Book Recommendation: Superheroes Anonymous

In blackest day, in darkest night…

I’ve forgotten how I got into comic books in the first place.

Maybe it’s because my father has no sons and, as the eldest, the love of all things Superman was passed down to me.

Maybe it was a natural progression, that I was already in love with science fiction and fantasy, and comic books were just the expected next step.

Maybe I wanted to impress someone, to prove I knew enough about superheroes to be cool.

I honestly can’t remember. Comics have just been a part of my life for so long, I don’t remember a time before them. I do know it started with Superman, and then spiraled outward into full-on obsession with all things comic book related.

And if it is all my dad’s fault, well the student has now become the master.

And if I was building this obsession to impress someone, well now is the time for it to pay off. Has there ever been a better moment for superhero obsessives like me?

Superheroes Anonymous is the latest offering in the superpowered pop culture moment happening right now. And Dunne’s novel is a funny, spunky Girl Friday addition:

Everybody in Chicago has a “superhero sighting” story. So when a villain attacks editorial assistant Gail Godwin and she’s rescued by superhero Blaze, it’s a great story, and nothing more. Until it happens again. And again. Now the media has dubbed her Hostage Girl, nobody remembers her real name, and people are convinced that Blaze is just her boyfriend, Jeremy, in disguise.

Gail’s not so sure. All she knows is that when both Jeremy and Blaze leave town in the same week, she’s probably doomed. Who will save her now?

Yet, miraculously, the villains lose interest. Gail is able to return to her life … until she wakes up strapped to a metal table by a mad scientist who hasn’t read the news. After escaping—now more than human herself—she’s drawn into a secret underground world of superheroes. She’ll have to come to terms with her powers (and weaknesses) to make it in the new society, and it’s not easy. After all, there’s a new villain on the rise, and she has her sights set on the one and only Hostage Girl.

What Intrigued Me: Oh how the tables have turned. Giving frequent damsels-in-distress superpowers is not a new plot (DC’s given Lois Lane Superman’s abilities many times). But making the change permanent is. I couldn’t help but get excited when perpetual victim Gail (who is completely over it) discovers she has the ability to kick her captors’ asses. It’s the kind of story Joss Whedon would film.

What Hooked Me: I am a sucker for witty banter, especially comic book witty banter. Who doesn’t love a hero with a clever rejoinder? I think, if it wouldn’t drive away all my friends and loved ones, I would only speak in witty banter. Because, in my opinion, nothing is a bigger sign of a complete badass that a clever comeback.

What Made Me Fall In Love: I love the dynamic between Gail and her main hero, Blaze (no spoilers, I won’t reveal his secret identity). What could be a very stereotypical victim/hero dynamic changes because Gail is so self-possessed and quick on her feet. She’s smart and adaptable. Meanwhile Blaze, who seems like a run-of-the-mill hunk behind a mask, turns out to be shy and self-conscious. It’s kind of adorable. I kind of fell in love with the fact that, in their real lives, Gail is the one sure of her own inner strength.

Yeah, I guess she is kind of like Megara

Superheroes Anonymous is available November 18 from Amazon and your local super bookstore. Fly off with a copy.

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