Corpies (Super Powereds #5) by Drew Hayes Book Review

Write on: Wed, 03 Mar 2021 by  in Charles' Reviews Read 2127


CORPIES is a spin-off of Drew Hayes' SUPER POWEREDS series but can read as a stand-alone. I read the Super Powereds series first and really enjoyed it, so I was interested in picking this up. I'm also a fan of Drew Hayes' other series like FRED THE VAMPIRE ACCOUNTANT and VILLAINS' CODE. So, I was eager to pick this one up. I actually think this is probably my second favorite of his works as Villain's Code just barely edges it out.

The premise is that the hero formerly known as Titan has returned. Titan quit being a superhero a decade ago due to the fact he was outed as a gay man during a time when it was less accepted than now. It wasn't doubly ugly because he was married with children at the time. Inspired to return, his reputation is still mud and he has to join with a band of corporate sponsored rescue workers (PEERS if you're being polite, CORPIES if you're not) instead of proper Heroes.

Corpies are basically the Minor Leagues of superheroes and Titan is resentful of being stuck with them. If I were to draw a comparison, it's like if Superman returned out of retirement and was forced to join the Great Lakes Avengers. I really like this premise because while Titan holds prejudice against the idea of corporate-sponsored superheroism, he's polite and professional about it for the most part. The PEERS heroes are not jokes, either. They may not have degrees in heroism but they're all decent people who have proper power-sets. It just wasn't quite enough to get them into the big leagues or they had complications.

This is a bit more action packed as a series than Super Powereds and Villain's Code both, focusing on the emergency work that the city of Brewster needs. This includes frequent robot attacks, super-powered gang warfare, and Powereds losing control of their abilities. I actually didn't think this was necessary because I was enjoying the slice of life stories that came with being a corporate hero. I liked all the publicity, public relations snafus, and other things designed to promote them as celebrities capable of raising their sponsor's status.

I'm far from alone but my favorite character in the book is easily Hexcellent. A Goth girl summoner who is aware that she's beloved by marketing for her sex appeal as much as her ability to create enormous magical constructs, Hexcellent is a character tailor made for me. I can't say I disliked any of the main team, though. I also liked the sex scandal with Bubble Bubble, too, who has to deal with her good girl image being smashed by an ex-lover. Frankly, I think it was a bit too mild of a scandal and anyone could have taken care of it let alone our hero's super-agent.

One thing I like is the fact that it is one of the rare depictions of corporations in media where they're not pure evil. As much as I'm an enemy of late stage capitalism as any First Worlder can be, I do think it gets a bit tiresome seeing executives engaged in nefarious ne'er do wellery. So it's nice to see the corporates really just want to try to increase our heroes' brand and don't mind if they do a bunch of good on the side. Hell, they encourage it since it's good business not to lose the city they're based in.

If I had any problem with the story, I would have appreciated some more insight into the timing and nature of Titan's fall. If the book is set in the timeline of the book's release, Titan's fall was somewhere around 2000 and gay/straight relations have changed a lot since then. I would have liked to have known what specifically people felt about it a bit more and how they reacted to his return. Then again, maybe that's asking a bit much for a fun popcorn book. As such, this is also formatted in a somewhat odd way that readers should be warned of beforehand.

In conclusion, I really liked this book and am kind of sad that it didn't become a full-fledged alternative series to Super Powereds. I really enjoyed the characters, the situations, and the character development. The storyline of who is creating the giant robots and how was a bit of a let down but I didn't really come to this book to read about monster fights, I came for the daily superhero life.

Available here

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 March 2021 20:54
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.