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Santat, Dan.
New York: A.A. Levine, 2011.
IL 3-6, RL 4.8
ISBN 0439298113

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Captain Amazing is getting up there in years, and is starting to need a little help when saving the city from all kinds of villains. So he sets up an audition for people to try their hand at being his sidekick. He has two pets, Roscoe the dog and Fluffy the hamster, that want that job. Another pet, Shifty the chameleon, joins the family when he arrives at Captain Amazing's home in a huge shipping box. Fluffy's the first to start training to be a sidekick when he chases after a raccoon that stole an iPod, but things take a turn for the worse when he's stopped by three hungry cats. At the same time, Captain Amazing's nemesis has been released from jail, claiming to be a reformed man, a DNA transfer device has been stolen, and there are mysterious claw marks being left all over town. Crazy, huh?

Apart from Roscoe and Fluffy constantly making the same huge-eyed, huge-mouthed faces in the beginning, Sidekicks started out pretty good. It was funny seeing Captain Amazing, someone who's basically a one-man army, have an allergic reaction to peanuts when fighting crime. Jokes weren't forced, and the overall tone of the comic is tame. But once the real training to be a sidekick takes place, it seems like everything's rushed. There are barely any lessons learned, not much training being done, and then we're suddenly at the climax. My biggest problem though is that the characters aren't very interesting or likable, apart from Manny the cat. Roscoe is a straight-up jerk most of the time, Fluffy is just following orders and Shifty...well, he has one important part 1/3 through the book and that's about it. He's basically just a 'me too' character that doesn't have any personality and is around just to have an extra character to chip in with a line here and there. You'd think the color changing ability would come in handy a lot more often than it's used here. It was also weird seeing Roscoe be scared of getting hit with a giant heap of mechanical junk later one, after he had no problem getting hit by a speeding car earlier in the book. His power is like Colossus' from X-Men: he can coat himself in metal, so why be scared of getting hit by something less dangerous than a car? 
(Booktalk by the Sequoya Youth Book Award committee, 2014)

SUBJECTS:     Superheroes -- Fiction.
                        Pets -- Fiction.
                        Cartoons and comics.
                        Superhero comic books, strips, etc.
                        Graphic novels.

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