sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

Soon I Will Be Invincible

"Once you get past a certain threshold, everyone's problems are the same: fortifying your island and hiding the heat signature from your fusion reactor."

Thus says Doctor Impossible, one of two viewpoint protagonists in Austin Grossman's amusing novel in the world of superheroes and supervillains. And not in a Heroes we're just ordinary people with superpowers way, but in a we're just ordinary people with superpowers in the Marvel universe way.

Doctor Impossible is a supervillain, complete with helmet, red gloves and red boots. He's in the evil genius mold, trying to take over the world with massive robots, death rays, armageddon devices, and so on. All while trying to deal with his nemesis, CoreFire, and the Champions.

Fatale, meanwhile, is a new, probationary member of said Champions. No, make that the New Champions (think JLA). An ex-government operative rebuilt into a cybernetic supersoldier after an accident, she has a bucketload of hardware and lots of gaps in her memory. She's only just joined the team when Doctor Impossible escapes confinement once again, and just after CoreFire, the ultimate superhero, has disappeared.

Who killed CoreFire? Who could kill CoreFire? Those are the questions Fatale faces, while trying to track down Doctor Impossible and integrate herself into a team that's already imploded once before.

Apart from the two protagonists, the rest of the characters are very thinly drawn, but that's okay - they're all amalgams of figures from the DC and Marvel universes, if not direct copies. Blackwolf is obviously Batman, and CoreFire is Superman. Team leader Damsel I'm not at all sure about; in terms of superhero royalty, I'd guess at Wonder Woman, but Damsel can fly... Mr Mystic would be Dr Stephen Strange, and Feral is most likely Wolverine. Elphin and Rainbow Triumph? I haven't a clue, but I find that Spidey's omission is surprising. Anyway, part of the fun is seeing where Grossman lays out the cliches of the comic-book world, and the best of them are all under Doctor Impossible's chapters - including making sure he's got his costume on, and gloating manically to pass the time.

"I often wonder what Einstein would have done in my position. [...] But he played it way too safe. Then again, nobody ever threw a grappling hook at Einstein.
"I like to think he would have enjoyed my work, if he could have seen it. But no one sees anything I do, not until it's hovering over Chicago."

Tags: books, comics
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