The Superheroes Union: Dynama by Ruth Diaz is a superhero romance novel about two women and two children, and protecting and creating family in a world with metahuman powers and supervillains. The story focuses on TJ Gutierrez, single mother and incognito superhero—once Dynama, now Hidden Hand—and Annmarie Smith, non-powered nanny from superhero origins. The story is short but sweet: superhero meets nanny, nanny romances superhero, superhero’s ex and the father of her children breaks out of supervillain prison.
The romance between TJ and Annmarie is sweet, realistic, and fun to read. TJ has her hands full between being a mother and saving the city, hasn’t really dated since she sent her ex to jail, and thinks her attraction to Annmarie, who the Superheroes Union sent to watch her kids, is a bad idea. But Annmarie is great with her kids—very important for a potential love interest for a single mother—cooks for TJ, makes sure she takes care of herself while trying to track her supervillain ex, and generally seduces her.
Written superhero fiction, divorced from graphical narrative, is still an emerging genre. Accordingly, the success of authors writing it varies; but this novel holds up well. Dynama takes place in what I would consider a standard superhero version of modern reality. Strong characters, well-written plot, and sweet and believable romance make this novel worth the read. In addition, the story explores superhero families and children in an intelligent manner. This reviewer finds it refreshing to see narratives about superheroes’ children handled seriously and maturely, considering how often they are fridged, i.e. killed or retconned for drama, in mainstream superhero comics.
Usually at this point in the review, I would go over what problems I had with the book, but Dynama really is a solid, enjoyable story. If I have any objection, it would have to be to its brevity. After seeing Diaz’s handling of the genre, I would like to see more, if not with these characters, then at least in this universe.
If you enjoy romance, superheroes, or both, you should give The Superheroes Union: Dynama a read. It won’t disappoint.