Yesterday was National Superhero Day in the US! I have no idea where this trend of making every day some kind of holiday started, but some of them seem like so much fun. I’ve always been interested in superhero TV shows and movies! I think one of the first superheroes I remember watching was Darkwing Duck, and I soon added things like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (if they count as superheroes), Power Rangers, Batman and many more. My all-time favourite show is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, whom I also think can count as a superhero, although maybe in a more non-traditional sense. I never really got into the comics, but I love watching superhero movies. I think my favourites would probably be The X-Men and many of the Marvel movies, especially The Avengers. Even in books, I tend to love reading stories involving superheroes, like Marissa Meyer’s Renegades series, Nimona or the Strong Female Protagonist graphic novels. I still have quite a few more superhero-themed books on my TBR, so I thought it would be a fun theme!
1) The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas
This was actually the book I had in mind that inspired this post as soon as I saw that this week had a National Superhero Day. This one is a 2018 release about a girl named Abby Hamilton, whose older brother is a superhero known as Red Comet. When Abby is mugged, a new guy with superpowers, known as the Iron Phantom, rescues her instead, and he is soon dubbed a villain after footage turns up of him committing what appears to be a terrible attack on city hall. The Iron Phantom soon convinces Abby, who has no powers of her own, that he is not as evil as people think, and that their city is under attack, leading her to follow him to uncover some of their city’s deeper secrets. From what I can gather from the reviews of this one, the book reads more like a YA contemporary with a backdrop of superheroes and villains. Even if that is the case, it’s a pretty unique take on the typical YA romance, and it seems like it will be a lot of fun to read.
2) Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy
I almost forgot about this one! This book is due out this July (unless the release dates change, as many have been lately). It is about a high school senior named Faith Herbert, who has recently discovered that she is able to fly. When the fictional world of her favourite teen drama is brought to life after the show relocates to her hometown, Faith is surprised when the star of the show takes a romantic interest in her. At the same time, Faith starts to notice that animals and people are starting to vanish from her town, and only she seems to see the connections to a new designer drug, forcing her to use her newfound abilities to try and save her town and her friends. I’m excited to try this one because I loved Julie Murphy’s book Dumplin, and I’d love to try more of her writing. I remember there was also quite a bit of hype around this one because the main character is plus-sized, and I think she is also LGBT (not sure specifically how she identifies), which are both unusual in superhero stories.
3) Dreadnought by April Daniels
I’ve had this one on my TBR for a few years now after seeing it repeatedly recommended by Cece at ProblemsOfABookNerd on Youtube. It is about a transgender character named Danny, who somehow inherits the powers of a dying superhero known as Dreadnought, which transformed her body into what she always wanted it to be. Danny soon finds that her new body brings a lot more complications than she expected, especially her father’s obsession with “curing” her, but Dreadnought’s killer is still an active threat to the city, and Danny must find a way to stop it. This is one of those books that I get excited to try every time I see it on my list, but keep forgetting about! I don’t know if I would have even heard of it if it hadn’t been for Cece’s recommendations. I love that this one comes at the superhero story from such a different angle. I have no immediate plans to read this one yet, but seeing it again has reminded me how much I wanted to try it.
4) Super Adjacent by Crystal Cestari
This is another new release that I almost forgot about! This was supposed to have come out mid-March, but I’m not sure if that date has also changed. It is about a girl named Claire who has always wanted to work with superheroes, and manages to secure an internship with the Chicago Branch of Warrior Nation and is ready to prove herself there. Her plans are complicated by Girl Power, also known as Joy, an egotistical new hero. Meanwhile, Bridgette wants to get out of Warrior Nation, until she meets Claire and decides to become her mentor. Bridgette is also tired of her hero boyfriend always putting the citizens of the city ahead of her. When Joy and Matt both go missing, it falls to Claire and Bridgette to work together and save the day. This book has so many of the elements that I tend to love! It seems like it will be a lot of fun to read and I’m definitely looking forward to giving it a chance.
5) The Extraordinaries by T.J. Klune
I’ve just realized that the majority of the books I’ve listed here are superhero stories with LGBT characters. It wasn’t even intentional, but it’s great to see more diversity in stories involving superheroes! This book is another upcoming release due out this summer, about a fanfiction writer named Nick Bell, who is obsessed with superheroes known as Extraordinaries. After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, the city’s biggest hero, and also Nick’s crush, Nick decides to make himself extraordinary too , with the reluctant help of his best friend Seth. The synopsis for this one is pretty vague right now, but I’m hoping we’ll get a bit more detail closer to the release date. The only other things that I know about it are that Nick had ADHD, and the book has been compared to a cross between Fangirl and Renegades. I loved both of those books, but can’t really imagine them blending together so I’m very curious to see how that will work.