Books for Babes provides info on the sort of comics that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. This week we recommend ‘Dodge City’ #1, the debut issue to an all-new series from BOOM! Studios.

Cover to 'Dodge City' #1. Art by Cara McGee/BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box

Cover to ‘Dodge City’ #1. Art by Cara McGee/BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box

By Stefania Rudd. Fitting in can be a struggle, especially if you’re the new kid. What better way to find your people than getting yourself involved in an extracurricular activity? All of a sudden you’re meeting new friends, engaging in a fun activity, and WHAM! A red rubber dodgeball hits you in the face.

This is what’s happening to Tomás, the protagonist in this all-new dodgeball themed series from BOOM! Studios’ BOOM! Box imprint. New to the eponymous Dodge City, Tomás works his butt off to join a local dodgeball team. Beginner’s luck places him with the most underdog of underdog teams, the Jazz Pandas, and in a blink of an eye he goes from sitting on the sidelines to being team’s captain. How is this possible? With a 0 and 15 record this season, the Jazz Pandas need something–or someone–to shake things up. Tomás seems to be it.

Writer (and creator) Josh Trujillo makes this story as robust as possible by introducing a plethora of characters for us to meet. This issue dedicates itself to establishing characters and providing us with slight reveals as to who they are, things we can learn as the series progresses. Each character has defining personality traits and characteristics, as well as motivations for playing the sport of dodgeball.

We also get a nice overview of how the sport works, in case any of us forgot our elementary gym classes. It’s here where dialogue is at its most fast-paced, very much like those red rubber balls flying around; the chatter seamlessly intertwines the book’s characters, making their love for the game readily apparent–not to mention endearing. (Even though there were no translation bubbles/boxes, I really liked when Tomás and Abril had a moment together entirely in Spanish.)

Interior page from 'Dodge City' #1. Art by Cara McGee, Brittany Peer, and Aubrey Aiese/BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box

Interior page from ‘Dodge City’ #1. Art by Cara McGee, Brittany Peer, and Aubrey Aiese/BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box

I was extra excited to see that Cara McGee was providing the artwork for this series. Her style is a dynamic mix of realism and animation, and with Dodge City, McGee really shines. The diversity of ethnicities in these characters, with their varied body shapes and sizes, and the little details that help define them is conveyed with passion and enthusiasm by the artist, and it shows.

For instance, one of the characters named Huck is deaf, and seeing how his communications play out on the page is interesting. Little flourishes like this reiterates that Dodge City is accessible and inclusive to all readers. Brittany Peer provides the coloring along with McGee, and it’s just as lovely as the art. The bright and bold colors used to bring these characters and their gymnasium surroundings to life are pleasing to the eyes.

Overall, I liked Dodge City #1. It’s a book that lays down quite a lot of groundwork, filled with relatable characters brimming with possibility. No doubt it has the potential to blossom into a really great series. Zero in on this fun all-ages book.

BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box/$3.99

Created and written by Josh Trujillo.

Illustrated by Cara McGee.

Colors by Brittany Peer with Cara McGee.

Letters by Aubrey Aiese.

This book contains judgmental peers, a healthy dose of sportsmanship, and a conversation in Spanish without translation.

Age range 8-11 and up

‘Dodge City’ #1 is available now. ‘Dodge City’ #2 hits stores April 11.

Enjoy this preview of ‘Dodge City’ #1, courtesy of BOOM! Studios!