Book Reviews - DC Icons Series
"Superman: Dawnbreaker" by Matt De La PeñaPublished by: Random House (March 2019)
Reviewed by: Steve Younis
After reporting on the release of "Superman: Dawnbreaker" on the Superman Homepage, I stumbled across the book while shopping one day, and immediately picked it up to take home. It had been quite a while since I'd last read a Superman novel, and I was eager to give this one a read.
The fourth book in the DC Icons Series (the other three based on Batman, Wonder Woman and Catwoman), "Superman: Dawnbreaker" could be classified as a Young Adult novel, but don't let that deter you from picking it up. I promise you you won't be disappointed.
Set in Smallville while Clark Kent is still a teenager, this story finds Clark in high school, coming to terms with his powers, discovering new powers, while also dealing with some strange and troubling problems facing his home town.
Clark and his best friend Lana Lang find themselves in the middle of a mystery where people of Mexican background a disappearing. Racism, prejudice and immigration are very much at the center of this story, but while these real world issues can be a hot button topic, Matt De La Peña handles it all with great aplomb.
I love reading, and it's a real joy when I find a book that I can't put down. "Superman: Dawnbreaker" was such a book. Clark's problems, the discovery and experimentation of his developing powers, finding out who he is, the relationships he has with Lana, other school friends, love interests, new friends and acquaintances, and Jonathan and Martha Kent... You're along for the ride from the very first page, and I found myself wanting to continue reading, chapter after chapter, to see where the story would take him next.
Matt De La Peña has such a great handle on who Clark Kent is. While Clark struggles internally, he also grows and builds that inner resolve you expect from the Man of Steel. Young Clark is someone you wish you'd befriend as a teenager yourself.
While this is an "origin story" in many ways, it could also be described as the "adventures of young Clark Kent" in a way that the TV series "Smallville" wasn't able to do. It has just the right blend of Clark Kent the teenager, Clark Kent the investigator, Clark Kent the superhero, and Clark Kent the friend.
It's hard to fault this book. I'd give it a solid 5/5.
Purchase "Superman: Dawnbreaker" from Amazon.com.
Book ReviewsComic Book Novelizations:
- The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero
- The Man From Krypton
- The Original Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes - Volume 3: Superman
- Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway
- Beyond Lois Lane
- The DC Comics Action Figure Archive
- Superman vs. Hollywood
- Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman
- Flights of Fantasy: The Unauthorized but True Story of Radio & TV's Adventures of Superman by Michael J. Hayde
- Our Hero: Superman on Earth by Tom De Haven
- Superman On Earth: Reflections of a Fan by Gary D. Robinson
- DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book by Matthew Reinhart
- The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman by Vic Armstrong
- The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times
- Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye
- Superman is an Arab by Joumana Haddad
- Superman is Jewish? by Harry Brod
- 100 Things Superman Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Joseph McCabe
- Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon by Ian Gordon
- Superman: Last Son of Krypton
- Superman: Miracle Monday
- The Further Adventures of Superman
- It's Superman! by Tom De Haven
- DC Universe: Last Sons
- DC Universe: Trail of Time
- Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson
- Enemies & Allies by Kevin J. Anderson
- DC Super-Pets! by Picture Window Books
- Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
- Double Down (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
- Triple Threat (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond
- Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt De La Pena
- Smallville: Strange Visitors
- Smallville: Dragon
- Smallville: Hauntings
- Smallville: Whodunnit
- Smallville: Shadows
- Smallville: Silence
- Smallville: Curse
- Smallville: City
- Smallville: Arrival
- Smallville: See No Evil
- Smallville: Flight
- Smallville: Animal Rage
- Smallville: Speed
- Smallville: Buried Secrets
- Smallville: Greed
- Smallville: Temptation
- Smallville: Sparks
- JLA: Batman - The Stone King
- JLA: Wonder Woman - Mythos
- JLA: The Flash - Stop Motion
- JLA: JLA - Exterminators
- JLA: Green Lantern - Hero's Quest
- JLA: Superman - The Never-Ending Battle
- Superman Returns: Strange Visitor
- Superman Returns: Novelization
- Superman Returns: Coming Home
- Superman Returns: Earthquake in Metropolis!
- Superman Returns: I am Superman!
- Superman Returns: Be A Hero!
- Superman Returns: Thank You, Superman!
- Superman Returns: The Movie Storybook
- Superman Returns: The Visual Guide
- Superman Returns: The Official Movie Guide