It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's....Ordinary Boy?!
June 10, 2013
Superman is coming back to movie screens this week, and his return is highly anticipated by DC Comics fans around the world. And that speeding bullet from Krypton is certainly not alone. Every time you turn around, there is a new movie or television show focusing on yet another figure from what we used to call comics (now graphic novels). Batman, Spider-man, and Iron Man are all regularly soaring about our screens. Watching them is so much fun because the characters are extraordinary and unique. But what if everyone was a superhero? Your teacher, your parents, your best friends, even the guy who runs the newsstand? Everyone that is, except you.
In the hilarious series, The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy by William Boniface, O.B. (Ordinary Boy) is faced with the humiliation of being the only one in Superopolis born without a superpower. The son of Thermo (who exudes tremendous heat through his hands) and Snowflake (who can freeze things with just a look), his lack of a superhuman talent is an embarrassing burden. However, he tries to cope the best way he can using his own innate intelligence as he leads his friends, the Junior Leaguers, in their quest to stop the evil doings of villains like Professor Brain Drain and the Red Menace. All while trying to keep up with his school work.
Of course, battling the dastardly villains is difficult enough. It makes it even harder when you must deal the good guys as well. Specifically, The Amazing Indestructo and his incompetent League of Ultimate Goodness. As a tremendous fan of the famous Amazing Indestructo, O.B. sadly learns that sometimes heroes really don’t live up to hype. In other words, don’t believe everything you see on television. The role model he looked up to his whole life turns out to be a narcissistic coward who would rather participate in a staged publicity event than save the world. Actually, this is probably a good thing since he couldn’t rescue a goldfish, much less the world.
Ordinary Boy also has The New New Crusaders to worry about. These are a group of aging heroes who are attempting to take the place of The League of Ultimate Goodness by resurrecting their former organization, The New Crusaders. Leading this group is O.B.’s well-meaning, yet fairly incompetent, father. As much as they truly wish to help, the New New Crusaders can sometimes be as much of a problem as The League. The only good news is that at least they are coming from a desire to do right, not a desire to be a picture on a cereal box.
Through one misadventure after another, O.B. learns that it is not what abilities you are born with that matter, but how you use what you have that counts. This is especially driven home to him in the third book in the series, The Great Powers Outage. When the entire population begins to lose their special abilities, O.B.’s lack of those abilities puts him at an advantage. Sometimes knowing how to be a regular person can be an asset. And it becomes more and more apparent throughout all the stories that O.B. may be even more extraordinary than those around him for the simple fact that he cannot fall back on superpowers and must instead rely on his own intelligence and ingenuity.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy novels are not focused on the angst and tortured pasts of its characters like so many superhero tales of today. They are simply fun adventures that move at a lightening pace and keep you entertained all the way through. Yep, they are cheesy at times, but everyone needs a little cheese in their diet. Actually, they seem to be more in the spirit of how things used to be before comics became graphic novels. Sometimes I think that the superhero tales of today take themselves way too seriously. So, if you are in the mood for a different kind of hero this week, join O.B. and his friends and have a blast. That is after you have got your Superman fix. Check out the trailer for Man of Steel here.
And don’t miss all three books in the Ordinary Boy series:
- The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy: The Hero Revealed
- The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy: The Return of Meteor Boy?
- The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy: The Great Powers Outage