Lovecraft has been dominating my bookshelf of late, and in the interest of maintaining my sanity, I had to find something less dire to immerse myself in. Something to laugh at. Something that didn’t involve reanimation, wall-dwelling rats, or cosmic entities preparing blot mankind from the earth.
Supervillain of the Day (the first book in a new series by Katie Daniels) turned out to be just what I needed. It isn’t perfect – the writing is spotty at times, and some of the character interactions could use polishing – but it is, most definitely, fun.
Supervillains are wreaking havoc all over the world – except in London, England, that is. For most Londoners this is very good news. For the editor of a tabloid specializing in “strange and unusual” stories? Not so much. But reporter Jeffry Floyd is on the case, charged with the task of finding a supervillain… or else. “Or else” being the loss of his job.
The book’s opening sentence sets the tone for the rest of the tale:
No one knew that the new mayor was a supervillain until the day he lost his temper with his secretary and tried to force-choke her from across the room.
Say hello to superhero comedy. Or should I say, supervillain comedy. (If you’ve seen Megamind, you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about). The story’s greatest strength is that it embraces the ridiculous and runs with it. Between the zany characters, outlandish situations, and crackerjack dialogue, there was seldom a moment I didn’t have a grin on my face while reading. Short though it is – you can finish it in a single sitting – it’s nice to know that “this is not the end.” More books are on the way, and Supervillain of the Day is a promising start to the series.
As a sidenote, I can easily picture this series as a graphic novel. The concept, the action, and the characters would lend themselves well to that medium, and if such a “graphic novelization” ever came to pass, it would make a good story even better. Who doesn’t like crazy artwork to go along with their supervillains?
Now… to Lovecraft I return. I have a feeling I won’t be laughing much. Unless laughing maniacally counts; and in that case, you should be worried.