Creator: Dustin Hansen
Letterer: Cory Breen
Publisher: DC Comics
My Video Game Ate My Homework is the latest addition to DC’s series of original graphic novels aimed at young readers. Dewey Jenkins is 13 years old, employed part-time at his dad’s cafe, and currently stressing out over his volcano project for the upcoming school science fair. Not only is his grade dependent on acing the project but also the grand prize is the latest VR video game: Infinity Lens. When a series of unfortunate events leads to Dewey’s possession of Infinity Lens, the game activates and somehow absorbs his volcano! Dewey, along with his sister Beatrice and friends Ferg and Katherine, embark on an epic journey into a virtual world to retrieve his stolen project and end up confronting some of their own insecurities along the way.
This fun adventure is definitely geared toward a younger demographic than previous efforts like Raven and Gotham High, which is in no way a bad thing. From start to finish, the book has a youthful energy, full of vibrant colors and webtoon-inspired art. With its seemingly simple concept and imaginative visuals, the book reads as if it were crafted by a middle-school student. This is not a slight against the writing; if anything, the somewhat juvenile-sounding dialogue helps maintain a fun, innocent tone that fits the story perfectly. It’s obvious that creator Dustin Hansen poured a lot of himself into this story and its characters, and his knowledge of video games and technology is evident.
The story is very much a fantasy with shades of science fiction, but the relatability of Dewey and his friends keep everything grounded. Between Dewey’s dyslexia and Beatrice’s anxiety, the cast is depicted in a very real, honest way that never feels heavy-handed. With every new “level,” the kids work together to solve problems, help each other, and push themselves harder to get to the next stage. However, the book’s visuals don’t fare quite as well; there are some noticeable inconsistencies with perspective, and the characters’ expressions seem limited and very Muppet-like. These are minor quibbles though, and the art gets better and more stylish as the story progresses. Cory Breen’s lettering is excellent and very easy on the eyes, and Hansen’s coloring is beautiful. There are also plenty of fan service moments and several subtle nods to its placement in the DC Universe (or somewhere in the multiverse), but those moments never feel forced or distracting.