Study Hall of Justice by Derek Fridolfs is a what if story that Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman all went to middle school together and the other classmates and teachers are full of future villains. The story is a mystery where the Trinity try to find out who the mysterious principal that runs the school and recruited everyone. The story is told as a graphic novel mostly but we get all the Batman notes and memos, student evaluation forms, articles from the student newspaper and group chats with the group. The story is middle grade approved but there references to future villainy that will go over a lot of not informed kids head. But that could lead them to look into characters more. I liked the end reveal of the mystery principal that explained why the kids were recruited for the school. There was some obscure villains that I was happy to see inserted like Vandal Savage and the Shriek. The highlight for me was the student newspaper with Mr. Freeze doing the weather report and Poison Ivy doing the nature report. This is the first book in a series called the Secret Hero Society, I would be curious what they do for the next book since the school gets shut down after all is revealed. The Art of the book was good at some parts, (the art is all in black and white, except for the cover) they drew adults better than the kids. The art work was done by the team behind the comic Lil’ Gotham.
Plot Summary: Bruce Wayne has been recruited/selected to the Ducard Academy an elite Academy that is invite only, from day one Bruce feels watched. Bruce grows concerned when he finds most of his classmates are evil and some have special gifts the school is trying to harness. He meets two other classmates that share the concern Diana and Clark Kent who have their own secret powers which Bruce starts trying to figure out as well. They try to find out who the principal is and who remains in the shadows.
What I Liked: The school newspaper was my favorite part with Mr. Freeze always predicts frosty weather, Poison Ivy and her nature report called Plants Are Better Than People. Poison Ivy also as a funny scene with a Christmas tree where she yells at others, trees and leaves are not for your amusement. A great moment in book is the Halloween costume party were Bruce comes out as Batman, but he gets mad since Clark took his glasses off and changed his hair and Diana just put on a costume. I liked the aspect of trying to figure out which villain is which.
What I Disliked: The pace was a little slow fora middle grade book. The art for the kids was sometimes bad, the noses were a real problem, the joke had no personality to his face, and girls face look all the same.
Recommendation: I think the middle grade audience will enjoy this, the more they know about comics and characters they will get a lot more out of it. As an adult the mystery was solved pretty fast on who the principal is really quickly, but I did think the reason for the school worked. I would recommend it for children but adults will get bored very fast with this, but it will be a fun shared read with kids as well to elaborate on villains. I rated Study Hall of Justice by Derek Fridolfs 3 out 5 stars.