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School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up -Z-list characters from the vaults of DC Comics come together in a metafiction collection that may entertain longtime comics fans but will leave others scratching their heads. Originally created as supporting stories within the "Tales of the Unexpected" series, Doctor 13 is a disjointed, lunatic trip through the hidden corners of the DC Universe. The title character is a skeptical investigator of the paranormal who, along with his too-cool teenage daughter Traci, teams up with a vampire, a French-speaking caveman, a time-traveling alien superheroine, the ghosts of both a pirate and a Civil War-era Southern general, talking Nazi apes, and a boy who will answer any question for a dime. They come together to defeat the Architects, a shadowy and powerful group who want to remove these figures from existence. Who are the Architects? While never explicitly stated, a reasonable guess would be that they are none other than the powers-that-be at DC Comics. As the publisher has recently revamped its universe, it appears that the creators of this comic are translating the potential elimination of these dusty old characters into a narrative where they are fighting for their very existence against mysterious and world-shaping forces. This idea, while clever, isna't really enough to sustain an entire book. Solid art, comic-book in-jokes, pop-culture references, and puns give the book a certain amount of appeal, but the primary audience for it is hardcore comics geeks.-Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, CanadaCopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.