Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are heading back to middle school courtesy of Scholastic, which is set to publish three original illustrated novels based on the DC Comics superhero gang dubbed DC Comics: Secret Hero Society.
The books, which will use comics, journal entries, newspaper articles and doodles to re-imagine DC Comics characters as adolescent versions of themselves, will be written and illustrated by Batman Li’l Gotham duo Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs. The first book in the series, Study Hall of Justice, will hit shelves in February 2016 across the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The title introduces a young Bruce Wayne, who is the new kid at Ducard Academy, a prep school for gifted middle school students. He befriends farm boy Clark Kent and the regal Diana Prince, and the three band together to form a detective squad to find out why all of the extraordinary kids have been brought together at Ducard Academy, and to see just what the faculty is plotting.
The publishing deal is the latest in a 20-year-strong collaboration between Scholastic and DC-owned Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
Secret Hero Society #2 will be published in spring 2017. It sees the addition of more DC Comics favorite characters including Arthur Curry (Aquaman) and Victor Stone (Cyborg), while Secret Hero Society #3 is slated for spring 2018.
The trend of portraying famous characters – and their offspring – in their formative years is becoming increasingly popular. In April, the company announced its plans for the DC Super Hero Girls franchise, which is aimed at girls six to 12 and stars younger versions of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy and Katana. Then there’s Disney’s summer hit Descendants, the live-action adventure-comedy movie that stars the progeny of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella de Vil. Descendants is told through the eyes of the students attending Auradon Prep, a school where the teenage sons and daughters of Disney’s most infamous villains have been given a chance at redemption, the movie has since inspired a spin-off TV series.