The Lost Carnival

DC Comics sent this book to us for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Before Batman trained him to be Robin, Dick Grayson discovered the power of young love–and its staggering costs–at the dangerous, magical, and utterly irresistible Lost Carnival.

Haly’s traveling circus no longer has the allure of its glamorous past, but it still has one main attraction: the Flying Graysons, a family of trapeze artists starring a teenage Dick Grayson. The only problem is that Dick loathes spending his summers performing tired routines for a dwindling crowd.

When the Lost Carnival, a wild and enchanting new attraction, opens nearby and threatens to pull Haly’s remaining customers, Dick is among those drawn to its magical nighttime glow. But there are forces ancient and dangerous at work at the Lost Carnival, and when Dick meets the mysterious Luciana and her carnival workers–each stranger than the last–he may be too mesmerized to recognize the danger ahead.

Beneath the carnival’s dazzling fireworks, Dick must decide who he is and who he wants to be–choosing between loyalty to his family history and a glittering future with new friends and romance. Writer Michael Moreci and artist Sas Milledge redefine Dick Grayson in The Lost Carnival, a young adult graphic novel exploring the power and magic of young love. 

Lost Carnival, Michael Moreci
May 5, 2020

I’m about to upset a lot of comic fans.

My extensive knowledge of the DC universe comes from MCU films.

I’ve never been one for comics, but I do love superhero movies and the Marvel films have an iron tight grip on those. I’ve been slowly inching in towards DC graphic novels this last year or so (I loved the Diana graphic novel I read and the Raven graphic novel too). I figured I’d give a Dick Grayson graphic novel a try when I saw Lost Carnival pop up on NetGalley.

I know very little about Dick Grayson and his origin story. In fact, I know very little about most DC hero origin stories (except for the ever present Superman and, of course, the lady of my heart, Wonder Woman). I went into Lost Carnival not knowing what to expect and I think that made me appreciate it a lot more. I had no context to base my judgement on and I ended up reading Lost Carnival as if it were any other graphic novel. There’s a lot of expectation of adherence to the original comics in remakes, but without the original in my head, I thoroughly enjoyed Lost Carnival for what it was: a magical, coming of age of a boy who wants to find his place in the greater world, who falls in love with a rival carny and gets entranced into a wild ride of a summer.

Lost Carnival featured Dick Grayson, teenage acrobat who wants more from his life than to be a part of a failing circus. Along comes Luciana and Quinn, members of a carnival that pitched its tent across town. What follows is a well written and beautifully illustrated story of teenage rebellion, love, and loss.

The art itself really blew me away, especially its use of colors. Dick and the circus he’s a part of, Haly’s, is always colored in cool tones, lots of blues and grays. When Dick meets Luciana and goes to the Lost Carnival, the color explodes into bright oranges and reds. The use of color, lack thereof, or changes within the page really sets the mood and setting with incredible grace and weight. The illustrators, Sas Milledge and Phil Hester, really stand out. Moreci’s writing brings it all home in a neat little package.

All in all, I enjoyed my next step into DC graphic novels, and I can’t wait for the next one!

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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I'm a 20 something YA/Fantasy author looking to spread my stories around the world. My strengths seem to lie in procrastination, puppies and puns. Apparently alliteration as well.

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