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Villains Pride (The Shadow Master #2)

Write on: Fri, 12 Apr 2019 by  in Charles' Reviews Be the first to comment! Read 287

4.5/5

VILLAINS PRIDE by Michael Gibson is a sequel to the hilarious VILLAINS RULE. The premise of the books is the Shadow Master is a supervillain from our Earth. Though a peculiar series of circumstances, he went from being an ordinary nerd to a man with the powers of a god. The powers which he uses to fight against truth, justice, and cheerfulness across a multiverse of Gary Stu-filled bad storytelling.

The Shadowmaster's first adventure took him to a J.R.R. Tolkien pastiche where all of the deeper themes had been rubbed out by arrogant gods. The Shadowmaster managed to strike a blow against them as only evil can against the self-righteous. It also resulted in him becoming wedded (at least emotionally) to an affably evil thief named Lydia.

The sequel picks up with Lydia pregnant with the Shadow Master's child, the Shadow Master under indictment from the High Gods of the universe for breaking celestial rules, and soon banished from his own pocket-dimension hideout. Thankfully, maybe, he is invited to play in the world of King Stanley (Stan Lee) who wants him to mess with a world of superheroes.

Above all things, Villains Pride is a comedy and satire on comic books, superheroes, indie fiction, joggers, and just about everything else that strikes author MK Gibson's fancy. The opening has the Shadow Master interview Cthulhu and talk about how it was a mistake for him to go public domain since he's now in hundreds of funny books, the subject of t-shirts, and there's a plushie of him overlooking many a writer's desk (like my own). They even give a nod to the book Cthulhu Armageddon, which I'm pleased at.

Villains Pride is an irreverent story that follow the Shadow Master traveling through a merger of Marvel and DC comics where he mocks costumes, cliche origins, gritty reboots, and all the various things that only a die-hard comic book geek would care about. One of the best decisions by the author is that he actually separates chapters by pulling random but true factoids from comic book history that most publishers would probably prefer you to forget.

Things I loved him mentioning? 1. Superman once hit on his teenage cousin Supergirl but mentioned they couldn't be together because of Kryptonian law. 2. Cyclops abandoned his new wife and baby to get together with Jean Grey before abandoning her for Emma Frost. 3. Batman impregnated Batgirl in one continuity--while she was dating Dick Grayson. 4. The Justice League once lobotomized a supervillain and sent him to fight the Teen Titans as a training exercise. 5. Batman peed his pants during the climatic dinner scene of Batman: Year One (though that was written by Kevin Smith of Clerks fame).

This is not a book that pulls its punches and there's a dictonomy between the fact that you have to love superheroes to get a third of the jokes and really love them to get all of them but it has Shadow Master kicking their butts left and right. Indeed, the Shadow Master suffers no real setbacks right up until the very end. I was surprised the author didn't comment on the fact he was parodying another type of comic book character in the Invincible villain (though that would mean he'd start out strong like Prometheus only to end up Hush's henchman--double points if you get that reference).

Strangely, as vulgar and mean as the Shadow Master's adventures are, there's some actually really heartwarming bits. Okay, kinda heartwarming bits. His desire to be a good father while maintaining his villain cred really amused me. The book is a really good independent science fiction/fantasy work and it has a over-the-top scattered narrative you're not going to get anywhere else. It's also among the best I've read on Kindle Unlimited so people check it out.

Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2019 11:59
C.T. Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".

He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.

Website: https://ctphipps.wordpress.com/

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