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The Wraith: A Superhero Novel [Paperback]

Frank Dirscherl

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2005
In a world not far removed from our own, a city lies ravaged. Crime overruns its streets; its citizens are helpless. Crimelord Robert Latham, to the world-at-large a legitimate businessman, holds the city in his sway. Fear and intimidation rule throughout. One man stands above the rest, willing to fight for freedom. That man is The Wraith. The Wraith, the city's bogeyman, is known to exist only by a very few, and seen by even fewer. Those that do know of him, especially Latham, know to fear him, for his fury at those who commit evil has no bounds. By day, the Wraith is the reclusive billionaire Paul Sanderson, a man more mysterious and less seen than his night-time counterpart. Sensing the desperation of Latham and that his own time may be limited, Sanderson readies a replacement, a man deemed worthy to continue in his stead, whether that man likes it or not. That man is Michael Reeve, an honest cop, someone similarly fighting for justice in a city where very little justice remains. It's a struggle for Reeve to come to terms with his new identity and the destiny handed to him by someone he has only heard of but never seen. Those around him are pulled, unwittingly and seeringly, into his nightmare. In desperation, Latham calls in someone to finish the job, to ensure Metro City finally becomes his, completely and utterly. Enter the Cobra, a creature whose origins have been lost in the mists of time. A creature whose sole purpose in life is to destroy-and conquer. Can the new Wraith save his city even while he struggles to save his own soul? "I love the coloring job and specially the 'glowing' eyes on the chest of the character." - Guillermo del Toro, Director, Blade II & Hellboy (on The Wraith comic book) "I liked the story a's a very strong debut." - Steve Englehart, Writer of Detective Comics & The Avengers

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Coscom Entertainment (Nov. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897217285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897217283
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,301,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MODERN PULP WITH A FLAIR Jan. 20 2006
By Ron Fortier - Published on
The Wraith is a wonderful throwback to the purple prose of the bloody pulps with a hero clearly descendant from the likes of the Shadow and the Spider. A fast, action packed thrill ride with great character, both noble and villainous. Slam-bang kick off to a super new series. One I'm anxious to follow.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wraith - what a read! July 17 2006
By Bobby Nash - Published on
I became familiar with Frank Dirscherl's The Wraith from the comic book of the same name. When the first Wraith novel came out I just had to read it. I was not disappointed. The Wraith is a fast paced thrill-ride. I'm looking forward to the upcoming sequel.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Super Reader July 31 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on
A short, pulp, superhero novel. Metro City is a worse-than-Gotham cesspit apparently built for political reasons. Michael Reeve is an honest cop.

A confrontation between The Wraith, and a crimelord goes wrong, and The Wraith ends up on his doorstep.

Next thing, he wakes up in a different house, in a different body - and Reeve is then apparently the wraith. Presumably transferred by the mystical 'Eyes of Judgement' amulet. The Wraith is a Batman-level hero, with this added Ghost Rider/Spirit of Vengeance power to make people experience all the evil they have done.

There is a grieving girlfriend, and some other honest cops out to solve his disappearance.

When The Wraith appears again, crimelord Latham hires a super-assassin to deal with him. Nasty methods has this man, as he starts an assassination campaign to bring out The Wraith, and kills anybody he feels like.

Amusingly, The Cobra has a henchman named Khan.

There is a final desperate confrontation, on an airship.

Clearly more adventures to come wit how this is set up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Oct. 31 2005
By Jennifer Kroll - Published on
This is one of the best novels of its kind. The author puts just the right amount of action, drama, romance, and even a little comedy into this amazing novel. The difference between this superhero and others is that he is not invincible which makes it more exciting. I can't wait for the sequel to this book, the ending makes you crave more and I found myself glued to my seat unable to put the book down for the amazing climax to the story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hybrid superhero pulp fun June 6 2012
By J. Bunting - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Are you a fan of classic pulp characters like the Shadow, the Spider and Doc Savage, as well as comic characters like the Batman and the Phantom? If the answer is yes, then you're going to love The Wraith. What works so well for me with this character is it borrows my favorite elements from the classic pulp characters that normally only work as period pieces, while blending elements of the comic-book fantasy elements (akin to the wonderful 1970s Batman stories). Throw in some James Bond gadget moments, and it somehow works in a contemporary setting.

The story of the Wraith takes place in a fictional American metropolis called Metro City, described in the first page of the novel as "[a] hothouse of evil an corruption." There is only one man who stands a chance of saving this city from itself and delivering it's decent citizens from a gruesome fate: the Wraith, Dread Avenger of the Underworld!

The novel is well paced and is split into two parts. The first part chronicles an origin story of sorts. Without giving too much away, it is definitely an origin story, but a certain plot device of this origin story is deftly woven in ingeniously executed in such a way to avoid the lengthy set-up pitfalls that often times have to come with origin stories. There's no long lead in, no long wait for the Wraith to appear.

The second part shows the Wraith facing off against his greatest enemy to date, the fearsome Cobra. The insidious plans of this nefarious and deadly figure seem to spell certain doom for the city and it's watchful protector.

The first time I read this novel was when it was originally released. After a few years, I found my way back to the character's website, [...], and saw that more adventures had been written. Remembering the first novel fondly, I placed the order for the remaining books and freshened up on the character by reading it a second time, and it holds up. I've already cracked open his second adventure, "Valley of Fear" (Amazon review to follow) and this novel seems like it may surpass the first.

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