Jayce is a homeless man with a beast inside of him, quite literally. A monster he calls wolf, who keeps him solitary from other people and barely making it day to day. Elsewhere, in a nursing home, a man named Max is looking for Jayce. Or for a way out of his prison, which he thinks he will manage if the son he has never met finds him something he wants.
Brian Cave’s Old School Evil takes a while to get going, but after it gets there it is a wildly fun ride. It exists as a love story to 80s cartoons and it succeeds in that regard. The old supervillains are old, bodies wasting away as they managed to live so long. And their children have suffered, if not directly, than indirectly from the crimes of their fathers’ pasts. It is both realistic and not at the same time.
I personally could have done without all of the rather crude descriptions that made up the first stretch of the book. Not that it shouldn’t have been there, but when there was a lot of explanation about shit and not as much description about the gore that happened later during battles I felt a bit lopsided.
Still, the entire book was an introduction to a new creation of a super group. Not really in the way any of the old cartoons would have done it, but as Jayce kept mentioning throughout the book, a lot of what old supervillains were trying to do in the world actually was ridiculous and it wasn’t just because cartoons could be made of it.
I didn’t fall in love with all of the characters, but I did indeed like them a fair bit and wouldn’t mind picking up another novel to see where it all goes.