Adventureman. Vol. 1: The End and Everything After

Image. Dec. 2020. 168p. ISBN 9781534317123. $24.99. Rated: Teen+. superhero
After separating from the New York Police Department following an incident resulting in almost complete hearing loss, Claire Connell is satisfied with a mild life built around the used bookstore she inherited from her mother, raising her rambunctious son, Tommy, and weekly Shabbat dinners with her father and six sisters. She and Tommy share a love of Adventureman, a classic pulp hero and subject of a series of novels detailing his and his companions’ battles against Baron Bizarre, a villain determined to destroy all life on Earth. When a mysterious woman gives Claire a heretofore unknown installment in the series, she and Tommy are perplexed to discover details that differ from previous volumes, including the address of a publisher that doesn’t seem to have ever existed. Upon investigating, Claire discovers an art deco skyscraper only she can see, filled with impossible artifacts. Stranger still, she grows 15 inches overnight and begins experiencing what might be hallucinations or memories of past adventures. Meanwhile, in an interdimensional void, Baron Bizarre rallies his forces and summons Abbathexiddion, Beast-God of the Ultra-Void.
VERDICT An immensely engaging cast, compelling mystery, and intriguing cliff-hanger ending will have readers excited for future volumes in this ongoing series.
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