Feb. 17, 2018

Bringing a comic character into prose pulp...

 Nightveil: The Quiet Girls by Barry Reese 

Laura Wright, daughter of a member of the United States Senate, is a masked heroine who originally went under the code name Blue Bulleteer, and later transitioned into Nightveil. The mystic maid is part of a group of superheroines known as the Fem-Force.

I vividly recall the Fem Force, who were ladies who fought crime dressed in clothing that left very little to the imagination. For a teenage boy, that was a draw to sell the comics. But I also remember thinking: “OK, wow, they are sexy! But they couldn’t actually fight in those costumes.” So I was a bit of a realist. So sue me.

When the Blue Bulleter became Nightveil, she actually covered more skin with the new costume. Still, she was drawn, as heroines in comic books usually are, as very sexualized.

As to this book, I have mixed emotions. I am no longer a young man, and I think this book doesn’t actually feel like it is for adults. I am sure that nostalgia will attract readers among the older generation, but it is very juvenile. It also comes across more tongue-in-cheek than serious pulp. It is neither comic book script nor prose novel, it hovers somewhere in between.

That said, I did like the idea of the Quiet Girls. To have as deadly an enemy as Baron Mort totally taken off his guard by such innocent-seeming kids is priceless! They were out and away the best part of the book!

I like Reese’s idea of writing characters that fit the timeline of the pulps. There are many out there that would fit pulp fiction very well. Nightveil could make a good fit for pulp fiction, but this book doesn’t get it for me. Sorry, Barry.

I will give the book three stars for bringing Nightveil into pulp. May further writings by Barry Reese be more in the vein of his Lazarus Gray and The Peregrine.

Quoth the Raven…