“Super Sales on Super Heroes” by William D. Arand is a startling and original take on a superhero story. Because our hero Felix is not a hero at all. He’s morally ambiguous and self-serving to the point that he’s arguably a villain. But man, is he an interesting character to follow on his adventure.


In a corrupt world where superpowers are fairly common, Felix has the peculiar ability to magically upgrade things that he personally owns. But when he tries to buy a crate of a low-value mineral to turn it into gold, he gets the surprise of his life. Due to a black-market mix up, Felix ends up with a box containing a horribly mutilated female superhero. And despite her grisly injuries, she’s still alive.


It should be noted that “Super Sales on Super Heroes” is not a story for the weak of heart or stomach. There are brutal descriptions of torture and physical abuse. And there’s the small matter of our protagonist being a slave owner. Because, as noted earlier, Felix can only improve things that he owns. Since he technically “owns” the various abused supergirls in his keep, he is able to not only heal them, but juice up their unique powers.


That’s the hook into much of this book’s most interesting worldbuilding. Though Felix owns his “slaves,” he does tend to treat those under his control with a certain amount of respect. Rather than being captives, his charges begin to work together to build their own organization under his direction. And that turns this book into a progression fantasy on steroids. 


Though the subject matter can get pretty grim (as in, Donner-Party-level grim), “Super Sales on Super Heroes” is an interesting fable, using super-slavery as a metaphor for the 9-to-5 slavery of working a soul-sucking job. It makes you ask yourself, “Is my boss worse than a literal supervillain?”


Read the book!


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