Books and graphic novels about trouble-making teens

A SH*TLOAD OF CRAZY POWERS: The Frost Files 4 by Jackson Ford has series hero Teagan Frost (genetically engineered for TK by mad scientist parents, now working for a black ops West Coast operation) narrowly survive an encounter with her metahuman siblings, a side effect of which is losing her powers. That proves really unfortunate as the senator who signs off on the operation’s budget insists on having her s his bodyguard during a West Coast visit — and wouldn’t you know, they wind up at the epicenter of a terrorist attack?

This is competent, and some of the plot twists were completely unexpected. It didn’t grab me, though, as I expected more powers, less straight action thriller. And Frost’s superior Tanner is a stock hardcase character, like DC’s Amanda Waller without the characterization she had in Suicide Squad.

SHE COULD FLY by Christopher Cantwell and Martin Morazzo focuses on a mental patient obsessed with a mysterious woman flying over her city. Unfortunately I have zero patience with “freaky thing happens, oh look, it’s the delusional person’s unreliable narration” and Cantwell is having a ball indulging in it. I sent it back to the library after finishing the first chapter.

SPIDER-GWEN: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour and Robbie Rodriguez has Gwen Stacey struggling to keep up her life as Spider-Woman with having both Kingpin henchman Matt Murdock (it’s a parallel world) and her father Captain Stacey determined to hunt her down. And can she balance her superhero life with her role as drummer for the Mary Janes rock group (alongside MJ, Betty Brant and Gloria Grant)? This is pleasant but doesn’t break much fresh ground (admittedly most comics don’t) and the rhythym of the dialog is too familiar, the bantering style I keep seeing in lots of comics

LIVEWIRE: Fugitive by Vita Ayala and Raul Allen is a less satisfying Valiant Universe teen hero. A Psiot with control of technology and electricity, Livewire spends way too much time in the middle of the book  debating Needs of the Many with another Psiot, and the fact she once shut down the world’s entire electrical grid (hence being targeted by the powers that be) should have been mentioned soonner than it was.

NANCY DREW/HARDY BOYS: The Big Lie made me wonder if it would be about Trump’s election claims but no. Instead this has Nancy, Frank and Joe reunite years after they played teen detective games during summer vacation (I really hate they erase the teen detective stuff where the CW Nancy Drew embraces it). Now, it’s serious: someone murdered the Hardy Boys’ dad, Nancy’s discovered her dad is nont the person she thinks and these innocent childhood figures are All Dark And Gritty It’s Soooo Noir CAN YOU STAND IT? I could stand it but I wasn’t blown away by it.

JANE AUSTEN: Her Heart Did Whisper by Manuel Santoni is a look at Young Jane, how she became a writer and the possibility of a lost love in her younger days. Like most of this week’s reviews, I liked it but I didn’t love it.

#SFWApro. Cover by Rodriguez, all rights remain with current holder.

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