A few weeks ago I wrote about the comparative lack of superhero books compared to superhero comic books. Since then I’ve made a point to look for and read as many original superhero books – those that don’t feature characters from Marvel or DC – as I was able too. These books, and the genre of superhero books itself, tend to be very underrated by many people (myself included), so I asked myself, I said “self, are there any superhero book out there that you feel are somewhat underrated?”
As it turns out (yet again), there is.
A few things before we start; firstly, these were all purchased and read on a Kindle unless otherwise noted. Secondly, I’ve got eclectic taste so these may not be for everybody, so be prepared for some potentially foolish claims. Thirdly, this isn’t a complete, or inclusive, list and it is completely subjective. Lastly, there are a couple of books on here recommended by other people.
A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King
I was able to pick a physical copy of this book up for about $3, and I enjoyed it. It was an interesting look at the style of comic book super her story telling within a primarily text only book. I say primarily because there are some interesting comic book pages interpsered throughout the story of A Once Crowded Sky. It was also very interesting the way the point of view characters were switched between – rather than the equally effective way of giving us the characters name, King labelled the point of view switch with the name of the comic these characters would appear in.
Seven Wonders (Angry Robot) by Adam Christopher
I was able to pick this book up for less than $4, and it’s a really enjoyable read. I don’t want to give to much away here, but the book takes place in a fictional city that is home to the worlds last supervillain the Cowl. The city’s superhero team, the Seven Wonders, seem to be ineffectual in capturing him, but what happens when a new superhero suddenly appears?
Don’t Be A Hero: A Super Hero Novel by Chris Strange
Available for less than $5, this is probably the best book on this list. Set in a world where the atomic bombs gave some people super powers, but with a much higher risk of contracting cancer. Strange weaves a wonderful tale of superheroes just trying to get by after they fell from public grace. Without giving too much away, the lead characters of Spook and the Carpenter are a compelling pair – somewhat jaded, and yet still clinging to the hope of a better life for their families. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?
Don’t Be A Hero is probably the best book on this list.
Marshal Conrad: A Superhero Story
This $1 Kindle find reminds me a lot of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files for all the right reasons. As much a superhero story as it is urban fantasy, Marshal Conrad is a book that is absolutely worth checking out. And you really can’t argue with the price.
After The Golden Age
A book that I’ve yet to read in full, but the small sample I did read is very interesting.
There we have it – a handful of underrated superhero books. Are there other books out there that are, for whatever reason, underrated and under-appreciated?
Because of that, Underrated will return to highlight more comic book related stuff that either gets ignored despite it’s high quality, or maybe isn’t quite as bad as we tend to think it is. There will be another superhero book edition at some point, once I’ve read some more of them.
Until next time!