Monday, August 26, 2013

Soon I Will Be Invincible: Why can't we all just get along?

The book opens from the perspective of Doctor Impossible. He's the smartest man in the world, according to . . . himself. And thanks to a lab accident, he also happens to be stronger than the average man and have bullet-proof skin. Oh and he’s in prison for the 12th time.
“I’m not a criminal. I didn’t steal a car. I didn’t sell heroin, or steal an old lady’s purse. I built a quantum fusion reactor in 1978, and an orbital plasma gun in 1979, and a giant laser-eyed robot in 1984. I tried to conquer the world and almost succeeded, twelve times and counting.” (pp. 4–5)
Super-villain problems.

And here to provide the hero perspective is a cyborg named Fatale. She used to be a woman of average appearance vacationing in Brazil, until she was hit by a dump truck and scraped 40 feet against the side of a building. When she woke up 4 months later, she didn’t remember why she was in Brazil or who she had been there with, and she had no hope of leaving her hospital bed unless she took the deal being offered to her by a mysterious corporation. So she signed the contracts, and they made her into the next generation of warfare, replacing 43% of her original body weight with metal and plastic.

But after running only one high-profile mission, the super soldier program shut down and disappeared without a trace, leaving Fatale a lonely cyborg without a past or a purpose.

Sincerely, The Military.

UNTIL she received an invitation from the Champions, a disbanded group of heroes reuniting and recruiting a couple of new members to search for their missing once-leader, CoreFire—Doctor Impossible’s nemesis and one of the few truly invincible superheroes.

The overarching theme is a question Doctor Impossible poses in varying ways throughout the book:
“But why do we rob banks rather than guarding them? Why did I freeze the Supreme Court, impersonate the Pope, hold the Moon hostage?” (p. 7)
Why try again and again to take over the world when you know you must lose?

There’s a lot to keep you entertained. The cast of heroes and villains alone is endlessly fascinating, some clear parodies of familiar comic book characters (e.g., Blackwolf: former Olympic gymnast, millionaire, user of bare knuckles and gadgets, haver of zero superpowers) and others . . . something else altogether (e.g., Mister Mystic: Two-bit magician and con artist who apparently discovered real magic at some point, although no one is exactly sure what his powers are).

Let's not get carried away.

The tone is equal parts earnest and slapstick, with a dash of satire thrown in for good measure. And while the plot isn’t much more than you would find in the latest Pixar animated feature, that just means it doesn't get in the way of action like this:
"We faced off a moment in silence, and then he reached for me. He put his hands on me, a scientist! I recall there was a brief pursuit around the command console. I may have flailed at him once or twice. I managed to inform him, before passing out entirely, that he hadn't heard the last of Doctor Impossible." (p. 206)


  1. I looooooove that cover so much. This sounds like exactly my kind of book, and aside from on your blog I've never heard about it so THANK YOU MEG!

    Tuxedo Mask is the greatest.

  2. Since you obvs want my 2008 journaled opinion on this:

    "Anyway, any book about superheroes has my vote. And of course the 'best' heroes, Blackwolf and Damsel — forget Corefire — did just what I wanted them to, and Damsel cracked. Yayy.

    "I enjoyed the layout, too. He gives you little bits, just passing references, and these gradually become clearer and clearer. I mean, it's obviously not the best thing ever, but it was very enjoyable and generally fun and most things for wrapped up (except Mister Mystic, but I guess that's the point with him)."

    I don't really remember what any of that means, but there you are.

  3. I tried You by this author and couldn't get into it, but this sounds infinitely more interesting. Also, love Dr. Horrible :)

  4. I read every quote in a Dr. Horrible voice. So yeah, I'm going to need to read this one

  5. I hadn't heard of it either! I saw Rainbow talking about it on the Twitter and acquired it immediately.

    I spent a lot longer looking at Tuxedo Mask GIFs than was probably necessary. Turns out, I never grew out of that particular cartoon crush.

  6. I actually DID want that. And you were surprisingly on point back in 2008. And Blackwolf = Batman. So of course he was my favorite.

    Not the best thing ever but enjoyable and generally fun. Precisely.

  7. Oh that one JUST came out, didn't it? I was gonna check it out next....hrm. Well I guess it would depend on whether you find superheroes more appealing than video game designers. And I do.

  8. That was the appropriate way to read the quotes. I just saw that you added it on Goodreads. POWER POWERRRRRRR. Muahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  9. A couple of years ago the art gallery here hosted an anime day and they had one of the Japanese Sailor Moon films which was all about Tuxedo Mask's childhood and this homoerotic story with a boy who he grew up with and was obsessed with. I wish I could remember the title but it was AMAZING and reignited my T.M love.

  10. This sounds really really really fun. Like the funnest fun. I want to read it. Nice work making stuff sound fun and stuff.

  11. It's fun. FUNNEST fun, though? That's high praise, madame.

  12. I can't tell you how fun that looks! Next time I'm in the mood for something completely silly and anti-stress, this will be what I pick up.

  13. I was reading it simultaneously with Columbine. It MAY have saved my life.