Recently I’ve been on a spree of reading novels with characters that I’m not completely familiar with in order to learn more about them. So when I saw this one-shot novel for the “Illuminati” series from Marvel, I automatically assumed this was the power group that consisted of the greatest minds in the Marvel Universe which had the same name. Alas, I was wrong, but I saw this as an opportunity once again to read what I hoped would be a really good Marvel one-shot!
‘Life Of Crime’ starts with the villain, Titania, being let out of prison. Unfortunately, her husband, the Absorbing Man is still in and Titania pleads with him that when he gets out, they’ll attempt to live a normal life. Whilst Titania searches and gets herself a job, she finds herself in a sticky situation that brings her to the attention of Luke Cage and Iron Fist. She is hastily rescued by “The Hood” who is looking to put together a crew to pull off the heist of a lifetime. Initially, Titania is hesitant, but when the Hood promises to get her husband out, she accepts. The Hood’s plan involves sneaking into Asgard to steal weapons from their armoury and he’s bought together a group of the most obscure villains to pull off the job. However, in order to pull this job off, this group, The Illuminati, need to make some enemies out of friends and friends out of enemies. Their plan looks to be going their way and they manage to sneak into Asgard until a traitor within the group betrays them. Quel surprise! Titania now doubting her involvement in the group is convinced by The Hood to stay when he breaks her husband out of “Pleasant Hill”, the prison experiment by S.H.I.E.L.D. to alter reality and keep villains locked in a false reality. Absorbing Man, still reeling from the effects of that finds himself back in a world where he and his wife are still seen as villains. How will the fiesty and powerful couple continue on? Will they get to live a ‘normal life’?
Once again Marvel has managed to do this remarkable job of making me care about characters that I’ve never heard of and have no interest in whatsoever. Before the novel, I was aware of Absorbing Man but had no idea who Titania was. Even the other D-class villains that make up the rest of the Illuminati were unknown to me. That being said, the novel does an excellent job of portraying what life must be like for some of these villains who don’t choose to live that life always. There are scenes at the beginning of the novel where Titania is struggling to get a job, and her interactions with some of the heroes in the novel show that level of mistrust in her. I thought there was a lot of character development, not only on the part of Titania but also The Hood and some of the other supporting characters.
The artwork for this novel was fairly decent, I didn’t feel at all that I was reading a novel where it was detracting away from the enjoyment of the story. The covers, which were drawn by someone else, were certainly very interesting and of a unique style. Overall, this was a pretty good novel that does well to highlight different aspects of the superhero genre and I wouldn’t have minded if the series had continued!
It’s rare that you are rooting for a villain, but when they’re trying to change their life then I suppose things are different!
Titania. Easily. This girl sucker-punched Thor.
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★½