As a prisoner of war during WWII, Benoit Kurtz was a lab rat for mad German scientists (“Hochelaga and Sons” / By Claude Lalumière / First Printing: February 2013). When the war ended, he was released, debriefed, and shipped back home to Montreal. That’s when he found out he had every superpower imaginable – superstrength, superspeed, invisibility, telepathy, telekinesis. You name it and he had it. By combining science, torture, and occultism, Nazi scientists had somehow created the first Overman. Instead of being a radical agent for fascism, however, Kurtz was simply a mild-mannered gentleman with a strong commitment to his community. “What he liked to do most was find lost pets,” said the author. “Or get drunk drivers off the road.” Unfortunately, Kurtz wasn’t the only Beyond-Man forged by Nazi weird science. The Hegemony of Hate was still out there causing trouble. And so were Baron Zemo and the Red Skull. Like it or not, the threat of a Übermensch clash was always imminent. When the time came, would the reluctant hero and his two sons be ready? As Jews, would they wield their Nazi-given superpowers or not? The answer, we think, was obvious. To paraphrase the MC5: “Pikuach Nefesh motherfuckers!”
In Ronald L. Smith’s upcoming Black Panther novel (The Young Prince / First Printing: January 2018 / ISBN: 9781484787649), T’Challa is just a 12-year-old kid living in Chicago. None of his classmates at South Side Middle School know his pedigree or the future that awaits him. Smith is an award-winning author with a flair for writing spooky books for young readers (The Mesmerist and Hoodoo). We’re curious to see what he does with the young prince of Wakanda.
BookRiot recently compiled a list of female comic book characters that deserve to make the jump into prose fiction. Superheroines can easily fill the pages of novels effectively, writes author S.W. Sondheimer. Among others, her list includes Ayo and Aneka (Black Panther: Worlds of Wakanda), Harley Quinn, America Chavez, Jessica Drew, Jessica Jones, and Jane Foster. No mention of Linda Carter (Night Nurse), Peggy Carter, or Agent 13.
After five seasons fraught with sestra drama, the Leda clones of Orphan Black were given a heart-felt finale last month. Now that the TV show has wrapped up, maybe someone will sit down and write a series of subsequent tie-in novels featuring Sarah, Cosima, Alison, and Helena. There have been comic books, of course (Orphan Black, Helsinki, and Deviations), but no prose iterations. Perhaps a lucky publisher will acquire the rights to Helena’s Orphan Black manuscript as seen in the last episode. That would be awesome.
Tim Hanley, author of The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale, talks about Selina Kyle and her unique charms (here). At one point Hanley contemplates which actress should play Catwoman in an upcoming movie. We agree wholeheartedly: it should be Ruth Negga.
Honestly, we weren’t very impressed with Liberty Girl’s prose debut back in 2013 (read our review here). Mostly, we thought it was kind of boring. Now she’s back in a brand-new short story collection called Liberty Girl: Fight for Freedom (By Lisa M. Collins, Lou Mougin, and Richard C. White / First Printing: July 2017 / ISBN: 9781974038664). Maybe this time the “Bronze Goddess of Freedom” will do something interesting.
According to a recent review in The Portland Mercury, My Pretty Vampire by Katie Skelly is a love letter to ’70s woman-centric vampire cinema. Can you dig it? Also worth a look: Nurse Nurse and Operation Margarine. The artist is interviewed (here).
Interviews: Jason Reynolds, author of Miles Morales: Spider-Man (here, here, and here). Ladee Hubbard, author of The Talented Ribkins (here). Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Worship (Ep. 10 of Reading Glasses and here). Eugene Lim, author of Dear Cyborgs (here).
Reviews: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (here). At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon (here). Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds (here). The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne Valente (here). Katana at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee (here). Batgirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee (here). Friend or Foe by Samantha Bryant (here). Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen (here and here). Masked by J.D. Wright (here). Queen Emeraldas, Vol. 2 by Leiji Matsumoto (here). Manga in Theory and Practice by Hirohiko Araki (here).
For your reading pleasure: Arrow: Fatal Legacies by Marc Guggenheim and James R. Tuck. Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors edited by Christopher Golden. Bug Girl: Fury on the Dance Floor by Benjamin Harper and Sarah Hines Stephens. Venera Dreams by Claude Lalumière. Dire: Sins (The Dire Saga, Vol. 5) by Andrew Seiple. Crimson Son 2: Motherland by Russ Linton. League of Lesbians: Origins by Em Stevens. League of Champions: Terror Times Three by Lou Mougin. Silver Manticore: Still At Large by P.J. Lozito. The North Sessions by Harry Oddie. Sins Are For Eating by Christina Patey. Tales of a Former Child Superhero by Robert Stadnik. Supervillain High by Gerhard Gehrke. The Art of Harley Quinn by Andrew Farago. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Book 2 by Shannon and Dean Hale. Phase Three: Spider-Man: Homecoming by Alex Irvine. Marvel’s Black Panther: The Junior Novel (author TBA).