Tony Noland’s Verbosity’s Vengeance is a comic book wrapped in novel form. It has the fast pace of a comic, the vivid action sequences, and the larger than life challenges and heroism. But, by having it in novel form, all of the characters and events unfold with far greater depth and dimensionality. Even the struggles of a burgeoning super hero class are illustrated by the mayor of Lexicon City not just having to have a specific super hero liaison on his staff, but in the difficulty of keeping the position staff. It is also a lens through which we can observe so some of the “little things” that super heroes would have to do in order to maintain their air of mystery, and shedding some light on the Pandora’s Box which is opened when someone decides to take on a secret identity, and the many layers of secrecy that are required.
It is this last aspect which gives Noland’s work so much power, as we see the strain that living a double life takes on our hero, Alex Graham, aka The Grammerian. I started the book a bit skeptical as to how words and grammar could be morphed into a super-power, but Noland deftly pulls it off with far less suspension of disbelief than say, a radioactive spider bite or bursts of gamma radiation. Indeed the science Noland uses is far closer to actual physics than comic book physics, and it makes the story that much more interesting and complex. That it is only $.99 is also further proof that we aren’t currently living in a Golden Age of SciFi, so much as a Platinum one!