Fans have been anxiously awaiting this third epic of new adventures of this most unusual superhero. Dav Pilkey once again holds George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the incessant pamphlet writers and reluctant fourth graders at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, responsible for both creating the havoc that nearly destroys the world and for saving the world from said havoc and destruction.

They're the ones who decide to use the elements of a classroom experiment as part of a practical joke in the cafeteria, causing an explosion of goop which causes an exodus of the cafeteria ladies who are also angry about the way Harold and George depicted them in the lastest edition of their comic strip, Captain Underpants and the Night of the Living Lunch Ladys. So George and Harold are responsible when the principal, needing new cafeteria ladies in a hurry, hires three large, heavily made-up women who, unbeknownst to all, are really evil guys from outer space. Thus begins the adventure part of the story, the part that requires the principal, Mr. Krupp, to turn into the superhero we've all been waiting for: Captain Underpants.

But Pilkey must take some responsibility. He is the one who gives grownups names like Miss Anthrope and Miss DePoint. He is the one responsible for the wonderfully rugged drawings that ensure those who look at illustrations as they read will be more aware of plot than will those who merely read text, and therefore won't be as surprised when the dandelion growing outside the school tries to devour the main characters. He's also responsible for The National Board of Boo-Boo Prevention's warning about the incredibly graphic flip-o-rama, which leaves anyone who follows directions howling with laughter.

Jamie Whitfield writes and teaches middle school English and literature.

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