Superhero Novels

The Amazing Bug Girl

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A lot of superheroes with bug names don’t actually have bug powers. Ant-Man, Green Hornet, Bumblebee, the Moth, Black Widow, none of these characters has a crystalline carapace or super sensilla. Even the Blue Beetle and Ambush Bug don’t technically sport insectile powers. Their abilities instead come from otherworldly origins.

Bug Girl, on the other hand, sports a multitude of insect-like attributes. She has wings and a tough exoskeleton. She has antennae that help her see sound waves, and she has the ability to produce supercharged percussive noises like a cicada. She can also light up like a firefly, spit up noxious chemicals like the bombardier beetle, and release deadly farts like a stinkbug. She even has her own version of Spidey sense.

These powers come in handy when she meets Fritz Von Schlingmann. The Exterminator comes to town with a dastardly plan to disrupt the annual Oyster Cove jamboree, a joyous celebration enjoyed by everyone in the community.

Like the Grinch and Christmas, the Exterminator hates Oyster Cove Day. In fact, during one particularly nasty pique, he sounds very much like the Grinch. “The world will have me to thank when they are rid of this horrid town with its ice cream socials and pumpkin-carving contests and contra-dancing festivals and quilting bees. Disgusting!”

Despite her awesome array of buggy superpowers, Amanda (aka Bug Girl) can’t squash the Exterminator and his army of giant mutant centipedes, beetles, and scorpions. For help she reluctantly turns to her frenemy from middle school. Emily is a nascent superhero with Hulk-like strength and anger issues. She hasn’t gotten around to picking a snazzy name for her alter ego yet (Miss Fury, perhaps? Or Stompa?), but she looks groovy in her silver Lycra jumpsuit and puffy ’80s aerobic sneakers. She was ready to stun villains and look stunning while doing it.

As it turns out, Amanda and Emily are second-generation superheroes. Their mothers are Dragonfly and Megawoman, the most beloved crimefighting duo in the history of their hometown. Like it or not, both girls are Oyster Cove royalty and they are destined (doomed?) to carry on their family’s World’s Finest legacy.

Because of her obsession with insects, arachnids, and myriapods, Amanda’s classmates called her Bug Girl as an insult. But as a crimefighter with awesome insectile superpowers, Amanda took pride in her nickname. She owned it. Authors Benjamin Harper and Sarah Hines Stephens dedicate their book to “all the dorks, geeks, pre-hippies, science nerds, protopunks, gothlings, and other glorious misfits that populate the pariah table.” Let Bug Girl be their champion.

[Bug Girl / By Benjamin Harper and Sarah Hines Stephens / First Printing: May 2017 / ISBN: 9781250106612]

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