The world is full of turmoil and evil. There are scheming powers that want to destroy humanity and take control of the world. Where can the people of the world turn for help? Look! Up in the sky! It’s . . . geeks!?! Make that Teenage mutant ninja geeks. Okay, so they are neither mutants nor ninjas. But they are teenage geeks, and they are definitely pretty cool once they get their super suits. Suits that are designed and created by a seven year old genius that they met online, no less.
League of Superheroes is the book that many a geek (teenage or older) and many a comic book aficionado has been waiting for, whether you knew it or not. I know this from the reaction of several self-proclaimed geeks and comic maniacs when I described the book to them, a reaction that has been further promoted after said geeks and fans read the story. Myself included. Oh, and by the way, this has a really important added dimension: the League is made up of extraordinarily committed Christians who desire to live according to the way that Jesus would want them to. I know: that’s the hardest to swallow of all in this story, right? But Stephen Rice makes it all work, and he does so in a most entertaining way.
Briefly, there are four teenage boys who call themselves the Mad Scientists. They each have certain special talents and gifts; each is extremely intelligent. And, as I mentioned, each is unapologetically Christian. They all attend different denominations (except Tom, who is part of a nondenominational church), they tease each other about their differences, but they really respect each other and share a love for certain comic superheroes. One day Allen’s chatty sister Clarice introduces them to her new online friend, Genie. It appears that Genie isn’t in any bottle, but she is able to grant wishes. One by one, super suits start arriving for the guys that equip them with unheard-of technological means to “become” their favorite superheroes. First is Titan for Rod; he’s kind of like a human tank. His strength is incredible, but Rod’s first attempts at controlling his powers and ability to fly are hilarious. As are his first efforts to thwart crime. Within a short time Allen becomes Tachyon, apparently reaching super speeds by distorting time, Tom turns into Darklight with invisible tendencies, and Charlie shrinks into the role of Micromegas (for you DC Comic fans, think the Atom).
The guys are on cloud nine, but to whom much is given, much is required, and life as crime fighters isn’t all fun and games. There’s the kidnapping which ends rather unhappily and alerts the guys to something very sinister behind the people that have Genie under their thumb. Her whole story is strange, and as they all get more acquainted, it becomes all too clear that she is involved with really dangerous people. Is Rod correct in his belief that this corporation has to do with the antichrist and the mysterious Troika? And what about Genie herself? Is she using the guys for her own purposes, revenge and some definitely unchristian activities?
This book is just the introduction to a whole series that Stephen Rice is developing using his characters, but for my vote it is a great beginning. Lots of action, lots of fun and humor, and some deep issues to ponder. Stephen says there is a lot more action and adventure in subsequent tales, leading me to expect a dynamite series!
Visit Stephen Rice's blog: Back to the Mountains and his League of Superheroes Series wiki at ansric.pbwiki.com.
List Price: $ 9.95
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Writers Cafe Press, The (October 1, 2008)
League of Superheroes is available through the publisher, The Writer's Café Press (can be autographed), Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.com.