If there is any area it would be logical for tie-in books to excel in it’s in lesser known characters. Think about the space they provide. I don’t need a mountain of exposition on Batman to enjoy a novel about him. A novel about Doctor Fate would be far more useful. I get why there aren’t more novels on unfamiliar heroes, they don’t sell, but it’s a wasted opportunity.
Or it would be. This is my fourth review of a Marvel/Aconyte book and so far 3 of the 4 have centered on characters with much lower profiles. Aconyte has done novels on Rogue, Doctor Doom, and Domino with Dark Avengers getting an eagerly anticipated book this summer. But mostly we’re seeing the spotlight shine on characters who need it.
Elsa Bloodstone shouldn’t be though. She’s a badass character, a member of a line of monster hunters. She’s been in titles such as the beloved by all who read it Nextwave, Monsters Unleashed, and the really underrated Battleworld: Marvel Zombies miniseries. She’s a tough as nails heroine who deserves far more than her fairly scant appearances.
So let’s look at Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest by Cath Lauria, a rare solo story for the character. In fact it’s only her second name in the title story and third where she’s directly centered.
Here’s the plot synopsis from the publisher: “Elsa Bloodstone just can’t catch a break. She’s barely finished shutting down a hive of ratmen when a special ops squad turns up guns blazing – and they’re shooting at her! It’s nothing a good grenade can’t sort out though. When Elsa returns home, she discovers an unexpected guest claiming to be her long-lost sister, seeking her own stolen Bloodstone shard. The Bloodstone is the secret to Elsa’s superhuman powers, and a shard in villainous hands is seriously bad news. Cue globetrotting adventures full of monster-smashing. But danger stays one step ahead of them as Elsa realizes her sister isn’t quite what she seems, and an old enemy with a secret about her family’s past could overturn everything Elsa’s ever believed.”
We are in a mountain of tie-in tropes today but thankfully good ones. There’s a lost sister (who isn’t what she seems but not in the usual way.) There’s a villain connected to the past, a good one too. There’s a solid fetch quest plot. This is as well built as a tie-in on a new character gets.
And that’s a good review of the book. This is a solid tale through the Marvel monster side. But it hit me as I was reading it this is a bit bare bones. It does the trick but it doesn’t have the flourish I might expect. There’s none of the style of the X-Men books from Aconyte. Don’t get me wrong. It’s well written. It’s just that it’s merely good enough but kinda generic.
I think that’s down to the challenge of writing about a newer heroine. Elsa Bloodstone doesn’t have the material for an endless well of lore. There’s not many more appearances than you’d find in a standard Epic Collection It is a limiting factor for her book. Almost every shard of her lore is here. And while I dig the character, she lacks say the mental health problems Nadia Van Dyne had to give the Unstoppable Wasp book distinction. This is just a good monster book.
However that’s enough. This isn’t a messy read. It’s a solid down the line read. I definitely recommend it. It lands May 4.
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