This graphic novel tale of good versus evil in the form of middle school bullies and a vindictive school headmistress is Arthurian legend retwisted. Artie King is newly enrolled at Camelot Middle School and having the opposite of a good first day at school. Between a forgotten chore and a scornful older sister, Artie misses the bus. When a henchkid of the school bully tries to swipe the lunch of another kid, Artie offers up the lunch he knows his sister messed with that morning.
When the bully’s mouth fills with bubbles, he goes to take this out on Artie. This draws the attention of Principal Dagger. When Artie tries to snag an escaped tarantula, he knocks over the principal while she is midlecture. This lands him in her office where she informs him he is not up to the standards of the school and then assigns him a locker no has been able to open in years. The locker, of course, is a stand in for the Sword in the Stone. When Artie manages to open it, the stage becomes set for a trial between Artie and the bullies–a dodgeball game. The Hoard (team bully) has been unstoppable and Artie’s team doesn’t even have the required four members.
With a cool science teacher named Mr. Merlyn, a girl named Gwen, a tunnel with a Beast and a tarantula on the loose, this is an interesting twist on an old story. One of Artie’s friends is named Percival and the lunch ladies are very reminiscent of the Fates. It’s trial by combat, school style.