Friday, February 25, 2022


Kupperberg, Paul. Supertown
February 28th 2022 by Heliosphere Books
ARC provided by the publisher

Wally lives in the town of Crumbly-by-the-Sea, which is very small and has very limited internet and phone connectivity. He and his mother get by after the death of his father in a superhero showdown, and Wally is obsessed by the superheroes, even donning a costume himself and pretending to be WhizKid. His friends, including the daughter of the sherriff who is a bit perturbed by his constant calls, put up with him. When Charlie Harris moves into a long abandoned house, Wally suspects that he might be connected, especially when another man shows up to help him with renovations on the house... and who bears a resemblance to a supervillain who is on the loose! Charlie is, in fact, a retired superhero, but he is also a freelance writer who submits articles to the National Mask. He has hoped to remain anonymous in Crumbly, but this is not to be. Wally's not the only one to suspect that something is up in his town, and when the Justice Brigade arrives in town in their aircraft, the Screaming Eagle, a showdown between the superheroes and the League of Villains begins. When Charlie, fighting as Knave, is injured, Wally takes his accoutrements and is determined to join the fight. Will this wannabe hero be able to save the day?
Strengths: Avid superhero fans will be thrilled with the details about both the heroes and the villains, and there's plenty of action as well. Wally is a bit goofy, but serves as a good foil for the seriousness of the other characters. My favorite part of the book was the fact that the Justice Brigade carries insurance, so when Wally's house is destroyed, they have help available! 
Weaknesses: While superhero fans will be able to follow all of the different characters, I had trouble, since I am not used to this genre, and had a vague feeling that these characters were aligned with other superhero universes, although I don't think they are. (Isn't there a Justice League?) Also, philosophical thought: Do villains really think they ARE villains? Or do they think they are also fighting for justice? Those are all problems with me as a reader, not with the book!
What I really think: This is a solid superhero novel to add to the (rather aging) list of middle grade superhero tomes such as McCullough's School for Sidekicks(2015), Moore's V is for Villain (2014), Anderson's Sidekicked (2013), Bacon's Joshua Dread (2012), Kratz's Cloak Society (2012),  Jung's Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities (2012), Cody's Powerless (2009) and Carroll's The Awakening (2007).

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