Dog Man

Revered by kids and reviled by (some) adults, Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series launched a generation of graphic novel-adoring readers. Fans of the misbehaving and occasionally ingenious fourth-graders George and Harold will not be disappointed by Dog Man, which is just as full of farcical superheroes, amazing inventions and funny-bone-tickling adventure.

Here, George and Harold, fictional creators of comics like The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers, revive an "epic novella" they wrote in kindergarten, even before "they" wrote Captain Underpants. Through a stupefying chain of events involving a diabolical cat, an explosive "KA BLOOEY" and a quick-thinking surgical "nurse lady," a crime-fighting hero is born who has the body of a strong but not-so-bright cop and the head of a smart but physically limited dog. As in the Captain Underpants series, action, suspense and "laffs" follow. Dog Man outsmarts a giant vacuum cleaner ("Let's get ready to Roomba!"), a villainous mayor ("So, Dr. Scum... How is our evil robot coming along?") and Petey the cat, whose plot to destroy all the books in the world has disastrous results ("Behold! I just invented the Word-B-Gone 2000™"). Dog Man is also always getting in trouble for licking his boss's face, chewing slippers and peeing on the floor of police headquarters.

Naturally the famous "Extra cheesy Flip-O-Rama" is still part of the mix, and Pilkey offers a laughing nod to grownup readers with lines like "Philly, don't be a gyro! Don't be a fool with your life!" Next up: Dog Man Unleashed. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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