I am a huge fan of non-fiction graphic novels so I was super excited to check out Flash Facts, a new STEM-themed anthology featuring everyone’s favorite DC superheroes. Flash Facts features ten different stories that Mayim Bialik from The Big Bang Theory has helped put together to create one entertaining – and educational! – read. Flash Facts is perfect for kids who love science and superheroes – and even those who maybe like superheroes a little bit more than they usually do science class.
Each of the ten stories included in Flash Facts is written and illustrated by different creative team. There are some pretty big differences not just in the way stories are told but in the artwork that accompanies them. Some stories break the fourth wall and have their heroes teaching young readers directly. Others take a more traditional narrative approach. Some of the art styles will be familiar to kids – there are stories that read like the DC Super Hero Girls and Teen Titans cartoons – while other artwork is more original or stylistic. (There’s even one that reads almost like a Diary of the Wimpy Kid entry!)
Despite the stylistic differences, each Flash Facts story takes care to introduce young readers to some of area science or technology. They cover a ton of different topics ranging from forensic science, virtual reality, our solar system and more. The creative teams find great ways to tie their chosen characters into the topics. Barry Allen works as a crime scene investigator so naturally he discusses forensic science. Mera and Aquaman live in the ocean so of course they explore the darkest depths of their home. And Beast Boy and Cyborg go from playing video games to learning the ins and outs of virtual reality.
One of the things I appreciated were the number of female hero-focusd stories in this anthology. There are at least four stories that are arguably led by various female heroes. It’s very important to me (and I’m sure Mayim Bialik) that girls see themselves represented not only in comics but in science, too. Granted, there is one story that takes a stereotypical dude-teaching-a-girl angle but all in all it seems to me that Flash Facts tries to keep things balanced.
Flash Facts is a great addition to the non-fiction comics offerings out there. Blending science facts with DC superheroes is a great idea and likely to get kids who may not have been as interested in learning about science and technology to check it out regardless. Flash Facts is one of those books that has a lot of potential to reach a lot of kids and teach them some cool stuff! Check it out!