When I was a little girl, I loved Batman so much that I would run around in a Batman costume most of the time. So often, in fact, that my mom clipped on a little yellow bow so that people would still know I was a girl (this was before the whole raising-kids-without-gender-thing became cool). Ever since then, I’ve loved superhero stories–I’m more team DC than team Marvel (don’t at me) and enjoy the comics, cartoons, and television shows/movies.
So, when I saw a tweet from Turtle Rocket Books that I could get a free superhero book, I jumped at the chance!
This week, I listened to Working Class Superheroes by Chad Descoteaux, and let me tell you, I have some thoughts and feelings.
(While you’re here, you can also check out my vlog!)
Okay, so let me start by saying that I did enjoy the story–I say this because the next few things might sound a little contradictory to that statement.
If you’ve been following my blog for a bit now, you will know that audiobooks aren’t exactly my favorite. I just get a little too squirmy sitting there listening to someone else telling me a story and I am kind of picky about my narrator. There’s just something about holding a book and turning the pages that I prefer, even though I really did enjoy listening to the story on my morning walks, it made them much more entertaining.
Also, y’all, I think I realized something–as much as I like superheroes, I think I like them better in visual platforms. Let’s be real for a minute, when it comes to superheroes–even when they’re being really dark and dramatic *cough* DC films–there’s a certain element of corniness to them. Maybe it’s a witty quip from a character, or the *POW*s and *WHAM*s of the fight sequences, or a character’s name, but even in the most serious of superhero shows, movies, and especially comics/cartoons, there’s a certain cringey comedy that hearkens back to the corny 1940-60s (imho, the golden age of comics and tv… uh hello! Lynda Carter is literally my lock screen). For me, this corniness was certainly translated into Descoteaux’s book, but it was almost like when there’s not a direct translation so you sound a little silly going between mediums.
Then again, not to harp on audiobooks too much, maybe it was just they way it was read to me and I would’ve read it differently. So, those are my two “complaints,” well, I guess one issue–the medium of the story.
So let’s talk about that.
This story takes place seemingly now in a fictitious part of the US, but part of the story happens circa 70-80s, this story’s Golden Age of Superheroes… and then superheroes are essentially illegal. It kind of gave me Incredibles vibes, to be honest. Fast forward to present day, and superheroes still exist but they sort of work along the fringes of the law. The big three are: Magna Man, Speed Chicken, and Cambio (he was my favorite, not gonna lie; ¡me encanta la representación de mi gente!). But then… there is the rise of Wombat!
I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but here are a few references to classic hero stories so you get a general idea
- There’s an island like Themyscira (Wonder Woman)
- Wombat is basically a poorer version of Batman/Iron Man when it comes to powers…so I guess he’s Robin, but not the Dick Greyson version
- Do y’all remember that time when Marvel said Cap was actually a bad guy? Yep, there’s a little of that, but guess who.
- The whole Superman thing–Lois Lane, glasses, newspaper, and all…and then some
- Very briefly–remember when Ryan Reynolds was Green Lantern? Heh.
- Sort of randomly at the end the Egyptian gods Seth and Horus make an appearance (y’all should click the link because I think I’m hilarious and hope you do too)
So anywho, there’s a lot going on in the story and I think Descoteaux did a great job with it! I thought the plot was interesting and really engaging–I finished it in about two days between walks and a couple of other small chores, that’s how into it I was, corny lines and all. I thought the pacing was also really good–though I would have liked a little more falling action, because the conclusion was pretty quick after the climax. That said, the book was kind of a lot of exposition, but I hardly noticed because I do think it’s well written. I also really liked the fact that the chapters were called issues. Again, for me, it kind of hearkened back to OG comic books.
So, do I recommend? Yes, overall, I’d say it’s worth the read. If you’re a casual or a hardcore superhero fan, I think you’ll really like the story. If you’re like my mom and don’t care for the genre, it’s probably not exactly for you, but you might still like it.
That’s all I’ve got this week, look out for my next post on Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan!