cover image Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity

Dave Roman. Roaring Brook/First Second, $9.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-59643-620-6

Roman previously adapted the X-men as a shojo manga, so he certainly knows his way around the "special academy" story. This time out, it's the story of mech-riding superhero/ordinary school kid Hakata Soy, and his attempt to make a fresh start at a new orbital school filled with a bunch of colorful, aspirational classmates. Hakata struggles with the typical social drama of middle school, as well as the occasional evil twin robot assassin. It's a zany setup designed more for random fight scenes and one-liners, and the book contains a mix of short stories and one-page gag strips. The dialogue reflects this, with the kind of manic every-line-has-to-be-a-joke dialogue that reflects contemporary kids' cartoons like The Fairly OddParents. The artwork is very cartoony and cute, and uses free-floating layouts to add to the whimsy. Ages 10%E2%80%9314. (June)