GO BOY 7: The Human Factor!
This unoriginal but fast-moving superhero graphic novel works as a modern adventure story for younger readers. Go Boy 7 is a teenager named Johnny who gained superpowers after being infused with life-saving "nanoplasm." (Go Boy 7's poignant though somewhat predictable origin is explained near the end of the volume for maximum dramatic effect.) His colleagues are his uncle, Professor Zero; Zero's assistant, Jett Girl; and Go Boys 2 through 6—robots that help the professor fight bad guys. They operate out of Go Base and tackle menaces like a terrorist group that threatens to destroy a Microsoft-like company with an electromagnetic pulse bomb. Their primary nemesis, however, is the Cultist, a powerful robot dedicated to the elimination of all life on Earth. This may sound grim, but the art ensures it's not. All the characters, including the Cultist, are joke-cracking wise guys, and they all are drawn as brightly colored, exaggerated, cartoony figures. The action moves too quickly to allow readers to dwell on the dire significance of the Cultist's apocalyptic plans. Indeed, aside from the general lack of new ideas, the biggest problem with this graphic novel is its speed. It rushes along so rapidly that readers barely get a chance to get to know the characters' names. (Dec.)