cover image Cosmic Commandos

Cosmic Commandos

Christopher Eliopoulos. Dial, $13.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-101-99448-1

In a graphic novel that balances near-nonstop action with a testy sibling relationship, it takes an intergalactic invasion to bring together twins Jeremy and Justin. Grouchy Jeremy loves video games, hates school, and wants nothing to do with his brother, whereas Justin loves school, enjoys reading, and wants to be part of Jeremy’s life. When a toy ring from a cereal box unlocks magical powers for Jeremy, he becomes Earth’s defender against the bosses from one of his video games, Cosmic Commandos. But he’ll need Justin’s help to beat them, whether he likes it or not. Eliopoulos’s chunky linework and the squat proportions of his young heroes evoke Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes strip (as well as Eliopoulous’s own Ordinary People Change the World series), and diehard comics fans will appreciate the references he sneaks in to Peanuts, Garfield, and Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Lunch Lady series. Small details (Jeremy’s unibrow, their color-coded outfits) differentiate the brothers, and Eliopoulos stuffs the story with a little bit of something for everyone, from evil robots and gelatinous blobs to nagging parents. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (July)