Discussion: DC Superheros are Officially Getting YA Books
I'm not really one for discussions, but this announcement from the publishing company Random House Books released today really caught my attention, and I felt like it was only fair to let you guys know that this is officially a thing! DC superheros are getting their own YA novels! You can read the announcement here. The breakdown is that 4 authors are going to each write a YA novel featuring the individual story of Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and Catwoman. And these authors are authors the YA world is more than familiar with... Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha series, will be writing the first book, of Wonder Woman. This is a going to be a completely new direction from her high fantasy series. Alina and Kaz's personalities seem very different from what I imagine Wonder Woman's is, so it's going to be interesting to see what Bardugo does with it. Marie Lu, author of the Legend series and The Young Elites, is slated to write the second novel, the one about Batman. Given the dark and disturbing atmosphere in The Young Elites, I think Lu will be fine writing about someone who lives in shadows, but I don't think the portrayal of Bruce Wayne will be anything like I've ever seen her do. Fingers crossed! Following, we have Matt de la Peña, author of The Living series and a few other individual YA standalones. I personally have never heard of this author before, so I can't say much about his writing style and whether he'll do justice to writing about Superman. But I have hope and faith in him. And finally, we have the one and only Sarah J. Maas, a celebrity in the YA world with her Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses series. You'd have to be living under a rock to not know about her, because her works are amazing. She's to write the novel with Catwoman, and though I can sort of see her doing it, it's going to be a huge jump from her rich fantasies we're all used to reading about. But it's a great way for her to expand her writing genre, after all! The trend I'm seeing her is that the authors (apart from Matt de la Peña) all have written a high fantasy series, with great amounts of success. I have no idea how they're going to do in a contemporary/modern day setting, but the superheroes part sort of works with fantasy aspects of their writing, so I'm not overly concerned about that. I know that these authors are more than capable of stringing together an unforgettable story, because all their works have left our hearts in shreds at one point or another. My main concern? Die-hard DC comic book fans. I have nothing against them; in fact, I'm a pretty big Marvel movie fan myself. But I know without a doubt that once these books come out, there will be comparisons of the books to the original movies and comics left and right. And because these are adaptations, there will be differences in the books, like dialogue or character arcs. It's the opposite of when a book becomes a movie--now it's a graphic novel turned movie becoming a book, but I feel slightly hesitant on this. To me, it's going to be one of those hate it/love it series, because we're bringing in a whole new range of people into the YA world. I just don't want Bardugo or Lu or Maas to de la Peña's names or other works to be discredited because of this, in the event this series doesn't work.
All in all, I'm a bit on the fence about this idea. It's kind of the same feeling I get when I heard a book is going to be turned into a movie, because it can either be the next best thing, or the next opportunity to unfairly undermine the YA genre.
What are your opinions? Am I the only one who feels this way? Do you feel like the publishing company is milking the superhero industry? Will this be the new golden era of YA? Is it a good idea to mix die-hard comic book fans with the YA fandom? Which of these authors is going to absolutely nail it? Yay or nay? Let me know!