Two years after the defeat of the android dictator A.G., the heroes known as The Elementals have their work cut out for them. Using clues and connections, The Elementals discover the Prudence Kids that brought A.G. to life are planning something major. At the same time, the group’s dynamic takes a turn for the worst as old allies return and a traitor is discovered. In order to save the world again, the group will have to come to terms with truths about themselves and everything they know.
One of the best aspects of the Return of A.G. is the characters. The Elementals are known as generation five and are mainly a group of teenage superheroes with the power of the elements. De, a young Black man with the power to control fire, is the leader of the group. He can be rather impulsive, but he is willing to work hard to find The Prudence Kids no matter what. Along with De, the other main Elementals include M (a Black male with electrical powers), Mo (a white gay male with Ice powers), Jas (a plus-sized Black female), and Lucas (a White male with the ability to change shape and size).
Other characters include magical Elementals that serve as allies to the core group of Elementals, the adult mentors of the Elementals known as The Racksons, and the Elementals antagonists, The Prudence Kids. Together, these characters bring diversity, action, and adventure to a fun story. Morally, they are a mix of good and bad, which makes for a nice take on the good guys vs bad guys aspects found in many superhero works.
In addition to the characters themselves, their relationships with each other were woven into the story well. Not only are the Elementals friends, but certain characters have different dynamics with each other. For example, Kiara and Alex are two magical Elementals that don’t get along well but learn to understand each other better. Meanwhile, siblings Jas and Rod are loyal to each other first before the team. Through these different relationships, we see the characters learn get to know each other better and ultimately become stronger as a team.
Of course, heroes are only as strong as their enemies and The Prudence siblings are exactly that. Through the book, the reader is as clueless as The Elementals are because The Prudence siblings manage to stay one step ahead of The Elementals. Not only that, but they also manage to manipulate The Elementals by preying on their emotions. By eluding The Elementals and toying with them. The Prudence siblings are able to really surprise the reader later on in the book. Not only are they great villains, but they are also great characters with untapped potential that may be developed in future books.
Despite the high points of the book, there were some flaws. One of them was the lack of women of color characters, with Jaz being the only Black female in the core group of Elementals. Although Jaz is powerful with and without her powers and she does talk to other girls her age, having her surrounded by mostly male characters was uncomfortable. Worrying about Jaz getting killed off or seriously injured marred the reading experience quite a bit.
Another issue is that there were not enough scenes where The Elementals were just allowed to relax and fun. The most they are allowed is one chapter to wind down after a particularly dangerous mission. Other times, it felt like they were too stressed out, mad, or busy. If it weren’t for their interpersonal relationships with each other, then they would’ve come off as too stiff and boring.
Despite the lack of women of color and relaxing moments for the characters, Return of A.G. is a fun adventure that kids and adults alike will enjoy. The diverse cast of characters and their awesome powers are sure to pique the interest of any superhero fan. If you need a good superhero read that isn’t a comic book, then give the Return of A.G. a try.
Latonya Pennington is a freelance writer from the southern United States specializing in entertainment and pop culture. In addition to BlackSci-Fi.com, her pop culture work can be found on The Mary Sue, Black Girl Nerds, and Buzzfeed. When she isn’t freelancing, she can be found tweeting, reading, doing creative writing, or streaming music, shows and anime online. Find her on Twitter.