Okay, let’s just get it out of the way: Avengers: Age of Ultron is everything a superhero movie should be. You like superhero movies? Go see it. (No spoilers ahead.)
In the last post, I examined Marvel Comics and the refusal of the editors to bring the comic books fully into the 21st century. At the end, I pointed out that the comic book industry is, in reality, a very small one; and that, if it dried up and blew away tomorrow, it wouldn’t exactly be mourned by the world.
That’s because superheroes are too busy working other venues, most notably the big screen and various small screens, and are demonstrating that that’s where the big money is. And as we rapidly approach another blockbuster summer movie season, we’ll see even more examples of the real future of superheroes in the 21st century.
I just learned yesterday that there would be a new Wild Cards novel coming out in November. Lowball is a Wild Cards “Mosaic” novel (which should mean that the various parallel-running stories and characters meet up in a grand finale at the end), the followup to the WC novel Fort Freak.
Then, in checking the Amazon pages for the drop date of Lowball (November 2), I discovered that the ebook reissue of the fourth Wild Cards novel, Aces Abroad, will be released on January 13. So, good winter to come for us Wild Cards fans!
Americans, as a TV culture, have shown ourselves to be truly enamored with two things at the moment: Superheroes; and George R.R. Martin. His Game of Thrones, with its unique characters, conflicts, violence, sex and dragons, is eating up the airwaves… while right beside it, we watch Arrow and Agents of SHIELD, subscribe to Netflix so we can check out new superhero-based programming soon to be shown there, and go out to see The Avengers and Captain America in the movies while we await The Flash and Batman vs. Superman and the Justice League.
Truly there can be no better time to request—no, I say demand—that the Wild Cards series must be adopted for television, right friggin’ now.
Before George R. R. Martin brought Game of Thrones to television, he’d acted as writer and editor to a group of science fiction writers who had discovered a joint fascination with the pulp and superhero genre. Under Martin’s direction, the group became the Wild Card Trust, and began penning the incredible series known as Wild Cards.
This ingenious series of books had a wonderful premise, that of developing a science-fiction-based world of superheroes, as realistic as they could be within the SF framework, and creating an alternate of our world that was forever changed by the characters. It became a cult hit, spanning (so far) 21 books and (so far) three decades, rewriting our world’s history from 1946 on, and has been recently begun the process of re-release to a new world of fans. And as this was one of my favorite books series, I am brimming over with the desire to tell you readers all about it.
My latest re-release delves into one of my favorite subjects: Modern mythology, or, as they are more commonly referred to, Superheroes. Having grown up around the many comic books and cartoons about the colorful exploits of these demigod-like characters, I’ve always fantasized about a world where superheroes could actually exist. In As The Mirror Cracks, I’ve managed to create such a world, and it is totally believable… because it is, in fact, a virtual world that people in the real world can visit.
The story of As The Mirror Cracks centers around a fully-immersive virtual world called The Mirror, one that has become so widespread and popular that people from all over the world regularly spend time within its digital boundaries, working to earn money that can be spent in the real world, and (if they have enough money) customize their avatars, or in The Mirror’s case, “reflections,” to suit their tastes. Many reflections are as hyper-real as they can be made, and some of them are superheroes. Suddenly, we can become superheroes and save the day.