Austin Grossman's "Soon I Will Be Invincible" (whose title really should have an exclamation mark at the end) is a witty and wonderful labour of love, a deeply-affectionate tribute to the comic-book worlds created by Marvel and DC, with added psychological depth.
Grossman's tale alternates between the stories of Doctor Impossible - a criminal mastermind who has done everything from travelling through time to suborning gods in his (failed) attempts to take over the world (and incidentally get one over on the oh-so-perfect college jock he accidentally turned into the world's greatest superhero, Corefire) - and Fatale, a down-on-her-luck cyborg with a mysterious past who suddenly finds herself a member of the world's greatest Superteam, The Champions. With Corefire missing, the not-so-good Doctor plans his most outrageous scheme yet, sure that this time he will finally take over the world, only The Champions stand in his way.
On the way through this conventional comic-book plot, Grossman takes time to ask and answer some of those questions that even the youngest comic-book readers can find themselves pondering: why do these super-intelligent scientists so often turn to evil, why do they fight on even in the face of perpetual failure and do they really do their own clothes-designing? Mixed in among the musings and super-powered maulings are fanboy-pleasing nods to everyone from Batman and Superman to Wolverine and Doctor Strange plus an array of supervillains old and young.
A funny and fun-filled book, with all the wit one might expect from a former member of Looking Glass Studios, the team that worked on classic video games such as Ultima Underworld, Deus Ex, Thief and System Shock.