The Cookout (Pax Samson #1)

Rashad Doucet and Jason Reeves, illus. by Rashad Doucet. Oni, $14.99 paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-62010-851-2
In four episodic chapters, 12-year-old Pax Samson, a brown-skinned child with telekinetic powers, decides between his chef aspirations and the family business. Pax is known in his family for being a great cook. But the planet of Soltellus knows him as “the offspring of the great hero of the Tri-City revolution,” Grandma Samson—“the world’s most popular hero,” renowned for uniting humans and the Enchanted race (“the descendants of humans and gods”), and defeating the “mad god Odin.” More comfortable in the kitchen, Pax struggles to find his place among his eccentric family members, including time-traveling Aunty P., his adopted nonhuman sister, and superhero parents. But uprisings by supporters of the defeated powers resurrect unexpected enemies, causing Pax to question whether he should hang up his cape for good. Doucet and Reeves interweave a high-energy plot; snarky, accessible dialogue (“Bruh! I told you to let those lil dudes go”); and nods to Black American culture, drawing perceptive real-world parallels on subjects including community building, history, racial prejudice, slavery, and xenophobia. Vibrant panels by Doucet, an absorbing world, and dynamic fight scenes propel this promising graphic novel series starter. Ages 9–12. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 07/21/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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