If you – or your son or daughter – love superheroes but aren’t finding the stories you want in comics right now, you should check out Michael Carroll’s series of young adult novels about a brave new world of teenage superheroes.
Because Carroll’s books – some imported from the UK – have appeared in slightly different form and, apparently, under different titles, I’d suggest you start where I did, with “Superhuman,” his novel about a group of young heroes who assemble to fight a threat from the distant past.
In Carroll’s world, super-powered individuals, both heroes and villains, have been a presence on Earth for years. But at some point many of the adult superheroes disappear, just as a new generation of heroes are discovering their powers, ala “The X-Men.”
With little help from experienced heroes, the teenagers – many of them still figuring out their powers – must stop a group of evildoers who have brought to the present a super-powered, invincible warrior from thousands of years in the past.
Follow-ups to “Superhuman,” including “The Ascension” and “Stronger,” continue the story of the newly super teens. And earlier books, grouped in a series called “The Quantum Prophecy,” explore many of the same characters and situations in interesting variations.
Carroll’s books have some humor but play their stories straight, with real, dire consequences and cliff-hanging action.