Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Blackjack: Wayward by Ben Bequer review

    BLACKJACK: WAYWARD is the sequel to the very entertaining BLACKJACK: VILLAIN that followed the adventures of a super-smart and super-tough archer who just couldn't put his formidable gifts to productive use. The ending of the previous book had an apocalyptic battle between superheroes and villains with our anti-hero saving the day but at considerable cost.

    The sequel opens up with Blackjack seemingly being transported to another world as a way to contain his colossal power only for him to end up becoming a pirate as well as, effectively John Carter of Mars. This part of the story dragged, sadly, due to the fact I was interested in Black Jack's supervillain antics versus his more fantasy-sci fi ones. The twist at the end was very appreciated, though.

    What followed after that section of the book (roughly 20%) was very interesting as we saw Black Jack return to an Earth where he's a hated pariah and him hooking up with an undead sorceress who distracts him from his pining for superheroine Apogee. We also get Black Jack's vow of revenge against Zundergub the psychic who murdered his way through so many lives that even supervillains are disgusted against him (particularly ones blamed for his crimes like Black Jack).

    I appreciated how the book took the "realistic" view that a criminal who killed a beloved hero and numerous police officers as well as soldiers wasn't forgiven despite helping save the world. In fact, the public generally just denies he's done anything good at all. I was a bit annoyed that Apogee doesn't show up on camera until the very-very end but there's a lot of good in this book.

    Black Jack, himself, is a complicated as well as flawed character who is trying to be good but it goes against his natural inclinations. For example, despite the fact he claims to be in love with Apogee, he more or less goes after anything female which crosses his path. He also is fully willing to murder his way through opponents as a pirate but has issues with conquering a nation. He sleeps with other women regularly but expects his partners to be faithful. In short, he's very much the model fo a lower-class lout.

    I recommend it for fans of superhero fiction and sci-fi.


1 comment:

  1. It sounds awesome, I just wish he would release an audiobook version so I could take try the series out