Monday, April 24, 2017

Kickstart the Week 55: New fiction by Michael Jan Friedman

Michael Jan Friedman is a name known to many comic book and Star Trek fans. With numerous novels in that franchise and writing credits on Justice League and a personal favorite of mine, Darkstars, he's got a whole heck of a lot of great credentials.

But he also publishes a lot of great stuff of his own. One, I Am the Salamander, can even be characterized as super powered fiction. That book was Friedman's very first Kickstarted project, but three years later he is back with a new book and new super powered fiction.


Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse is his new book at Kickstarter now. While it features several stories from various genres, the lead tale "Cabal" is pure super powered fiction, focusing on a group teaming to take down a superhero. But in this case, they do so for noble reasons, even if they aren't always right in those intentions.

This one looks like another great one by Mister Friedman, so head over to Kickstarter and back it!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Great Art: Cloak and Dagger by Adam Hughes

With the debut of the trailer for next year's Freeform series based on the characters, I figured it made sense to show off this great piece of Dagger (with a cloak if not Cloak) by the always exceptional Adam Hughes.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's Up for April 21, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)





Text-only links for those with ad-blocker:
Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising | Poseidon: Earth-Shaker | Mr. Robot Season 1 | Jupiter Ascending | The Rising Sun (Shinsuke Nakamura)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Kickstart the Week 54: The Adventures of Auroraman

A.P. Fuchs is one of those guys that has been toiling in the super powered fiction field for quite some time with both novels and comics revolving around his character Axiom-Man. Now he's teaming up with fellow Canadian Jeff Burton to help bring the heroic Auroraman to life. Auroraman is the first Canadian hero aimed at the midlands of the country, hailing from Saskatchewan. With a magic staff, he becomes the Super Power of the Prairies. He makes his debut in a new comic through Kickstarter, but his adventures also continue in a prose novel crossover with Axiom-Man. It's a truly inventive way to bring this new character to life.



Check out more about Auroraman on Kickstarter and help make it come to life with your donation!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Starfire

My writing is anything but cosmic right now, but this Starfire is too great not to share!

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

WIP Wednesday: Early April 2017

April this year, much like last year, has been all about Camp Nanowrimo. And while last year's project ran into roadblocks that caused me to at least temporarily abandon it after the Camp, so far this year's project is firing on all cylinders.

This year I'm deep at work on a project called Outlaw, a mixture of super powered fiction, classic action adventure and urban fantasy. It is also planned as the first book of a proposed multi-author series. Regular Metahuman Press cohort Travis Hiltz is my co-creator on this one and will have his own volume down the line. Right now, I'm working to lay out the basic world and supporting cast so other writers can see where we're going with the character.

I expect to work on this one both this month and at the next Camp Nanowrimo in July. While it won't see publication to (at the earliest) this time next year, it will have an important part in a new Metahuman Press project down the road. But I may have already said too much about that one...

I also continue work on Dino Force. I am just about done with the main section of my contribution with only a brief epilogue to the shared universe anthology to add on. Fans interested in this one should stay tuned for next week, when the Kickstarter launches for the project!

And that pretty much wraps up my work on the writing front. But if you're a wrestling fan, don't forget to check out my thoughts over at The Wrestling Weekday.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Saucy Robot Stories is now available!

I may not have written for it, but I am proud of editing the delightfully different adventures of Sam the Robot in Saucy Robot Stories. The tales of a robot in 40s New York embroiled in a half dozen misadventures has truly been one of the highlights of my time as EIC of Metahuman Press, even if other problems delayed its production for far far too long.


Please give Saucy Robot Stories a purchase over at Amazon in print or Kindle editions.

And don't forget to give it a review!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Kickstart the Week 53: Atomic Thunderbolt

I love golden age heroes. I love even more when someone takes a golden age hero and makes them their own. One shot wonder Atomic Thunderbolt is the latest to get that treatment from writer Kevin Powers and artists Matt Gaudio, Rowel Roque and Donna Gregory.


With some stellar art and an intriguing premise this could be a really fun one. Go check it out on Kickstarter. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

What's Up for March 31, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)




And don't forget my latest release as well as the upcoming one that hits stores this coming Monday!


Text-only links for those with ad-blocker:
Norse Mythology | Finder Library | Deadpool vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. | Lorde: "Green Light" | Ghost in the Shell (1995) Soundtrack | The Good Fight 3: Sidekicks | Saucy Robot Stories

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Great art: Godzilla vs. Kong by Matt Frank

Matt Frank is one of my favorite modern artists. No one draws monsters quite like he does. This piece featuring his imaginings of what the upcoming monster fight movie might look like has been on my mind a bit of late as I work on my own giant monster fighting tale!


Remember you can check out more great art like this over at the Tumblr.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WIP Wednesday: End of March 2017

Things continue abreast from earlier this month, even as I start to move more irons into the fire as I get back into a more regimented writing and editing schedule. I'm still far from at the production level I would like to be for my work, but I do at least have a regular rhythm in place both for my writing and my blog posting.

I am nearing completion on my Dino Force story I mentioned last update. From there, I will start edits on the book in May, followed by a short epilogue story meant to tie the other stories in the book together in preparation for the two proposed sequel volumes that will continue the tale.

My current plan is to launch a Kickstarter for the final book in mid-April, which I will write about more in the next few weeks. I've already lined up an artist for the cover with the plans to give the final book a July or August release schedule.

This Diana Nock image remains my ideal view of Jenny
(and graces both ebook covers of my stories.)
Speaking of August, I am also prepping for this year's Jenny Everywhere Day on August 13th. I've released two previous shorts over the years featuring the character. This time around, I'll tell a bit more detailed arc, outside the 3000 or 2000 word briefs I wrote for that day in 2012 and 2014. This will continue the same narrative however, although I am making an effort to allow anyone to jump right in with the new story. My eventual plan is to craft an entire full length book for the character, but I suspect that is still a few years down the road.

If you're interested in reading either of my previous Jenny stories, "Past Prologue" and "Troll Hunted" are both available for whatever you want to pay (including nothing) on Smashwords.

I've started edits on the next book in the Pulpsploitation series as well, but more on Teel James Glenn's Gunmaster novel should come up in the May update as progress goes into full swing on that one.

Oh, and as for April, that involves a new project that in turn will be part of a much larger ongoing project debuting next year, but more on the story in the next update and the larger project in the coming months....

Monday, March 27, 2017

Kickstart the Week 52: Golden Guard

A comic and a role-playing game? All in one? And it's set in the golden age of the 1940s, the heyday of superheroes in America. How can this not be great?

Check out the video below and then head over to Kickstarter and back Golden Guard now!



Remember to back Golden Guard at Kickstarter before it's too late!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Green Ranger

We have already featured one amazing image of Soni Aralynn as the Green Ranger, but while Tommy (or is it Tommi?) Oliver doesn't appear to be in the film out today, he remains pretty much everyone's favorite Power Ranger. So why not give us another great look at this work by the woman that may be the premier purveyor of Power Rangers cosplay.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's Up for March 24, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)






And don't forget to check out The Good Fight 3: Sidekicks featuring a story by yours truly and all the awesome folks at the Pen & Cape Society.




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Get your copy of The Good Fight 3: Sidekicks!

I talked about my contributions to the new Pen & Cape Society anthology a couple weeks back. It is now available on Amazon and Smashwords, so go get yourself a copy already!

It features my Annabelle Montalvo / Backoff story, plus new stuff by Samantha Bryant, Stephen T. Brophy, Marion G. Harmon, Ian Thomas Healy,
Michael Ivan Lowell, Landon Porter, Jim Zoetewey and Metahuman Press contributors T. Mike McCurley & Caine Dorr


Friday, March 17, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Starfire

We end the week with a glorious Starfire cosplay, perfectly replicating her look from the classic comics right down to the orange body paint. Jessie here (a.k.a. RuffleButtCosplay) may have created the very best cosplay of one of my favorite characters ever.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Read my Kong story for free!

Kong had a ton of great movie posters, but my
favorite is Mondo's one by Francesco Francavilla.
Kong: Skull Island was the number one movie in America over the weekend and if you enjoyed it as much as I did, you probably want more from the massive ape.

Thankfully, I've got a classic story by yours truly that features the big guy. It's a bit of light-hearted fun called Claus vs. Kong and it is exactly what it sounds like.

You can read it for free at Wattpad! Or just use the handy embedded viewer below.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Ramona Flowers

Ramona remains one of my favorite characters in any piece of fiction, prose or pictorial. So I am always happy to see a great cosplay of her, like this one done by the always amazing Lua Stardust.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's Up for March 9. 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WIP Wednesday: March 2017

It has been slow going on the writing front since the beginning of the year. I have edited some material and am working on an outline for a new series, but outside the limited time I've had for that, I haven't done much writing.



That has changed however in the last few days as I've put several hundred words into a new short story, my first real fiction work of the new year. The new story is part of an anthology I solicited entries for many many moons ago, a book entitled Super Kaiju Battle Squadron: Dino Force. With a title like that it probably comes as no surprise that the book was inspired by various Japanese tokusatsu series. My story takes the action to Rio De Janeiro to introduce the T-Rex of the team. It will be joined by four other tales, but more on that later.

That is just the first planned story I have for the year but as I said previously, I am not rushing towards any of it. But I strongly suspect you will see the release of Dino Force sometime before the end of the year.

As to what else I am working on? That will be revealed in the next few weeks, especially with a big project announcement come April.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Kickstart the Week 51: Eagle Force Strikes!

Christopher Irving has produced several interesting card sets through his company The Drawn World. But now he's debuting his most interesting as he expands the history of the classic Eagle Force toyline, recently renewed by another Kickstarter (from Remco and Fresh Monkey Fiction.) In many ways, EAGLE was a clone of G.I. Joe, but the figure line never found the traction that Real American Hero did in the 1980s. It never had the comics and trading cards and decades of toys that Hasbro produced.


Now it not only has a new line of sleek modern toys in the work, it now has backstory and character profiles. The Eagle Force Strikes card set covers several past battles and features profiles of several Eagle members. All wrapped up in handy trading card size.

This is a unique and different item, but the Kickstarter only has a few days left. Go check it out before it runs out on Friday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Good Fight 3: Sidekicks now available for pre-order!

I seriously don't talk about the great folks at the Pen & Cape Society enough on this blog, but my group of fellow authors have done wonders in bringing more attention to many amazingly talented prose writers of super powered fiction.

Cover art by Scott Story.
I am proud to say I have joined with them again this year to take part in The Good Fight 3: Sidekicks.

This one actually takes an interesting path for me as I only have two major sidekick characters in the Quadrant Universe. Annabelle Montalvo made her debut in the debut Freedom Patton novel A Dangerous Place to Live. Backoff is a character not actually seen in any of the stories I've published so far, instead serving as a key piece of history in the backstory of Legend in the pages of F.O.R.C.E. I had to choose one or the other to write about if I was going to make this book work.

Instead, I chose both.

"Heroes Don't Retire" falls into a strange place as it actually serves as a sequel to the next Freedom novel, The Long Hot Summer, while also serving as an aside to the ongoing F.OR.C.E. saga. Basically it is a sequel to two works I have yet to release. But while it will beat both those works into print next month, I think it serves as a great jumping on point to introduce both characters.

I distinctly have plans for both in the future, but with my limited writing schedule I cannot say when they will return. In the mean time though, you should definitely check out their first adventure together as well as all the other amazing stories in The Good Fight 3: Sidekicks by pre-ordering it before the March 21 release.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Kickstart the Week 50: Like Father, Like Daughter


Like Father, Like Daughter is a cool little comic focused on the daughter of the world's first superhero even as she develops powers of her own. It's an intriguing high concept from the folks at Short Fuse Media, a team with several Kickstarters behind them already.

Give it a look and consider it backing before it ends in a week.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Rogue

The Jim Lee Rogue costume is such a classic, Marvel and Hasbro recently launched a new action figure version of it. While I have no idea about the identity of this cosplayer, she sure brings it to life in epic ways.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


A few words on the future (or, When real life gets in the way)

Don't know the artist to credit on this one,
but she offers a hint on one upcoming project.
In case you had yet to notice, my time posting here on Super Powered Fiction as well on The Wrestling Weekday has grown more limited over the last few weeks. My focus for much of the last three months of last year, January and February have been mostly involved with getting myself into a better place than I have been in quite some time.

I don't talk about depression issues on here often, but with a long family history of depression (including bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder), I have had particular challenges all through the last twelve months but they were intensified as the year ended as extended family issues seemed to overwhelm everything.

And sometimes something has to give.

In case you don't get my gist, it looks like 2017 will be a very slim year for me.

I do not foresee 2017 as being a strong year for new work from Super Powered Fiction or Metahuman Press. That is not to say I will go without any releases, but I suspet most of my work will be limited to fulfilling prior commitments.

This includes a long gestating shared world anthology based on a distinctly non-Western take on superheroes, a co-edited project that continues my love for weird ideas brought to print and (hopefully) the long awaited first Pulpsploitation novel by Teel James Glenn. It will also include a handful of short stories owed to a few different publishers.

I suspect those projects to take most of the first six months of the year to complete. With the ongoing need for greater attention to home issues, my time writing and editing are far more limited. I plan to see through the release of those works before I start looking into other projects.

Some of the other works I have hinted at in recent months, such as the remainder of F.O.R.C.E, the sequel series Executive F.O.R.C.E. or the fourth volume of Lightweight are still ahead, but they are backburnered. I will give more details on their release as work returns on them.

That is not to say I am without plans. I have a big series launch planned for early 2018, one which I suspect will take up much of my energy in the new year, but one I also hope will change the face of super powered fiction for years to come. But that one is still very far away.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Kickstart the Week 49: Team Synergy

The gang at HB Comics are some of the coolest cats in graphic fiction. Their book Lazerman remains a favorite of mine and their recent graphic novel Vindication is right near the top of my reading list.


Their new book Team Synergy focuses on a group of teenage girls that all have super-powers. All cousins, their grandmother trained them to use their powers and the book covers their first days as superheroes in the wider HB Universe.

What I love about the Hebert Brothers and company is they have a genuine interest in making fun comics for the masses. Lazerman was a fine example of this, but Team Synergy looks to expand their focus by making a strong female-centric title aimed at young girls.

If you like fun books with great characters and unique backgrounds, this is a book for you. Give it a look on Kickstarter.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Kickstart the Week 48: Tezla

Look, I admit it: I have a fondness for electrical based heroes. Black Lightning, Static, Lightning Lad, and Storm,  are all great characters. Heck I can even rank Electro and Livewire as favorite villains. I even created one of my own, the comic character Arc, that I hope to bring out of retirement one of these days.

Now Tezla joins their ranks and she looks like a stupendous new creation with some stellar art. Creator Dimitris Moore looks like a talent to watch, so here's hoping he can make some waves with his new project.


Head over to Kickstarter and give the new project a look, and hopefully, your support. Tezla deserves a chance to shine.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Widowmaker

I am anything but an Overwatch player, but I cannot deny it has had some amazing superhero character designs. Widowmaker is one of my personal favorites and this cosplay by CutiePieSensei is the best costume based on the game I've seen so far.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Looking back at 2016: ten best pop songs

I've long been an advocate of music, whether it be alternative, popular or somewhere in between. I love to put together playlists for whatever I work on and even pushing forty, I still enjoy experiencing new music every year from artists both new and old. So I say with no shame, I can still find a ton to love on pop radio. Sure, there's plenty of crap as well, but that's always been the case. Pick any Billboard Top 100 for any year and you'll find about five really bad songs in the top 40. That's just the way of the world. But that doesn't mean I didn't find a lot of cream rising to the top in 2016. So here are my picks for the best music of the year.

Honorable Mention: Me, Myself and I - G-Eazy featuring Bebe Rexha. Released in October 2015, this song would have rated near the top of the list if I categorized it as a 2016 song.


10. Hands to Myself - Selina Gomez.


9. Make Me (Cry) - Noah Cyrus featuring Labrinth.


8. Starboy - The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Looking back at 2016: Top Five Graphic Novels

While I buy plenty of monthly books, I also like to grab trades now and then because some stories just read better that way. So here is my list of favorite trade paperbacks or original graphic novels from 2016.

Image credit: Michel Fiffe and Bergen Street Press.
  1. Vision: Little Worse Than A Man: Tom King may be a DC exclusive creator now, but before he made that change he produced his absolute finest work for Marvel with this series. The story of Vision building his own family and the problems that causes in suburban Washington, D.C. is probably the finest superhero deconstruction in years.
  2. Copra Round Three: Copra is one of the few books I purchase in trade. The series continued early this year with this tome and it expertly expands the universe after the events of the first year's ongoing story arc. I cannot wait to crack open the fourth volume, which came into my library right at the end of 2016. 
  3. Wonder Woman: Earth One: I actually expected a bit more from Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette's re-imagined Wonder Woman, but their take is still one of the best the character has ever received. Hopefully subsequent volumes will continue to explore this character in ways she's deserved for years. 
  4. The Discipline: Peter Milligan's Image series seems to have been short lived but the first trade offered an intriguing tale of a woman turned into a monster tied to bondage. It's basically a strange mix of 50 Shades of Gray and a monster hunter book, and that combination under Milligan's pen is just superb. 
  5. All New Wolverine: Four Sisters: I would have never guessed I would enjoy this volume so much, but Tom Taylor's work on Laura Kinney as Wolverine is nothing short of stupendous. With a completely different attitude than her "dad", the former X-23 and four imperfect clones of her take this book in a direction unlike any other Wolverine book that had me champing at the bit to read more in a way I haven't with Wolverine in nearly two decades. Here's hoping he gets time to do a lot more with Laura over the next couple years. 


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Looking back at 2016: Top Ten Comic Series

I read a lot of comics every month. And while 2016 had me reading far less than I had in previous years, I still spent a lot of time with floppy issues open in front of me. Here's the ten best series I read all or part of in 2016.

  1. Dept. H: Matt Kindt is one of the best writers of modern comics. While his Valiant work (Ninjak, Divinity) is also amazing, his very best work of the year was this underwater murder mystery. Easily one of the most compelling books of the year with a heck of a lot more story to tell in 2017. 
  2. Sex: Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski's series takes a solid look at superhero comics by telling the story of a Batman style superhero that retired to end a gang war. Definitely a book for adults, Sex offers maybe one of the most intriguing ongoing narratives I've read in years. While monthly issues have ended as of this month, it looks to continue as a series of OGNs over the upcoming years. 
  3. The Shadow: Death of Margo Lane: Matt Wagner and The Shadow are a match made in heaven. Nuff said. 
  4. Gold Digger: I never know what I am in for with each issue of Fred Perry's ongoing series. After over 200 issues, he's created a massive universe but never makes a reader feel like he's completely lost as he pokes at the many corners of his own personal cosmos. 
  5. Insexts: Victorian England, super-bug powers and two women's love are the key components to this fascinating series from Marguerite Bennett and Ariela Kristantina, the best offering of several great books from Aftershock Comics. 
  6. Deathstroke: DC recruited Christopher Priest to write one of my favorite characters. He took the ball and ran with it and has made Slade Wilson's life more intriguing than ever before. Probably the best mainstream book on stands today. 
  7. Black Hammer: Jeff Lemire's tale of exiled heroes is a fascinating deconstruction of superhero archetypes in a real world setting. I have no clue where he's going with it all, but I cannot wait to keep following the tale of the trapped heroes. 
  8. Doctor Fate: I dearly miss Paul Levitz and Sonny Liew's amazing series. They created a great new era of a classic character and did so while not hiding from the truths of reality. Any fan of Ms. Marvel should definitely check it out, as should any fan of great comics. Now canceled, a world without it is a sadder place. 
  9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: While 2016 wasn't the absolute best run of the IDW Turtles books so far (that came in 2015), it remains one of the most compelling monthly titles on the market today. Kudos to Tom Waltz and company on consistently producing one of the best titles month after month. 
  10. Limbo: This weird limited series by newcomers Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard introduced a strange world with even stranger happenings. I cannot quite explain the slightly psychedelic aspects of this book, but it reads like classic Vertigo in all the right ways. Watters and Wijngaard have the potential to be huge creators in the next few years.



Monday, January 2, 2017

Looking back at 2016: Top Five Reads

I figured I would spend this week looking back at some of my favorite things of 2016. A lot of negativity was spewed last year and about last year, but I enjoyed some great things over the course of the calendar year and wanted to share them here.

We start off with my top five non-comic reads of 2016. That doesn't necessarily mean these books were released in 2016, only that I finished them within the calendar year. While my non-graphic reading was probably as low as it has been in decades, I found some true winners to peruse over the course of the year.
  1.  An Accidental Affair: Eric Jerome Dickey's pot boiler is three years old, but it is still a compelling look at infidelity in the modern world, from a writer that never fails to impress me with his gift for prose.
  2.  Bible Adventures (Boss Fight Books #7): I love the modern publishing world because things like Boss Fight Books can exist. A series of ruminations and histories of video games both well known and barely known, this edition by line editor Gabe Durham remains my favorite so far. Here's hoping this series goes for a long long time to come. 
  3. Jezebel Johnston: Devil's Handmaid: Nancy A. Hansen produced an amazing piece of pirate fiction with the first book in her series focused on a mulatto girl disguising herself as a man to adventure as a pirate. The first book tells her adventures on the ship Devil's Handmaid, while subsequent volumes look to follow her from ship to ship. I honestly cannot wait to see what Nancy has in store for book two, which should hopefully be out sometime this year. 
  4. Black Widow: Forever Red: I have read a few of Marvel's original novels and have found the results ranging from poor to spectacular. Forever Red falls in the latter category, a refreshing take on Black Widow, even if it doesn't quite jibe with either movie or comic book continuity. Margaret Stohl has a firm handle on superheroics, which certainly explains why she'll soon be writing the adventures of Carol Danvers in Marvel Comics. The addition of the Red Widow makes things especially intriguing, especially with the sequel now in my read pile. 
  5. Lion's Pride: The Turbulent History of New Japan Pro Wrestling: I have been a wrestling fan for most of my life, but only in the last few years have I become more focused on watching Japanese wrestling. I have favorites in promotions like Dragon Gate, Big Japan and All Japan, but it is New Japan where the greatest talent in the world congregate. Home of some of the most compelling athletic spectacles available today, the promotion recently went worldwide with its NJPWWorld service and with a weekly show on AXS TV. Chris Charlton's Lion's Pride gives a detailed history of New Japan from its early origins to Antonio Inoki's rise as a megastar in Japan to the low points of the early 2000s. This is easily one of the best reads on wrestling today, even in Charlton can't tell the difference between Green Hornet and Green Lantern.