Friend Or Foe by Samantha Bryant is a collection of 4 short stories that bridges the gaps in the menopausal superhero novel series. In comics they sometimes have story arcs that last several issues but sometimes they will have a one shot between stories. This book is all about giving you little details that you didn’t get in the novels.
The first story set before book 1 is “Intervention” and it goes back in time to when Patricia and Cindy Lu were friends. You could say it’s an orgin story for Cindy as we see what made her decide to be a mad scientist. In this one you feel sympathy for her but in the future you see her as caring more about science and progress than people. The theme here could be that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. You also see Patricia already acting like a hero.
The second story takes place between the first and second novel. Its called “Friend of Foe” and gets into what happened with Cindy and the other characters right after the battle that ended book one. I liked that this story focused on Cindy and her reactions to all the changes that the characters have gone through. I found myself debating if I should feel sympathy for Cindy or not, while she shows that she is working for a greater good, she also shows that she doesn’t mind using people to get to where she wants to be. You also get a good glimpse of the rift that is forming between the other characters.
Story three is “O’ Scaly Night” and it follows Patricia on a Christmas Day adventure. If you want a good and simple superhero story this one fits the bill. This tale gets into what goes on in Patricia’s mind and you get to follow her as she puts her skills to use. One thing that I took away from this story is that out of all the menopausal superheroes, Patricia has done the best job of accepting who she is and playing the hero role.
The Final story takes place after the third book in the series and is called “The Right Thing.” I don’t want to give any spoilers away on this one because if you haven’t read the three novels in the series you would be lost. What I will say though is that it’s about a damaged friendship and what happens when someone’s former friend needs to be rescued. The main idea is if you’re a hero would you still be willing to help a former friend that you don’t care for anymore? Friend Or Foe is a good read if you are a fan of the menopausal superhero series. The stories are short and give you info that you won’t know from the novels. It also could be a good way to get to know the characters if you are new to the series and don’t mind a few spoilers.