The Refrigerator Monologues (By Catherynne M. Valente and Annie Wu / First Printing: June 2017 / ISBN: 9781481459341) is being touted as a Vagina Monologues for comic book heroines. The title refers to a plot device known as “Women in Refrigerators,” in which female characters are killed or injured to advance the ongoing story of the male superhero. The trope has been around forever, but it was given a name back in the ’90s by writer Gail Simone. Read an interview with Valente (here) and read an excerpt from her book (here). To find out more about the WiR trope, pick up a copy of Green Lantern #54.
Coming this fall: two new middle-grade novels based on the Flash and Supergirl TV shows. Supergirl: Age of Atlantis by Jo Whittemore (available 11.07.17) is about a humanoid sea creature and a surge in “super-citizens” in National City. The Flash: Hocus Pocus by Barry Lyga (available 10.03.17) takes place in an alternative timeline where Flashpoint never happened. “We’re big fans of the TV shows,” says a publishing rep. “We’re thrilled to be working with Warner Bros., the shows’ production teams, and the authors to introduce two epic new series featuring original adventures not seen on television.”
Shattergirl, an alien superhero with amazing strength, has always been aloof. But now she’s gone off the grid completely (Shattered / By Lee Winter / First Printing: June 2017 / ISBN: 783955335632). It’s up to bounty hunter Lena Martin to track down the rogue hero and bring her back home. “As the pair clash, masks begin to crack and brutal secrets are exposed,” says the publisher.
“By and large, the number of novels about the lives of superheroes isn’t a massive one,” writes Tobias Carroll in his double review of A Little More Human by Fiona Maazel and Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim. “It’s hard to say why: perhaps the archetypes of the genre are so well-established that they’re nearly impossible to avoid; perhaps it’s just harder to translate these kinds of stories into prose, as opposed to film.” Wrapping up his review, Carroll writes: “These are stories that could only be told via fiction, but they’re also stories that wouldn’t exist without a long history of comic book storytelling.”
Last Son of Krypton (1978) and Miracle Monday (1981) are two revered Superman novels written by Elliot S. Maggin. Miracle Monday, in particular, is well remembered by fans. Now the author has published a newly edited edition. And that means you don’t have to scour dusty used bookstores to find a copy. For more information, comic book tummler Greg Hatcher has a nice perspective on both novels (here).
Even though we saw it on opening day, we still haven’t publically commented on Wonder Woman’s big screen debut. But don’t worry; we’re planning to review the movie’s novelization in a couple of weeks. We’ll save all of our grand pronouncements until then. In the meantime, go ahead and check out author Carrie Vaughn’s initial thoughts on the movie (here).
Without a doubt, AdHouse Books is one of our favorite comic book publishers. Normally the company doesn’t venture anywhere near genre material. But a recent publication looks like a retro-pulp doozy. Tarantula (By Alexis Ziritt, Fabian Rangel, Jr., and Evelyn Rangel / First Printing: July 2017 / ISBN: 9781935233381) is Satanic noir about three people trying to bring justice to a world on the brink of chaos. It is, according to the publisher, “the pulp of yesterday retold through the lens of modern psychedelic storytelling.”
Reed Crandall: Illustrator of the Comics (By Roger Hill / First Printing: August 2017 / ISBN: 9781605490779) is an extensive history of one of the comic industry’s finest artists. We loved Crandall’s stuff with EC Comics and in early issues of Creepy and Eerie. But his work with superheroes (specifically Doll Man and Blackhawk) was awesome too. His cover of National Comics #26 is memorably iconic.
Interviews: Eugene Lim, author of Dear Cyborgs (here). Gwenda Bond, author of Lois Lane: Triple Threat (here). Tom King, author of A Once Crowded Sky (here). Trina Robbins, editor of A Bunch of Jews (and Other Stuff) (here).
Reviews: Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim (here and here). The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente and Annie Wu (here and here). Behind the Mask edited by Tricia Reeks and Kyle Richardson (here). Rabbit Heart by Barry Reese (here). Dreadnought by April Daniels (here). The Supergirl Storybook by Wendy Andrews (here). Do I Make Myself Clear? by Harold Evans (here).
For your reading pleasure: Captain America: The Never-Ending Battle by Robert Greenberger. Arsenal by Jeffery H. Haskell. Midnight by Stefani Chaney. War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations by Greg Keyes. Superheroines and the Epic Journey: Mythic Themes in Comics, Film and Television by Valerie Estelle Frankel. Hero-A-Go-Go by Michael Eury. Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture by Mark Voger. Why Comics?: From Underground to Everywhere by Hillary L. Chute. Gothic Tales of Haunted Love edited by Hope Nicholson and Sam Beiko. Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (aka Jessica Jones).