“Everybody Fights” – Part 10

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

Less than a week earlier, Val had left Blueblood in the lake house with the excuse that she had errands to run. She’d driven about a mile through rural Illinois, past farm fields that had recently been harvested and woods with picturesque autumn foliage. Her hands had gripped the steering wheel at the ten and two o’clock positions, one of them gloved and one bare. She didn’t like looking at her right hand. Even with the glove covering it, she could picture the bulging blue veins visible on frostbite-black skin. It nauseated her.

She’d pulled up to a wooden house in the middle of nowhere. It had a long, winding dirt driveway and was surrounded by trees that blocked it from view of the road. The closest neighbor was about six miles away, which was closer than Val would have liked, but far enough that any screams wouldn’t carry. She walked up the creaky steps to the front porch, which was full of dead leaves and spider webs, and knocked on the door.

Irma opened it, her gaunt face breaking into a smile. “Val.” The older woman ushered her inside. “Can I get you anything? Would you like some tea?”

“I’d rather see our guest first.” Val shrugged out of her coat. Continue reading

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Turn Back the Pages: Princess Leia

Turn Back the Pages is a biweekly feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

Princess Leia Cover

The best thing about expanded universes is that they fill in the gaps the original source material didn’t have time to explore. In the Star Wars short story collection A Certain Point of View, Nnedi Okorofor gives us the history and character of the monster in the trash compactor. Rogue One is basically a two-hour movie to answer the question of why the Death Star had that stupid weakness. And Star Wars: Princess Leia deals with the aftermath of the destruction of Alderaan.

Alderaan’s end is a huge moment in the original movie, but its repercussions are never dealt with, whether on the galaxy at large or Leia personally, who’s lost not just her home but her entire people. The characters in A New Hope are too busy with their immediate goal of stopping the Death Star from striking again to spend time mourning its first victims.

But that’s okay, because Star Wars: Princess Leia picks up literally right where A New Hope left off. Continue reading

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“Everybody Fights” – Part 9

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

A gargantuan green dragon appeared out of thin air in front of the helicopter. Val dropped her gun, staring with an open mouth. What the hell? Just how hard had Blueblood hit her over the head? That was a dragon. An actual dragon. Its scales glittered in the sunlight, and sinuous muscles moved beneath them as it flapped its massive leathery wings. It opened its gaping, fang-filled mouth, and the pilot did the only sensible thing and panicked. The helicopter swerved.

Its tail passed right through the dragon’s head as if it were made of smoke. An illusion.

The Illusionist had been scheduled to appear in the parade, hadn’t she? She must have conjured the dragon from somewhere nearby. Val put a hand to her forehead, glad she hadn’t lost her mind. Her relief lasted until the helicopter jerked and careened. It wasn’t supposed to move at that angle. The pilot must have lost control. The helicopter was falling—right on top of her. Continue reading

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New Superhero Fiction Releases for November

Now that we’re all in Christmas shopping mode, don’t forget to pick up some brand new superhero novels–either for a friend or for your own bookshelf. (You deserve to treat yourself.) Here are some cool-sounding titles I came across while going through the Amazon jungle. As always, I haven’t personally read every book on this list, so make sure you read the reviews and samples before buying.

Renegades

by Marissa Meyer

Renegades cover

From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to the villains who have the power to end them both.

Amazon

All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault: A Novel

by James Alan Gardner

Explosions cover

Monsters are real.
But so are heroes.

Sparks are champions of weird science. Boasting capes and costumes and amazing super-powers that only make sense if you don’t think about them too hard, they fight an eternal battle for truth and justice . . . mostly.

Darklings are creatures of myth and magic: ghosts, vampires, were-beasts, and the like. Their very presence warps reality. Doors creak at their approach. Cobwebs gather where they linger.

Kim Lam is an ordinary college student until a freak scientific accident (what else?) transforms Kim and three housemates into Sparks—and drafts them into the never-ending war between the Light and Dark. They struggle to master their new abilities—and (of course) to design cool costumes and come up with great hero-names.

Turns out that “accident” was just the first salvo in a Mad Genius’s latest diabolical scheme. Now it’s up to four newbie heroes to save the day, before they even have a chance to figure out what their team’s name should be!

Amazon

Collateral Damage: A Superhero Anthology (Superheroes and Vile Villains Book 3)

Collateral Damage Cover

Have we ever needed caped crusaders more than today?

Thirteen wildly talented authors join forces to bring you never-before published tales of Superheroes doing what they do—saving the world.

Live vicariously through the Supers of today in the all original series Superheroes and Vile Villains.

Defy the Guild with the lovable, but arrogant Baron Steel, discover what it would be like if a super-powered man played baseball in Will Swardstrom’s Pastime, experience a man out of time, in both senses of the word in Chris Kallias’ Out of Time, and so much more.

More stories than you could shake a radioactive cat at for less than the price of one!

Amazon

Serpent’s Rise (The Vigilantes Book 2)

by Trish Heinrich

Serpent's Rise Cover

She’s the hero the world needs, and she’s training for the rematch of her life…

Alice is out for revenge. After narrowly escaping death at the hands of her nemesis, she spends her days living undercover as a crippled heiress. By night, she plans for the moment she can finally take down the Phantasm…

When superpowered children are stolen from their homes, Alice immediately suspects her greatest enemy. As she follows the clues, two men from her past return, clouding her mind and tugging at her heart. With time running out and potential enemies at every turn, Alice must make a choice: continue to hide for a chance at revenge or save the children and announce to the world that the Serpent has returned…

Serpent’s Rise is the action-packed second book in a fast-paced superhero urban fantasy series. If you like three-dimensional characters, authentic 1960s settings, and high-stakes suspense, then you’ll love Trish Heinrich’s electrifying tale.

Buy Serpent’s Rise today to suit up for the adventure that fights back!

Amazon

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“Everybody Fights” – Part 8

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

Val’s leg muscles burned as if the tear gas had soaked through her skin. She pushed herself to climb the stairs faster, coughing as she sucked in air. She’d lost sight of Blueblood. He had the disc containing the List in his jacket pocket, so he didn’t need her anymore. Now would be the perfect time to cut her loose.

She would know, since she’d been planning to do the same thing to him.

She reached the top floor. To her left was the door to the hallway, but across from it was a smaller door labelled “Roof Access.” Val shoved it open and kept running. The stairs here were narrower and dirtier, but Val didn’t have far to go now. She’d catch up to him. Then she’d slide into the back of the helicopter right behind him with a serene smile on her face, and his face would twitch as he tried to hide how frustrated he was that she’d made it.

Val flung open the door to the roof and squinted in the sunlight. The helicopter was already there, the steady thwup-thwup-thwup of its spinning blades too loud to miss. But where was Blueblood? Continue reading

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Why I’m Thankful for Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Image

It’s Thanksgiving here in the USA, and this year, I’m thankful for Wonder Woman.

I know, I know. The movie has been out for a while now. You’re aware of how awesome it is. Everyone’s been talking about it, and you’ve seen it multiple times. You get it; it’s good.

But it could have been so awful, you guys.

Just look at the leaked Joss Whedon script or that terrible unaired TV pilot for examples of the horribleness that could have been. She could have been objectified, damseled, or relegated to a love interest in her own movie. Or we could have gotten the opposite extreme: a hyper-aggressive straw feminist and “strong female character” in the most shallow sense of the term.

Before the movie came out, my hopes were simple: I just didn’t want it to suck. Continue reading

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“Everybody Fights” – Part 7

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

Yuna Kwon stood in the parking lot with her arms crossed, shivering. Her damp leotard clung even tighter than usual, and she could feel the water that had worked its way inside her tall leather boots. She’d wrung out her cape twice already, and it was still soaked, heavier than usual as it hung from her shoulders. She’d be able to ignore it all if she had something to do, but she was just standing there, waiting.

At least she’d managed to get the crowd to retreat to a safe distance. Trying to get their attention had been like trying to corral a class of kindergartners, but Yuna had finally conjured the image of a fifty-foot billboard that read “BACK UP!” in flashing red letters, and that had done the trick. And it was just in time, because the emergency vehicles had arrived less than a minute later. Paramedics had reached the injured people in the lobby, and the whole building was surrounded by police cars and fire trucks, their sirens flashing. Unless the supervillains could turn invisible, they had no chance of making it past all of this.

She heard the unmistakable sound of a helicopter and looked up. Had the news already found out about the attack and sent a chopper? She squinted but didn’t see a channel logo. When the helicopter was directly over the building, it started to descend. It was landing on the roof! Had someone ordered a medevac? No, that didn’t make sense either. It was too soon. Besides, it didn’t look like a medevac copter. It didn’t have a red cross or any kind of designation on the side. It was plain gray and looked vaguely military.

Yuna got a very bad feeling. Continue reading

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Last Week in Superhero Fiction (11/16/17)

Superhero Fiction News Graphic

Benjamin Medrano has posted recipes for the meals cooked by the main character of his superhero novel Born a Queen, which I think is a super cool idea (pun intended).

Hello Giggles has an excellent interview entitled “Sarah Kuhn’s superhero books are a beacon for women of color seeking community” that’s worth a read.

SuperheroNovels reviewed At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon, a cool-sounding book about a woman with unique powers in the days leading up to WWII.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer came out last week, which I’m excited about because I adored her series The Lunar Chronicles. Her blog features her book tour schedule, cool character pages, and a neat little quiz to find out your superpower. I got water powers, which I’m perfectly happy with.

Water Bending Gif

I was offline most of last week, so any news I missed? Got any recommended superhero novels? Let me know in the comments!

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“Everybody Fights” – Part 6

Fight Crime! BannerFirst time reading? Start at the beginning here.

Dave looked helplessly around the room as if hoping he’d spot the supervillains if he just checked one more time. He had to go. He had to do something. If Blueblood and Black Valentine got away with the List…. It wasn’t Dave’s identity becoming public that he was worried about. He could deal with the media scrutiny and move to a different apartment or something, but that list would expose his and his coworkers’ families. Harris’s wife Benita would become a target for Supersonic’s enemies. The Gold Guardian just had a new baby last month who’d be at risk. And Dave’s own mother….

He dashed back to empty, gas-filled hallway. Even if Blueblood and the Black Valentine had gotten away from the tear gas quickly, exposure to it would slow them down. They couldn’t have gotten far. Dave would check the rest of the seventh floor and the other staircases, and if he still couldn’t find them, he’d report back to Walter. They had to put everyone on high alert.

He crisscrossed the hallway, pushing open doors so hard that he knocked a few off their hinges. Nothing. Nobody. This was taking too much time. If they were hiding in the one of the offices, he could come back and find them later. He decided to check the stairs first and raced to the end of the hall. His gas mask was still working, but the exposed skin on his hands and neck stung in irritation. Blueblood and the Black Valentine would be in a lot more pain. He could catch them if he could only figure out which way they’d gone. Continue reading

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Turn Back the Pages: New Avengers

Turn Back the Pages is a biweekly feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

 New Avengers Cover

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a new threat arises, forcing a group of otherwise unrelated heroes to band together to stop it. Afterward, they decide it might not be such a bad idea to form a team to protect the world from similar dangers.

It’s a tried and true superhero story, but dang, I’ve rarely if ever seen it done better than in “New Avengers: Breakout.”

The premise is fantastic. The supervillain Electro is paid by an unknown client to break a specific person out of a top-secret, ridiculously secured prison full of super-powered criminals. Electro shorts out the prison’s power, releasing the person he was paid to, but he also frees every single other supervillain that was locked up in the place.

A Ragtag Group of Heroes

Seven superheroes respond to the mass breakout:

  1. Luke Cage was working as a bodyguard for lawyers Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, who were visiting one of the inmates.
  2. Daredevil, whose secret identity is definitely not Matt Murdock, was nowhere near the prison. Really.
  3. Spider-Woman was on a hiatus from superheroics and working as a SHIELD agent on assignment to escort Murdock, Nelson, and Cage.
  4. The Sentry was the inmate Nelson was visiting.
  5. Captain America was in a helicopter, which he redirected to the prison. (It crashes.)
  6. Spider-Man hitched a ride on said helicopter when he saw the massive fricking lightning bolt that knocked out the prison’s power. (He also crashes.)
  7. Iron Man was…just flying by, I guess? He shows up halfway through.

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