NeoVerse is a recently launched shared universe of superhero prose fiction. It’s only been around for a short while, but the core contributors have been busy creating their expanding multiverse. We contacted charter member Enrique Bentacourt for more intel.
SuperheroNovels: Give us the scoop on NeoVerse. How did it start and what are your ultimate goals?
Enrique Bentacourt: The idea came about last year when a group of writers (including me) took a course in superhero folklore taught by Michael Uslan and Stan Lee. That’s when we started putting the pieces together. After six months of conversation and planning, we came up with the idea of a shared universe of prose fiction. We used Indiegogo to help launch our first two novels and we’re super proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.
Our ultimate goal is to create superheroes that are diverse and amazing in prose format. We love traditional superheroes, but we’ve specifically created characters that are different than the norm because we want to put our own spin on the genre.
For one year we’ve been working hard writing the novels, establishing timelines, and getting everything into print. We’ve been working like machines because we’re totally committed to this project. We’ve reached over 2,000 fans on Facebook in just two months. I think that’s amazing.
SN: What’s next? Any upcoming projects you’d like to hype?
EB: We’ve released two novels so far: Auroch: The Mantle by Casey C. Van Camp and Black Thorns by me. We’re really anxious for readers to get these books and give us their feedback. Our upcoming projects include novels about a military werewolf, a telepathic teacher, and an immortal teenager. After that we have plans to launch a couple of superhero teams. Eventually all our heroes will merge in a big crossover event next year.
In similar news, the Unbelievable Universe is a shared superhero universe launched by writer Den Warren. It is, says Warren, under construction by whoever writes the stories and contributes artwork. Best of luck to everyone involved. The site also plans to review superhero novels with a humorous bent. More information (here).
Stripped of his powers, Thanos embarks on a journey to reboot his place in the Marvel multiverse (Thanos: Death Sentence / By Stuart Moore / First Printing: February 2017 / ISBN: 9780785199557). Says the book’s description on Amazon: “This all-new original tale explores the inner life of one of the most powerful beings in the universe.” Will the mad titan maintain his illusions of grandeur? Or will he reinvent himself in some other fashion?
Collect Them All by Corinne Duyvis (available Spring 2017) follows the Guardians of the Galaxy as they discover someone is stealing branches from Groot and selling newly grown saplings to unsavory characters across the star system.
Get ready for Egypt’s first female superhero. Created by married couple Safia Baraka and Hamid Yehia, Lamis is a super-powered heroine who rises above the dark world of drugs and gangs. What makes Lamis so unique, says Baraka, is her mix of good and evil. “This is the reality of human nature,” she says. “None of us are totally good or pure evil.” More information (here).
As an artist and writer, Trina Robbins has been in the comic book biz a long time. She was one of the “founding mommies” of Wimmen’s Comix, she designed Vampirella’s iconic costume, and she’s written a handful of books chronicling the history of comics. She’s got a lot of projects in the pipeline and hopefully (fingers crossed) her four-issue Wonder Woman series from the ’80s will get rereleased at some point. C’mon DC, it’s been 30 years since The Legend of Wonder Woman came out. We’d like to see it compiled in a handy trade paperback. For more information about what Robbins is doing, check out these recent interviews (here, here, and here).
Interviews: Lisa Yee, author of Supergirl at Super Hero High (here). Teel James Glenn, author of Tabloid Terrors and contributor to The New Adventures of the Eagle (here). Joe Staton and Paul Kupperberg (and others) talk about the legacy of Charlton Comics (here). Yves Corbiere, author of Mimi and Ky: The Beginning (here).
Reviews: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn (here). The Midnight Guardian by John C. Bruening (here). Sidekick: The Red Raptor Files, Part 1 by Christopher J. Valin (here). Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (here and here). Cousin Joseph by Jules Feiffer (here). The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley (here).
For your reading pleasure: “The Monsters We Make” by Matthew Phillion. Disruptor by Sonya Clark. Capeville: The Death of the Black Vulture by Matt Mikalatos. The Art of The Iron Giant by Brad Bird. Hero High: Figure in Flames by Mina Chara. “The Chimera Project” by Jolie Mason. Psy by Joey Slater-Milligan. The Crashers by Magen Cubed. Nanonaut by Wayne Stewart. Mover and Shaker by Kaye Bellot. Peridot: Three Against the Mob by Tyree Campbell. The New Deal: Masks and Mutations by Sean Taylor, D. Alan Lewis, Lance Stahlberg, Sean Dulaney, Tommy Hancock, and Andrea Judy. Adventures in the Arcane by Mark Boss, S. Brady Calhoun, Lou Columbus, Jayson Kretzer, and Tony Simmons. Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim. The Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey.
Coda: Are you an author who is considering submitting your book to SuperheroNovels for review? If so, please ask yourself one question: “How will I react if I get a negative write-up?” If you can’t handle criticism, then don’t solicit our opinion. Recently, The New York Times interviewed author Curtis Sittenfeld (Eligible) about how she reacts to book reviews. She’s got a good attitude about the whole thing. Read the interview (here).