Author: Meg Cabot
Illustrator: Cara McGee
Imprint: DC Zoom
‘Black Canary: Ignite’ is another entry into DC’s middle grade series, Zoom imprint, written by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot. Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance has her life all figured out; her band are going to win the Gotham City Junior High battle of the bands and then she’ll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy, just like her father. That’s until a mysterious figure starts to target her and her family, igniting the power inside Dinah as she discovers her canary cry and the truth about her family.
The story is an inspiring and empowering origins tale as a young Dinah starts her journey to becoming a kickass superhero! I was a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries when I was younger, so I was excited to see her take on her first graphic novel – and it didn’t disappoint. Cabot is great at capturing a young, teenage voice and she definitely brought Dinah’s sense of heroism and wanting to make a difference in Gotham to life, all the while trying to navigate school and overprotective parents. I can see this being really relatable for the younger audience which DC are introducing these characters too. Ignite really was a fun, quick read with fantastic pacing, if a little predictable for fans of the character. I particularly enjoyed the nods to other DC characters such as the Joker, Wildcat and Aquaman, giving the novel that superhero clout.
I particularly thought Cabot did a great job with Dinah’s relationships with her friends and family, they felt so genuine and real. It was great to see her female friends in a successful band and not fulfilling typical high school stereotypes, as Kat is both a punk and the captain of the school cheerleader team. They were also genuinely likeable with great attitude! Dinah especially had a lovely, supportive relationship with her parents, particularly her father, which is pretty rare in a superhero tale, which was really nice to see.
The art by Cara McGee had a real manga-inspired look which was wonderfully brought to life by a vibrantly colourful palette. Her previous reimagining of the Avengers team as punks was brilliant, so she was the perfect choice to bring Dinah to life. Each character was so expressive and the action was really well captured. There’s a definite Spider Gwen and Scott Pilgrim influence with Dinah’s punk band and the look of the characters, which I’m sure younger teens will love!
‘Black Canary: Ignite’ is a fun, heartwarming tale with fantastic illustrations that fans of Meg Cabot will undoubtedly love, proving a great addition to the DC Zoom series. It’s great to see such a strong, empowered young woman headline a very accessible read for the younger audience who are looking to get into comic books.
‘Black Canary: Ignite’ is out on October 29, 2019