Books Like Wildcards (Part One)
Both Marvel and DC have had a lot of success with comic book franchises such as The Avengers, Batman, Wonder Woman, Guardians of The Galaxy and Black Panther on the big screen. This is a trend that is set to continue on the small-screen as well with Disney, in particular, bringing a lot of the big Marvel licenses to their streaming service. However, it's not just the big comic brands who have superheroes as there are plenty of literary examples as well. One of the most popular is the Wildcards franchise that was started by Game of Thrones author, George R. R. Martin. It is a book that features characters that use their superpowers for good as well as evil. With Wildcards receiving its own television show in the near future, here's the first part of our article where we look at other superhero and supervillain novels that are worth reading.
by Kevin Hardman
Jim wanted nothing more than to be a superhero when he grew up, but unlike the millions of other kids with the same dreams, Jim actually develops superpowers. It is these powers that draw the attention of the world's premier group of superheroes, the Alpha League, but unfortunately, Jim botches his tryout. The unfortunate outcome of this is that instead of becoming a superhero, Jim ends up as an outcast who is forced to do his good deeds from the shadows. However, Jim discovers that he's not the only one operating from the shadows and that he has become the number one target of an organization bent on world domination. Sensation is the first book in the Kid Sensation series, which sees Jim embracing his superhero persona while dealing with extraordinary as well as ordinary issues.
by V. E. Schwab
It's easy to read comic books and believe that gaining superpowers automatically leads to heroism, but Vicious is a novel that turns this notion on its head. The story follows Victor and Eli, who start out as college roommates with a shared interest in people with extraordinary abilities. Both of them believe that it is possible to gain superpowers under the right conditions, but their experiments result in Victor getting sent to prison while Eli goes on a crusade to kill all other super-powered individuals. The two former friends end up as archnemeses as the book explores events from their past as well as the present. Comic fans who are used to the clear cut line between heroes and villains will find Vicious to be a breath of fresh air as it isn't afraid to shake things up.
by Darius Brasher
Everyone expects people with superpowers to become superheroes and do great things, but that is the last thing that seventeen-year-old Theodore Conley wants. Theodore is much more interested in staying safe and finally getting a girlfriend, so entering the dangerous world of superheroes is not very high on his list of priorities. Unfortunately, Theodore not only finds himself with superpowers but also becomes the target of a supervillain. This leaves him with no choice except to join a superhero school where he has to learn how to control his powers and survive having an archenemy. To make matters even worse for Theodore his archenemy isn't just interested in his defeat but will stop at nothing to kill him.
by Carrie Vaughn
Being a superhero isn't easy, but at least it comes with a lot of perks. However, what happens if you are the daughter of two superheroes, but have no powers of your own? This is the fate of Celia West, the only daughter of Captain Olympus and Spark. Her mother and father are the world's greatest champions, but due to her own lack of powers, Celia ends up getting kidnapped by every crime boss and supervillain who has an ax to grind with her parents. Understandably this has made Celia a bit resentful of the whole superhero business and she opts to become a skilled forensic accountant in order to make a life for herself. However, Celia finds herself sucked back into that world when her parents' archenemy goes on trial.
by Jim Bernheimer
Confessions of a D-List Supervillain offers a glimpse into the world "righteous do-gooders" through the eyes of a villain. The protagonist, Calvin Matthew Stringel, is better known as the armored villain, Mechani-Cal. As is obvious from the title of the book, Machani-Cal is not the greatest supervillain on the planet and he soon finds himself down on his luck. After a world domination scheme goes wrong Mechani-Cal finds himself having to help the same weak-willed, mercy loving heroes who he despises so much. As if this wasn't bad enough, Mechani-Cal also has to deal with the jealous schemes of Ultraweapon, who has armor far superior to his own. Confessions of a D-List Supervillain is a great book for comic fans who might just find themselves cheering for the so-called bad guy.
by Samit Basu
In Turbulence, all the passengers on a flight from London to Delhi end up getting superpowers. These powers are based on the personality and desires of the individuals, which means that some of them end up with epic abilities while others walk away with more modest capabilities. One of the people on the plane is Aman Sen who develops telecommunications-based powers and a desire to save the world. However, other people on the flight such as Jai, decide that their superpowers are more suited to conquering the world. Turbulence is not just a great book for the diverse range of superpowers wielded by its characters, but using India as a setting also makes for a more unique backdrop than the usual superhero stories that all take place in America.
by M. K. Gibson
A Villains Rule is the story that features a proper villain, Jackson Blackwell, as the protagonist. This is not a new concept, but unlike other stories, Jackson is not an anti-hero or a hero that is thinly disguised as a villain. However, Jackson is also not evil, he is simply a villain who uses his powers because he can and doesn't let morality get in his way. Jackson, who goes by the name of Shadow Master, is the top villain advisor, after discovering that he has the ability to enter other realities and make sure that the bad guys don't make the usual stupid mistakes. Unfortunately, Jackson finds himself double-crossed and trapped in one of the fantasy realms, which means it's going to take all of his cunning and wits to get himself out of his predicament.