Have you read the long-running superhero anthology series Wild Cards? Here’s why it trumps the rest of the pack…
5. The Books are Mosaic Novels
First up, Wild Cards is not a series of standard novels but each is a collection of connected short stories by different authors set in the same shared universe – otherwise known as mosaic novels. The series has been incredibly popular with readers over the years and has wracked up a mighty 22 volumes since the first one arrived in 1987.
4. It’s Created by George R.R. Martin
Game of Thrones fans will be interested to know that Wild Cards is another creation of the hit fantasy author. GRRM dreamed up the series in the late 80s as a counterpart to the more black and white superhero comics of the day. Martin went on to edit each book of the series, with co-editor Melinda M. Snodgrass, and contribute many stories over the years.
3. It’s a Mash-up of Superheroes and Alternate History
So what is the actual premise of Wild Cards? Well, in this universe the world made alien contact shortly after WW2 when an alien race tested an experimental virus on Manhattan which resulted in many undergoing bizarre genetic mutations. Similar to the X-Men prequel films or Watchmen, the books delve into the history of a 20th century where superheroes actually existed.
2. A Whole Pack of Ace and Jokers
Those who are affected by the so-called Wild Card virus are split into categories. Those with awesome powers are known as Aces, while those who developed hideous deformities are labelled as Jokers. Occasionally we also meet Deuces, those with unfortunately useless abilities. In the first volume alone, we meet Superman-esque Golden Boy, Croyd Crensen AKA The Sleeper, psychic alien Doctor Tachyon and many more.
1. It’s Being Turned Into a TV Show
What precipitated this post is the recent news that Wild Cards is being brought to the small screen. After the success of GRRM’s Game of Thrones, the proliferation of superheroes around right now and the sheer volume of source material to mine from, the series should be a massive success. Let’s hope the Wilds Cards TV show will turn out to be an ace in the hole.