By. Steve Caldwell
What is The Fall of Supervillainy?
Gary Karkofsky, a.k.a. Merciless: The Supervillain Without MercyTM is enjoying the bliss of a newly rebooted Earth. Ultragod is President of the United States, most supervillains are either harmless or imprisoned, and superpowers are being used to benefit all mankind. Of course it couldn’t last. Suffering a near fatal heart attack and under attack by extra-dimensional evils, Gary struggles to find an object that might repair the universe he’s unwittingly damaged the fabric of.
Gary will find himself dealing with an alien witch queen, a fantasy world with a massive dungeon, and a final showdown with his greatest foe!
Oh and he sleeps with a dragon.
The Supervillainy series is now in it’s ninth book with The Fall of Supervillainy, and it’s a series that doesn’t seem to be losing any steam. The author still seems to be able to come up with creative new ways to expand his already expansive superhero universe, a universe that in no way resembles any copyright distinct universes by certain US comic companies, honest. In this latest installment, this would be considered an “event” story, if such a thing existed outside comic books, that is. It could be a secret crisis that’s infinite in the house of some letter, but obviously isn’t, because it’s copyright distinct from certain companies owned by Disney and Warner Brothers.
The world building as always in this series is excellent. Always looking to create new settings and expand on what came before, this one adds several new layers to the reality he has already created, all by having Gary reboot the universe to stop resurrections, but with exceptions that create havoc. Taking the story off planet for a large chunk of the book, we get to see everything from an evil alien planet that ends with a large gladiatorial arena of doom, which was fitting for that scenario. We also get treated to Gary’s next destination, a fantasy world of snow and gloom, with the copyright distinct wraith knight who bears only a coincidental resemblance to a ring wraith (no need for a cease and desist letter, Tolkien estate. Maybe pay more attention to Rings of Power, instead, because, yikes is that awful.) We get to see a little more of Falconcrest City as well, and honestly, that city seems to be as much of a character as anyone else. Gotham would run screaming to therapy after a visit to Falconcrest City.
The story again revolves around Gary Karkofsky, aka Merciless. He is such a great character. He tries to come off as a sarcastic narcissist, which he is in ways, but he can also be an avenging angel for the people he loves if someone threatens them. He is so torn, because he always thought he wanted power, but when he got it, found it didn’t really suit him. He shows some real growth in this book, being a bit more introspective about his life choices, and how they led to failure at times. Still, his love for his wife Mandy is the rock in his life, because her being an undead bloodsucker isn’t really even a bump in the road as far as Gary is concerned. I can’t wait to see where his story goes from here.
The secondary characters are the usual quirky cast of misfits. Gary’s family of Harley Quinn…err, Red Riding Hood, aka Cindy, his daughters Mindy and Leia, his sister Kerri and her husband Diabloman are all on hand, adding to the chaos or bringing order, depending on who they are. If you thought Cindy was going to be the same agent of chaos and mayhem, well, you thought right. She’s huts, in the best way possible. She can be counted on to say the worst thing possible in any situation. Mindy and Leia are fantastic as always, bringing a sense of order way out of proportion to their ages.
It’s been great watching them grow up in this series. Kerri and Diabloman are there to embarrass Gary with childhood stories in Kerri’s case, and be a mentor for Gary in Diabloman’s, since he’s done the big villainous acts himself, and can help Gary dealing with the consequences. I mean, he did destroy the universe once, so is definitely the guy who understands what Gary is going through. There are also some new characters like Ketra, the dragon shapeshifter from fantasy world, who Gary had a bit of thing with, and is not the creature you mess with. All told, the old and new characters do a great job adding color to an already colorful world.
The villains are the usual colorful assortment, ranging from the Lich Queen of the Tsavong aliens to Omega, the time traveling Nazi general who was once president of the US. In fact, a huge amount of villains make a return, since Gary’s universe reboot wasn’t quite as thorough as Gary would have expected. It’s great to see some of the returning villains, especially since when the villains return, well, they have to be offset by heroes, right? But it’s totally different from the final battle in Avengers: Endgame, totally. Nothing to see here, Disney, put your lawyers away.
The narration is performed by Jeffrey Kafer. He is so familiar with these characters and is excellent at bringing them to life. When I read my paper copies of the series, I hear them in Jeffrey’s voice, and it makes me laugh out loud. He brings the humor and sarcasm out of the characters, but he also really nails the sadness and pathos of the various characters as well. I can’t imagine anyone else doing these characters justice.
This is a series that could be on cruise control but has somehow avoided that. C.T. Phipps obviously loves this universe and is constantly coming up with new ideas to keep it fresh and exciting. I am excited to see where the story goes from here, because like the comic books, there is always a new story to tell. I highly recommend this series without reservation. Check it out today.