This all-ages OGN (Original Graphic Novel) is simply a great entry point for younger readers. Playing like the pilot of a Saturday morning cartoon, this 108 page full colour book comes from Blue Dream Studios and Worthwhile Books.
Written by Scott Christian Sava (the creator of The Dreamland Chronicles) with art by Joseph Bergin III, Hyperactive is every kid’s fantasy. However, it doesn’t start that way. Joey Johnson returns to school, with everyone else, after the summer break and is welcomed by a few obvious changes. Firstly, Mabul has grown over the holiday and also into her role as the brace-ridden bully. As Joey attends his first class, the next change presents itself. Watching the seconds tick by behind the teacher’s desk, he realizes time is actually slowing and everyone around him is temporarily frozen. Joey revels in his newfound powers, especially during dodgeball where he exacts revenge on Mabul and astonishes the militaristic gym teacher. Showing pal Freddy, the pair realize that Joey now possesses super speed, leaving Freddy with an obvious response – “I want to be your sidekick.”
In his excitement, Joey beats the school bus, and a police radar gun, home to tell his parents the good, but surprising news. His parents are obviously concerned, as is his doctor, and soon enough certain unsavoury types arrive at the Johnson’s door, with nefarious schemes in mind. The ironically named Big Tony is first at the door, and promptly has it slammed in his face, followed by sports drink manufacturers, movie producers, game nerds and lawyers who look like the Three Stooges. Mr Itchez from the Burnz and Itchez Pharmaceutical Corporation is a lot more determined however and will not let Joey’s hyperactive metabolism be a wasted opportunity for his company. Dreaming of an army of super (speedy) soldiers, Mr. Itchez orders a good old fashioned kidnapping. Three brothers who bicker about their code names and get stuck in Joey‘s bedroom window manage to take the boy and his parents. Freddy realizes something’s wrong and shows up in a homemade costume looking to save his buddy in the name of adventure. Freddy shows up at Burnz and Itchez (where the security guard is reading Sava’s most famous book, Ed’s Terrestrials) to smuggle Joey out, but it appears he’s doing quite well by himself, due to the incompetence of his captors. Hijinks ensue and the duo eventually escape, and soon after realize that super speed isn’t the only power Joey possesses.
This is an entertaining book, and tailor made for younger readers. Parents can rest assured that it’s a simple tale, with enough jokes, and physical humour to raise a few chuckles. Bergin’s art resembles typical toon fare, with clean lines and lots of motion and sound effects. For those who want something safe for their kids, or younger sibling, pick up Hyperactive. Sava is a trusted name when it comes to entertaining adventures, and this latest book is another fine example of why.