SO! EXCELLENT news for readers who also happen to be fans of the massive upswell of superhero movies that is currently taking place. We’ve got movies flying at us for the next, oh, forever years, and in 2017 they’ll be hitting the shelves of our beloved bookstores! Random House, DC and Warner Bros. have partnered with four stellar YA authors to bring Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman and Catwoman to life.
Wonder Woman is up first to bat in August 2017, to be penned by Leigh Bardugo, followed by Batman/Marie Lu, Superman/Matt de la Peña and Catwoman/Sarah J. Maas (in that order). The original announcement was made March 31, but I just saw it in Sarah’s email newsletter.
If you aren’t familiar with these New York Times bestselling authors, I would suggest changing that ASAP. Marie Lu’s Legend series has themes that I could see translating well to Batman. Main lady June Iparis comes from the elite of society but has her eyes opened to the injustice of her world, not unlike Batman’s vigilante crusade. Sarah J. Maas seems perfect to give us Catwoman, if her storyweaving of assassin Celaena Sardothien in Throne of Glass is any indication. I’m not deeply familiar with Catwoman lore, but Maas certainly knows how to deliver a smart, strong, sassy heroine who isn’t afraid to carve out a place for herself and has a certain disregard for the rules.
I only know Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone) by sight of the stunning covers, but have heard enough about them to trust in her ability. I’m sadly not at all familiar with Matt de la Peña’s work, but if Random House says he’s in the same league as the others, then fine by me.
These DC characters aren’t the only ones getting the YA treatment lately. Marvel is finally catching wind that people love Black Widow and want to see this often-sidelined character brought to the forefront, as so often happens with the standout female in a male-dominated franchise. I haven’t read Black Widow: Forever Red, but I’ve seen it in all the major stores and not just relegated to some back corner. Several of my close friends also highly recommend Lost Stars, set in the Star Wars universe.
I’m super pumped to see YA books added to the expansion of franchises that have gone from comic books to movies to TV and back again. Using well-established authors gives the public confidence that these will be quality novels, accessible to everyone without needed to delve into 850 back issues of the comics. Hopefully readers of these authors will receive these franchised installments with excitement, and by counterpoint, introduce members of the film and comic fandoms to some of the great names in YA. Suit up! Light the Bat signal! Which one are you most excited for?
Image credit: Penguin Random House