Book Review – Justice League: Wings of War

Yes. I have finished a book in a day but it’s a short book so this is no great feat here. However, this one was short and sweet. I’d read it again.

Justice League: Wings of War is a 120-page children’s book for ages 8-12. It is based on the fantastic animated series of the early 2000s on the Cartoon Network. Written by Michael Jan Friedman, a prolific writer who has written over 48 books in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He’s also written over 160 comics. So he has a corner on this genre. He knows it well and shows. It’s edited by Denny O’Neil who wrote Green Lantern: Hero Quest, another book I have reviewed in the past.

In summary, Justice League: Wings of War highlights two of JL’s members: Batman and Hawkgirl. Batman prefers to work alone but the Justice League has need of him during some precarious peace talks between two nations on the brink of war. At the World Assembly, the Justice League stand vigilant over the proceedings. Batman understands the importance of these talks as well and comes to Metropolis to assist. However, he’s just worked an all-nighter and is operating on a small amount of sleep. He has to work with Hawkgirl in order to stop a plot to sabotage the plot which involves an old enemy.

When I picked up the book, I expected the writing to be way toned down. It is but not to the level I supposed. It’s not condescending. It deals quite well with the political ins and outs without droning on about it. Friedman keeps your attention throughout it and would keep the attention of a younger audience as well.

Seeing that this is based on the television program, it’s that cast that I had in mind while reading it and it was a perfect story for them. I was transported easily to watching the show and came in and out of it seamlessly. The pacing was good. I enjoyed the fact that you got to see a side of Batman that you don’t normally get to see and the interaction he has with Hawkgirl.

One thing that stood out to me about the book was the way Friedman dealt with the rest of the Justice League in the story. There was a nice balance of getting to see them in action though briefly since the story was focused on Batman and Hawkgirl. Writing with so many spotlight characters can be tricky as I’ve mentioned before. Friedman has a firm grasp on this. Kudos.

About the only thing that I can say about the book in way of the negative is in the editing which could have been a little tighter. Some things could have been cut to make the story more active. It wouldn’t have taken away from the readability (would have enhanced it) for the audience he was writing for. Since it was a superhero book, that would have been a good thing with the action that was taking place. But these were small enhancements and not glaring to the average reader. Only to someone picky like me.

I recommend getting this book. It’s a great reflection of the characters in the series. If not for yourself then get it for a young reader you may know. They will enjoy it. On my scale of A+ to F, I give this a solid B. Well done.

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