Lyga, Barry, The Mad Mask. Scholastic Press, 2012. Language: G, Violence: PG, Sexual Content: G
When Mighty Mike the alien crash-landed on Earth, prankster, Kyle Camden was in the area and ended up absorbing super brain powers and flying abilities. Determined to prove Mighty Mike is a phony and not a good superhero, Kyle becomes a supervillain. Little beknownst to him, however, Mad Mask was also in the area and absorbed super brain powers and one ugly face. Bitter towards the world for shunning him for his disfigurement, Mad Mask shows up on Kyle’s doorstep and enlists his help with finishing his 10-story-tall creation, Ultitron. A device he says is meant to defeat Mighty Mike, but secretly is meant to destroy more than just the alien superhero. Mad Mask wants to have his large-scale revenge and then wants to kill Kyle. Will Kyle find out before it’s too late? Will he be able to stop the masked villain?
A funny, quirky version of superherodom. Alhtough Mighty Mike and Mad Mask are a little one-dimensional, the other characters are well-developed and likable. The twist on the classic anti-hero makes the reader think about what truly makes one evil or one good. The plot twists and turns are entertaining and keep the story moving at a fairly good pace. Readers who have read Archvillain and like superheroes, aliens, pre end-of-the-world scenarios, and adventure will enjoy reading this book. EL (4-6), MS. OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.