Take Captain America: The Winter Soldier, for example. Overall, it was a pretty good movie. But it would have been a lot better with a pinch of passion. We were hoping Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson would hook up at some point. But the two superstuds kept their bromance strictly G-rated. Captain America was too busy with Hydra trickery to have an afterhours sweetheart. That’s too bad.
In Black’s latest novel the superhero definitely finds time for a little hanky panky. And best of all, he ultimately finds true love. It’s always clobberin’ time In the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But in life there must be balance. Everybody needs a little sexy time too.
Sexy time with the ladies was exactly what Westley Worthington wanted in the first chapter of Reconstructed, the debut novel in Black’s new Building a Hero series. He had invited a troupe of ballerinas to his penthouse for a little fun (“Fucking a ballet company was on his bucket list,” we are told). He wasn’t a superhero at this point — just a rich super stud. To be blunt, he was a bank account with a cock attached to it.
But like Tony Stark and Oliver Queen, Worthington had a few hidden redeeming qualities. He was, for example, bankrolling a cutting edge biotherapy company that would (hopefully) revolutionize the field of personal prosthetics. Despite losing money on the endeavor, the owner of Worthington Enterprises was determined to create nerve-based biotechnology that could miraculously replace missing limbs and regenerate nerves for paralytics.
To help him navigate his altruistic nature, Worthington had the good sense to promote a clever (but mousey) underling. Cordelia Cross to the rescue. She would become his assistant, his wingman, his brainstorming partner, and even his caregiver. And if things worked out right, she would willingly become his lover too. Fingers crossed.
Since this is a superhero origin story, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Worthington survives a climatic life-altering experience late in the novel. And, yes, the technology generated from his prosthetics company plays a big part in his drama, trauma, and transformation.
In addition, Black dutifully introduces a cast of characters that will surely inspire further adventures. We like them a lot. The list includes a proto-supervillain, a disgruntled former confidant, a “were-canid,” an eccentric techie genius, and a sidekick-in-waiting.
At the top of the list was Cordelia Cross. Without her, Westley Worthington wouldn’t be worth much. More than anything else (including all the medical pyrotechnics and enhanced musculature), Cordelia was Westley’s secret weapon. She was his muse and the catalyst for his moral rehabilitation. Like Felicity Smoak (from Arrow), she gave her superhero a reason to live. Let love rule.
[Reconstructed: Building a Hero (Book 1) / By Tasha Black / First Printing: June 2015]