Under the Cape: An Anthology of Superhero Romance
Under the Cape: An Anthology of Superhero Romance, although a perfectly fine collection of prose stories, illustrates why so many new superhero concepts have a hard time getting off the ground.
I was curious to check out this diverse group of tales. There are eleven in total, grouped as six “sweet” and five with “heat” (which mark how explicit the sex acts are). Five are male/female; four female/female; and two male/male. (You can see the breakdown at the publisher’s website.)
However, while reading the stories, my mind kept wandering to “I wonder which heroes the writer was thinking of when creating these characters.” There are so many existing superhero characters out there that you can’t really come up with a new one. All of them will evoke some, better-known versions or powersets out there, particularly if you’re already a comic book reader.
While reading these, which were a pleasant enough way to waste a little time, I realized that trying to set up characters, their abilities, their relationship to each other, and how that would change was a lot to ask of a short story. I enjoy superheroes because of the universes behind them, the many other characters they might interact with. These were slight in comparison. But it wasn’t really fair of me to expect more depth from them. They simply didn’t have the room or the age. (The publisher provided a review copy.)