This is David Solomons’ third novel in a series that describes the adventures of a rather unfortunate comic book super-fan. Luke had only just come to terms with his nerdy brother being turned into a superhero (while Luke was in the toilet) when his gym teacher emerged as an alien overlord and, in this third episode, things don’t get any easier!
Fans of superhero comics and films will understand that sequels always require new heroes with new powers and new evil mega-villains for them to defeat – and My Evil Twin is a Supervillain has plenty of both. Luke thought there could be no bigger source of jealousy than his brother being granted superpowers. However, his self-esteem is really pushed to breaking point when his doppelganger from a parallel universe arrives. He’s called Stellar, everyone loves him, and Luke is certain he must be evil.
Stellar is a formidable opponent indeed. He can read minds, lift buildings and is somehow able to bring forth objects from other dimensions through holes in the sky (though this does result in a strange smell of chips and the unexpected arrival of a rather dangerous gerbil). Worst of all, though, Stellar has everyone fooled that he is the real Luke.
Though Luke lacks his twin’s ability to fly, and to summon things into existence from thin air, he has one thing that Stellar does lack: a close team of friends whose relationship is unbreakable – stronger than any Kryptonite. Just like in previous episodes, there is always hope when friends work together, and, in this third novel, Luke needs the support of his clumsy pal, Serge and the animal-loving Lara more than ever. The end of the world is nigh, very nigh indeed, and to find its salvation, Luke may be forced to look beyond the edges of the universe.
Solomons has become a master of this genre. Despite featuring the incredibly complex themes of parallel universes, multiverses and alternate realities, he somehow manages to steer young readers through the narrative, without ever dumbing things down or oversimplifying. Solomons is also, clearly, a super-fan of the sci-fi genre himself, and there are repeated references to popular (and obscure) comic book characters. There is also a great deal of humour in the story. There are plenty of jokes and humorous observations about the challenges of juggling homework, hormones and saving the world. However, the book is more of a tribute than a parody and will be greatly enjoyed by any fan of DC comics or Marvel films.