Heroes and villains work best when there’s some sort of shared history between them. And so it is with Alley Hawk and Vermin King (“The Monsters We Make” / By Matthew Phillion / First Printing: August 2016). The story begins when a small time crook named Amos Canter tries to pull off a big time crime. Naturally the caper doesn’t go as planned. A superhero named Alley Hawk pursues him to an abandoned pesticide factory on the edge of town. One thing leads to another and Canter falls into a pit of burning chemicals and is transformed into a hideous rat-like monster. From that day forward, Vermin King and Alley Hawk are inextricably linked. Like Batman and the Joker, their personal drama rises to operatic proportions. If you missed Alley Hawk’s brooding presence in the latest Indestructibles novel (see our review here), you’ll be happy with this supplemental short story. The author calls it “Indestructibles noir.” And that’s a great way to describe it.
Marvel’s Black Widow from Spy to Superhero is an upcoming collection of essays that examines Natasha Romanoff’s career from KGB to MCU (Edited by Sherry Ginn / First Printing: March 2017 / ISBN: 9780786498192). We wonder what the essayists will say (if anything) about Black Widow’s short-lived career as a fashion designer.
Superheroes, mad science, and feminism are the three main ingredients that make up Samantha Bryant’s Menopausal Superheroes series (Going Through the Change and Change of Life). But there’s also a pinch of Vincent Price, Flash Gordon, and “a little personal anxiety about getting older.” Check out (this link) for more info about Bryant’s superhero recipe.
In an attempt to beef up her college application and earn a little cash money, high school student Jessica Tran accepts an internship with her town’s most heinous supervillain (Not Your Sidekick / By C.B. Lee / ISBN: 9781945053030). Naturally, her superhero parents aren’t very happy. The author talks about her personal background and why she decided to write a superhero novel (here).
Author Mary Pletsch posts a short comment about her contribution to the anthology Superhero Universe (here). It was our favorite story in the collection (see our review here) and it’s nice to get a peek into her writing process. “I imagined my husband’s grandparents — Prince Edward Islanders, both — wondering ‘who wanted to spend all day running around in their underpants,’ and a story idea was born.”
According to Charlie Jane Anders, “The Best Superheroes Right Now Aren’t on Screens. They’re in Books.” We approve of the author’s uncurbed enthusiasm. The article features interviews with Sarah Kuhn (Heroine Complex), C.B. Lee (Not Your Sidekick), and Lexie Dunne (How to Save the World).
Reviews: Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization by Marv Wolfman (here). Singularity: Rise of the Posthumans edited by Jaime Ramos and Wayne Carey (here). Jerusalem by Alan Moore (here and here). Queen Emeraldas by Leiji Matsumoto (here and here). The Dragons of Heaven by Alyc Helms (here). Thor: Dueling With Giants by Keith R.A. DeCandido (here). Vicious by V.E. Schwab (here). Clara Humble and the Not-So-Super Powers by Anna Humphrey and Lisa Cinar (here and here). Song Bird Superhero by Karen Tyrrell (here).
For your reading pleasure: The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale by Tim Hanley. Hidden Universe Travel Guides: The Complete Marvel Cosmos by Marc Sumerak. Super Mario Adventures by Kentaro Takekuma and Charlie Nozawa. Infinite Power by C.Z. Anderson. K9 Superhero by DeVaughn Whess. Superstars by Zack Cahill. Fixer by Gene Doucette. Shiners by Mark Clodi. Hearts of Darkness by Andrea Speed. Repulsive and “Repulsive Origins: The Captain” by Brian W. Foster.