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Literature / They Call Me the Night Howler!

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The Goosebumps SlappyWorld book where a kid becomes a superhero.

Mason Brady loves comics and comic book superheroes. One day, while visiting a comics museum, Mason meets one of his heroes, The Night Howler. He's tired of being a hero and wants to retire. He thinks Mason should take up the role of Night Howler, and eventually he accepts. But his new role comes with more dangers than he realized, as he must now fight crime and powerful supervillains to save his town.


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This book provides examples of:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Stella, who annoys Mason by trying to copy him all the time.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Just like the previous Dr. Maniac appearance, the fact that he was created by Robby Schwartz is ignored.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The costume the protagonist gets works this way. An interesting spin is that the powers go away if he reveals his secret identity to anyone else.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his name and his costume reflecting it, The Night Howler is a hero.
  • Face–Heel Turn: At the end, Mason accepts the role of Dr. Maniac after failing to be a good hero.
  • Food-Based Superpowers: The villain Blue Strawberry has the power to make it rain food.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: One of the Night Howler's powers is the ability to cloud someone's mind so that they forget whatever they just saw. It can also allow you to do general mind control and they'll forget they got the idea from you.
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  • Legacy Character: The Night Howler himself, who passes the role down to Mason. And in the end it turns out Dr. Maniac is one too, offering Mason the role, who accepts.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: While Dr. Maniac is trying to mess with Mason, he suggests they may all just be characters in a novel, with no control over their actions.
  • Something Completely Different: While previous comic book centric books at least attempted to have mild horror elements, due to still being about normal kids facing supervillains, this is closer to traditional superhero fare as a kid has super powers to deal with the villains.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There's mention at the beginning of the book of a superhero with two heads called Double Header. There actually is a superhero with that name who has two heads, a reject of the Legion of Super-Heroes who later joined the Legion of Substitute-Heroes.
    • During one of Slappy's interruptions, he jokes Mason should start calling himself "Captain Underpants", then wonders if that has been taken.
  • Super Zeroes: Barton sees himself this way, as he isn't able to defeat Dr. Maniac on his own, and kept failing. This is why he becomes the new Dr. Maniac at the end.
  • Villain Team-Up: Dr. Maniac teams up with some other villains to hold Barton off, such as one called the Blue Strawberry.
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