You know the drill. Whenever something happens in the world of books, our sights and expectations for how large it will grow are usually kept low. It’s not often that a book, TV show, or movie becomes a phenomenon. Sure, we can name names and yell our opinions of whether the MCU is better than DC. But predicting the future of pop culture is quite a daring feat. And that’s why we’re here doing it.
After Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe concluded with Endgame, it seemed like the sun was setting on a glorious franchise. But the sun will rise again, and there is a prime candidate to assume the role of the next pop culture phenomenon.
You may have heard his name before, and you’re sure to hear more of it in the coming years as his popularity grows. Brandon Sanderson — best-selling author of science fiction and fantasy — broke into the superhero genre in 2013 with his book Steelheart, the first in a trilogy called The Reckoners. In this series, people with superpowers aren’t the selfless world-defenders or the cool-guy mechanics that we’ve all been used to; instead, because they’re too much like you and me (imperfect, immature, and susceptible to petty emotions), they use those superpowers for evil and mayhem, causing, as the author stated in his summary of the series, “a superhero apocalypse.” With the end of the world near, the ordinary and superpower-less people are forced to fight back.
Brandon Sanderson has just released Lux, the newest edition of The Reckoners series, which he co-authored with Steven Michael Bohls, on July 22, as an Audible Original novel. It is a standalone edition to the original trilogy that takes place on a floating city in Texas and involves the same premise of supervillain chaos, but with a whole new cast of characters. Despite there being no obvious continuation of the secondary series at this point, author Brandon Sanderson stated that “there’s always another secret,” indicating his intention to push the story further with new chapters in the future.
With four books currently in his superhero series and a high probability of more in the coming years, Brandon Sanderson’s break into the world of superheroes is making headway. What distinguishes this franchise from others like the MCU and DC is that the heroes are not the ones with powers; rather, they are people like us, forced to deal with the dire threat of unrestrained power. With that in mind, The Reckoners and Lux could potentially provide audiences with a new pop culture phenomenon to fill the gap left by the conclusion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Time and the will of us readers will only tell.