In which Gary Karkofsky receives the intelligent magic cloak of Falcon Crest City’s greatest superhero, The Nightwalker, in the mail, and decides screw being a hero, I’m becoming a supervillain and getting rich! So starts Rules of Supervillainy, as Gary, an unemployed bank clerk, embarks on a hillarious path to crime as Merciless, The Villain Without Mercy™. Thats right, they even reference the Trademark. That is the kind of humor strewn throughout the book. As Gary struggles to become the villain he want to be, he does pull off some impressive heists and other villainy. Along the way, he picks up a henchwench…err, henchperson (don’t be sexist, Gary), in the person of Red Riding Hood (think a more stable Harley Quinn) and a henchman in El Diablo, a one time A-lister down on his luck, but looking for another chance at the big leages. As they grow Gary’s criminal career, Gary must deal with his wife, who is not inclined to villains, and the need to use his powers, which are required tobe used, since this keeps the dead from rising, since his cloak is one of the Grim Reapers cloaks. Along the line he gets the wrong kind of attention and gets arrested by UltraGod, the worlds greatest superhero. After being brought to the moon and tried and imprisoned, Gary becomes part of a plan to escape hatched by a megamaniacal villain bent on world conquest. Along the way, he runs into Some other old friends and aquaintences, and ends up fighting a couple of Jewish demigods (not an easy thing for a jewish guy like Gary) When he returns to earth, things are much changed, and Gary will have to deal with a very different Falcon Crest City. Will he continue on his quest to be the big villain, or will his better side win out? Only one way to find out, and thats to take a listen!
The characters are a real strength of this book. From Gary and his obsessive need to be a great villain, Red’s need to just be amoral and crazy, El Diablo’s need to be useful and relevant again and all the other myriad characters interacting with them in such funny ways make for great characters. Even the personality of the cloak is hilarious and snarky, all while helping Gary. The characters are well rounded, even the crazy ones, and the dialogue is just superb. Falcon Crest City is a great setting, well described and sounding like a place you wouldnt want to visit on a vacation, unless getting held hostage by a supervillain is your idea of a good time. The pacing is great, with never a slow scene.
As far as narration, what can I say other than Jeffrey Kafer hits another one out of the park! Great voice work for each character, especially Red Riding Hood, my personal favorite of his many voices. He never lets the story lag, keeping even pacing throughout. This is some of his best work, in my oipinion. All in all, a five star effort all around. If you are big into comics or metahuman stories,this is a must have!