More than two years ago on February 4th of 2018, following months of hinting and speculation, DC made it official in the pages of The New York Times: They were getting into the Kids OGN business.
Collectively known in-house as DC Books for Young Readers, the new initiative would house two imprints: DC Zoom (now DC Books for Kids or DC Kids for short) to publish books for the middle-grade crowd, and DC Ink (now DC Books for Young Adults) to publish books for the young-adult crowd.
The goal of both lines is pretty simple: create standalone, evergreen stories that serve as the bridge for younger audiences to cultivate a love of DC and comics in general.
The strategy, or one of the main strategies: recruit some of the biggest names in YA/MG fiction, from established giants to up-and-comers, to craft those stories alongside a bevy of rising artistic talent from across the comics industry.
Fast-forward to today, where after a year and a half of baking in the oven, the first titles were released into the world in April of last year.
Here’s a chronological list of those books, broken down according to the imprint they were published in (Zoom and Ink for simplicity), with their creative teams and the month they dropped (LCS dates here).
- Super Sons: The Polarshield Project by Ridley Pearson and Ile Gonzalez
- DC Super Hero Girls: Spaced Out by Shea Fontana and Agnes Garbowska
- Dear Justice League by Michael Northrop and Gustavo Duarte
- Superman of Smallville by Art Baltazar and Franco
The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid by Kirk Scroggs
DC Super Hero Girls: At Metropolis High by Amy Wolfram and Yancey Labat
Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot and Cara McGee
Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru(*)
- Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige and Stephen Byrne
- Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle and Issac Goodhart
- Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo
- Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh
- Batman Nightwalker by Stuart Moore and Chris Wildgoose (Based on Marie Lu’s novel)
So now that we have before us a solid overview of what was essentially the first year of DC Young Readers, I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on these books if you have read any of them?
What are your favorites? Any least-favorites? What are they doing right with these lines and what else could be done better?
And hey! If you have any kids or cousins or nephews who are reading one of these books, I more than welcome you guys to share their opinions with everyone here.
(*Superman Smashes the Klan is being published as a three-issue, prestige-format miniseries. The collected edition will drop in May).