absolutely Everything You Need to Know has my back … until the next movie comes out, at least. May the Fourth Be With You (aka “Star Wars” day) is just around the corner, so this title will help you celebrate!
These two DK Adventures summarize two of the most popular super heroes’ epic back stories. Having just watched Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as Spidey, so many of our questions were answered! These are great “chapter-book”-style stories for early readers, but I enjoyed reading them aloud to Cub. Plus, I got to introduce him to the concept of a bookmark! Naturally, he wants me to read the entire book in one sitting.
Because I really, really do not like to play super heroes with Cub, reading to him about them is the perfect compromise for both of us. I love to read, and I am just as fascinated with the intricate stories behind these comic book characters as my son is. And while an encyclopedic knowledge of every villain Spider-Man has ever faced may not be something that will help Cub at school, these stories help feed his imagination and his passion for reading and provide us with an engaging activity for SuperMom and SuperCub.