CBR #51 — It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s A…Romance Novel?!?!

Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne

I’m pretty sure I got lured into reading this by a sidebar ad on Goodreads (be my friend!  follow my reviews!  FOLLOW ME AS AN AUTHOR!).  I’m totally on board with superhero mythology that doesn’t involve the origin stories of a superhero.  I love the ancillary stuff.  It’s why I love The Venture Bros so so much, it’s more about the not being a hero than the actual heroics.  Also, Lexie Dunne wrote this through NaNoWriMo.  So I support this venture.

I was not expecting a love story.  And that’s more where this headed.  I mean, it’s not full on “purple-headed codpiece” meets her “velour womancowl” kind of romance.  It’s more chick-lit than anything else.  But I’m man enough to enjoy that shit if well done.  And Dunne done it well.

It’s a great premise.  Gail Godwin is known as Hostage Girl because the supervillains of Chicago keep kidnapping her, and Blaze, the superhero, keep rescuing her.  After one such mishap, Gail awakens in the hospital, and gets dumped by her longterm boyfriend, who everyone suspects is Blaze and who is moving to Miami.  And then Blaze, wordlessly, arrives to see her, and to say goodbye as he begins crimefighting in Miami.  And so Gail kind of loses her identity as Hostage Girl.

Only then Gail gets kidnapped by Dr. Mobius, a villain who escaped from Detmer — their version of Arkham.  Mobius injects Gail with a secret compound that’s radioactive, as a means of luring Blaze.  Only Blaze isn’t in the picture.  So Mobius sets Gail loose where she gets hit by a car and escapes from the ambulance.

It’s a really intriguing concept: Lois Lane loses Superman, only to get injected with a superserum and now she’s suddenly Supergirl. Then enters the love story complications.  As Gail copes with the effects of the serum, she also must cope with the effects of her two former flames — Blaze and Jeremy — and the new life she’s forced into.  It’s a hell of an origin story, and a really well thoughtout plot.  It leans a little too heavily on the love story for my tastes — which is too soap opera-y.  But otherwise, it’s an intriguing start.  It also is clearly part of a larger series — whether trilogy or not, I can’t say.  But motherfucker does it end HARD.  This isn’t just a cliffhanger.  It’s a fucking train trestle missing while a freighter goes over.  So I’m all for Supervillains Anonymous, the next part, coming out later this year.

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