Nobody can survive the powerhouse punch of Saitama. But with great power comes great existential discontent (One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 / By ONE and Yusuke Murata / First Printing: September 2015 / ISBN: 9781421585642). In exchange for superhuman strength, Saitama wonders if he somehow forfeited his humanity. “Overwhelming strength is boring,” he says. “I feel nothing. There are no challenges in my life. My emotions are dulling. I have no fear, no joy.” The story may be sour, but the artwork by Yusuke Murata (Eyeshield 21) is sweet. The punching (especially pages 62-63 and 170-171) is awesome, and the rogue’s gallery is zany. Our favorite villains include Mosquito Girl (va-voom!) and Crablante, the man who turned into a giant crustacean by eating too many crabs. At the very end of the volume, a young boy asks One-Punch Man for some advice. “What should I do in life,” he wonders. “Do whatever you want,” says the cheerless hero. His counsel isn’t deep. But it’s a good way to live your life one punch at a time.
In Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice (By Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen / First Printing February 2016), Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, and Diana Prince team up to solve a mystery at their exclusive prep school for gifted students. Says the publisher: “Hall of Justice presents a twist on the idea of junior sleuths, using comics, journal entries, newspaper articles, and doodles to reimagine Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman as middle-school students.” The series continues in 2017 and 2018 and will include other DC characters such as Arthur Curry (Aquaman) and Victor Stone (Cyborg). Wouldn’t it be cool if Jimmy Kudo showed up too? We’ve got our fingers crossed.
Stephen Henning, author of four Class Heroes books (A Class Apart, What Happened in Witches Wood, Where’s Lolly?, and London Belongs to the Alchemist), has posted five short films about his series on YouTube: The Class Heroes series trailer (here), Who is Samantha Blake? (here), James Blake’s Dilemma (here), The Hunt for Lolly Rosewood (here), and a 17-minute all-inclusive “making of” featurette (here).
Ch05En: Jane (by William Dickstein / First Printing: August 2015) takes place in the near future, where scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (a real place) have identified a rare DNA molecule that gives people superpowers. Blessed (or cursed?) with the Ch05En gene, Jane was raised in a controlled compound by genetic extremists with an evil agenda. Unable to be brainwashed because of her telepathy powers, she defies the extremists and breaks out of the compound. “Take it from me,” she says, “the cult life isn’t for everybody.” Check out the author’s website for more information about his ongoing Ch05En series (here).
To us, Captain Kirk has always been a superhero. And now our favorite superhero space cowboy has written his memoir (The Autobiography of James T. Kirk / Edited by David A. Goodman / First Printing: September 2015 / ISBN: 9781783297467). According to a Kirkus review, the book is “an accomplished, stirring tribute to a beloved sci-fi series that will captivate fans and newcomers alike.” Added bonus: the foreword is written by Leonard McCoy and the afterword by Spock Sarekson.
Author C.T. Phipps has been a busy bee. The Rules of Supervillainy was published in June and the sequel (The Games of Supervillainy) will be available in October. Phipps continues his saga next year with The Secrets of Supervillainy and The Science of Supervillainy.
Bustle.com presents 13 books for casual readers that’ll keep you reading until the last page. On the list is Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman. “It’s sort of like Watchmen in a way,” says the site. “But instead of being kind of depressing, it’s hilarious and fun.” Also mentioned is Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima.
Repurposed and refreshed for a new audience: The Turbulent History of Lois Lane.
Interviews: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti, authors of Zeroes (here). C.T. Phipps, author of The Rules of Supervillainy (here). Stephen T. Brophy, author of The Villain’s Sidekick (here). James Connor, author of The Superyogi Scenario (here and here). Tania Del Rio and Will Staehle, authors of Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye (here).
Reviews: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld and gang (here and here). One-Punch Man, Vols. 1 – 2 by ONE and Yusuke Murata (here). The Dragons of Heaven by Alyc Helms (here). The Jackalope Saves the World by Sean O’Brien (here). Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne (here). School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough (here and here). Vicious by V.C. Schwab (here). Max the Brave by Ed Vere (here). Hero by Perry Moore (here). A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King (here). Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones (here). The Black Stiletto by Raymond Benson (here).
For your reading pleasure: Augmented by Tasha Black. Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection edited by Hope Nicholson. Heroes Reborn, Book 1: Brave New World by David Bishop. Bending Steel: Modernity and the American Superhero by Aldo J. Regalado.