Friday, 4 September 2020

The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again, by A.C. Wise (Lethe Press) | review by Stephen Theaker

The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron is a glamorous superhero/secret agent team, which includes a mixture of women, drag queens, trans women, the mysterious M (described as an animate slab of leather) and their leader Bunny, the superheroic alter-ego of Phillip Howard Craft the Third, who like Kid Miracleman prefers to live as the alter-ego full-time. It’s not entirely fair to judge a book against the expectations you had for it, but here I was expecting something rather like the Senor 105 or Iris Wildthyme books, and while it has a similar tone and sensibility, I was disappointed by how little of this book saw the team in action, most of it being side stories or flashbacks or recruitments. Nevertheless, the stories it does tell are sensitive and moving. It doesn’t present joining the team as a cure-all for the personal problems everyone faces, but it gives them a supportive place to work things out. The final story does give us a fully-fledged adventure for the team as a whole, but it’s a bit of a let-down, being a perfunctory fight against a pair of mad scientists who have created giant insects. Overall, though, I thought it was a good book. Stephen Theaker ***

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