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The Bad Guys #1

I think I have a new favorite Middle Grade series!

THE BAD GUYS by Aaron Blabey is just so FUN! In this new middle grade graphic novel series (I read the original BAD GUYS and the second installment, MISSION UNPLUCKABLE), Mr. Wolf sets out to show once and for all that he is NOT a bad guy! Along with three other antiheroes – Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, and Mr. Shark, they set out to prove that they’re more than their stereotypes. Starting “The Good Guys’ Club,” these four friends set out to rescue a cat from a tree and spring some dogs loose from the pound (I mean, if Mr. Snake can stop trying to eat Mr. Piranha).

Mission Unpluckable picks up right where the first BAD GUYS left off. All four of our heroes are Wanted criminals for freeing the dogs, but that’s not stopping them. Joining up with a tarantula (of whom Mr. Shark is super afraid), they head off on a new mission to free some chickens from a chicken farm. Long story short, it ends with a villainous guinea pig swearing his revenge on the Good Guys’ Club (I look forward to the next silly installment).

These graphic novels would be great for reluctant readers. The illustrations are quirky and fun. While I don’t believe in “boy books” and “girl books,” I do believe that this series will greatly appeal to elementary school aged boys. Aside from being very quick reads, they’re really funny – even I, a curmudgeonly almost thirty-year-old, was laughing throughout them. I enjoyed the dynamics between the characters, and how their predator instincts still sometimes shine through (think of the vegetarian sharks in FINDING NEMO). I do wish that, in a series with a ton of characters, there would be at least one girl; maybe in future books?

Anyway, I really enjoyed these. I flew through them quickly, and I think kids will love them! Look for THE BAD GUYS on sale January 3, and MISSION UNPLUCKABLE on sale February 28. 

5.0 / 5.0