Nilah Magruder. Insight Comics, $24.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-68383-004-7

Injured and lost in a sandstorm, Abbie—a deaf, tough-as-nails girl on a personal mission—is rescued and nursed back to health by a small family in the poor desert town of Little Marigold. But rogues with superhuman abilities, known as parasai, wander the barren lands surrounding Little Marigold, demanding tributes from the townsfolk, and Abbie reluctantly reveals her own powers in order to protect the town that has taken her in. Originally published as a webcomic, this first graphic novel from picture book creator Magruder (How to Find a Fox) unfolds over three chapters, setting the stage for Abbie’s adventures to come. Though this hero’s journey follows a fairly predictable course, Abbie is an appealingly gruff and reticent protagonist with a worthy foil in Jaime, an enthusiastic local boy who is determined to make inroads with her. Manga elements (such as exaggerated facial reactions for humor), a vividly evoked setting, and intriguing worldbuilding make this a fine choice for fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and other adventures where culture, history, and magic intertwine with larger-than-life action. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)