Superhero Novels outside DC and Marvel

Marvel and DC dominate the superhero scene. Their graphic novels are known world wide and you’ll find it almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t know who Superman, Batman, or Spiderman is. But there are quite a few novels out there about the super powered that don’t revolve around comics’ favorite superheroes to throw on every flat surface. Over the years, I’ve read a few novels based on new heroes in their own universe (well…mostly anyways). Here are a few superhero novels I can recommend:

Devil's CapeDevil’s Cape  – A superhero thriller.

Devil’s Cape, Louisiana. Founded by pirates. Ruled by villains. Desperate for heroes.

In 1727, the masked pirate St. Diable created the city of Devil’s Cape as a haven for his men and a place to begin his empire. Pirates gave way to outlaws, who gave way to gangsters, who gave way to gangs and organized crime. But the city has never escaped from its shroud of violence and corruption.

And now a stunning, murderous act has made Devil’s Cape more dangerous than ever. Someone needs to protect the city.

Three people are willing to try. Jason Kale, part of a criminal family, who hides the abilities of Greek heroes. Cain Ducett, a psychiatrist and former gang member, who finds that he is turning into a monster. Kate Brauer, genius engineer, daughter of a slain superhero, who has lost more than most to the city and its criminals. But they’re outnumbered and overpowered. Can they possibly make a difference?

This was an amazing book! It’s grounded in reality (you know, for a book about superheroes) without getting overly gritty. I loved the characters and found them really interesting. The ending of the book left me wanting more! Unfortunately, the company Rogers was working with was a faction of Wizards of the Coast (if I remember correctly) where they would publish books outside of D&D. Once they decided to do away with anything that wasn’t D&D, that put a stop to the sequel to this gem. Apparently its hard to get another publisher to pick up the rights from other publishers. Very unfortunate. But if cliffhangers don’t make you lose sleep at night, I could not recommend this book more!

Soon I will be invincible Doctor Impossible—evil genius, diabolical scientist, wannabe world dominator—languishes in a federal detention facility. He’s lost his freedom, his girlfriend, and his hidden island fortress. 

Over the years he’s tried to take over the world in every way imaginable: doomsday devices of all varieties (nuclear, thermonuclear, nanotechnological) and mass mind control. He’s traveled backwards in time to change history, forward in time to escape it. He’s commanded robot armies, insect armies, and dinosaur armies. Fungus army. Army of fish. Of rodents. Alien invasions. All failures. But not this time. This time it’s going to be different… 

Fatale is a rookie superhero on her first day with the Champions, the world’s most famous superteam. She’s a patchwork woman of skin and chrome, a gleaming technological marvel built to be the next generation of warfare. Filling the void left by a slain former member, Fatale joins a team struggling with a damaged past, trying to come together in the face of unthinkable evil. 

Soon I Will Be Invincible is a thrilling first novel; a fantastical adventure that gives new meaning to the notions of power, glory, responsibility, and (of course) good and evil.

This was a really fun read. It reminded me a lot of Megamind or Dr Horrible. It definitely has you rooting for the villains! Its not a heavy book and the pacing is pretty good. Its fun to get in the head of the villain and see his side of things. Doctor Impossible’s quips and reasoning have you hoping he succeeds this time! The storyline from Fatale’s perspective is okay but not nearly as enjoyable. It really just has you rushing through her ordeal to get back to Doctor Impossible.

Super Human Four thousand years ago the world’s first super human walked the earth. Possessing the strength of one hundred men, skin impervious to attack, and the ability to read minds, this immortal being used his power to conquer and enslave nations. Now plans are in motion that will transport this super human to the present, where he’ll usher in a new age of tyranny unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Determined to stand against them, using powers they’ve only just begun to master, is a ragtag group of young heroes. For them this first test may be their greatest. . .and last

Super Human was a great series of books. It continues from this trilogy to the Quantum Prophecy triology. I loved the idea of an out-of-time super being trying to reason in the modern world. Its fun to see how the new, young heroes step up and take the reigns as the new heroes. I admit that the 3rd book was a bit of a let down and unnecessary. It really seemed like just a filler to explain what lead to the Quantum Prophecy. But the good news is, you can actually skip it and not lose any of the story and simply go to Quantum Prophecy… which I recommend because it manages to be even better than the Super Human trilogy!

Ex Patriots Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes. Vigilantes. Crusaders for justice, using their superhuman abilites to make Los Angeles a better place. Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Despite the best efforts of the superheroes, the police, and the military, the hungry corpses rose up and overwhelmed the country. The population was decimated, heroes fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland like so many others. Now, a year later, the Mighty Dragon and his companions must overcome their differences and recover from their own scars to protect the thousands of survivors sheltered in their film studio-turned-fortress, the Mount. The heroes lead teams out to scavenge supplies, keep the peace within the walls of their home, and try to be the symbols the survivors so desperately need. For while the ex-humans walk the streets night and day, they are not the only threat left in the world, and the people of the Mount are not the only survivors left in Los Angeles. Across the city, another group has grown and gained power. And they are not heroes

Ever wonder what would happen if there were Superheroes during a zombie apocalypse? Well wonder no more! I didn’t have high hopes for this book but it actually turned out to be pretty enjoyable. This came out with the rise of zombie… everything but…. also threw in some superheroes! Sounds ridiculous and kind of is! but what’s better than superheroes thrashing zombies and trying to keep a bastion of humanity? Why, mindless, zombified superheroes that can’t control their powers of course! I really expected that to be whole of it, but it turns out there was actually a lot more to the story. Don’t want to ruin it, but it’s definitely worth picking up!

Hero The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his father’s pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he’s been asked to join the League – the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. But the most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he’s gay.

But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.

To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he’ll have to come to terms with his father’s past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be.

This one was, I believe, the first super hero novel I picked up. It’s pretty cliche and does mimic quite a few heroes… blatantly. Most the heroes will feel familiar… because they are. But the main character and his story is pretty good. I like the idea of superhero tryouts and meeting your heroes. I will say that it focuses more on the fact that he’s gay rather than about him having super powers. It feels, at times, that the author really just wanted to write a novel about a gay teen, but the publisher were like “Meh, we’ve heard all that before. I think we’re gonna pass.” so he’s like “but wait! you didn’t let me finish….. he also has… super powers?” and then they were like OH damn! mind blown! so he quickly rewrote it with a super hero storyline.

 

So these are a few super hero novels I enjoyed and would recommend to any fans of heroes and powers! Let me know what you think and  tell me your thoughts if you’ve read any!

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3 thoughts on “Superhero Novels outside DC and Marvel

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  1. I read Soon I Will be Invincible, not too bad. Curious about the others you have listed. Have you ever read the Wild CARDs novels? It’s an anthology series, some of the writers I found that I really liked, and others not so much. Some good characters in there though.

    Like

    1. I actually did not know those were novels. I’ve heard of them as they’re a part of the Mutants and Masterminds mythos or something but I didn’t realize they actually developed a storyline for them. I’ll have to check it out!
      If you were looking for a recommendation on any of these books, I would recommend Devil’s Cape. It is a little dry and paced a little slow at first, but once it takes off, it’s amazing! secondly, I’d recommend Super Human. I really liked that series.

      Liked by 1 person

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