Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain’s Angel Catbird was already a playful throwback to the classical age of superhero comics. So it’s no surprise that it’s made the jump to audiobook and pulled from another hallmark of the Silver Age: The radio play.
Cover art for Angel Catbird’s third volume, The Catbird Roars. Image: Johnnie Christmas (Dark Horse)
Yes, Audible’s adaptation of the three-volume series is less of a direct translation of the book into audio form, and instead plays out like an episode of classic superhero serials such as The Adventures of Superman or The Shadow. There’s a full voice cast (including a chipper radio announcer for the narrator), music, and even faux-commercials that take the animal conservation facts included in the original graphic novels and slot them into the drama, like ad breaks in a radio serial.
It’s just the right amount of cheesy silliness, reflective of the original books’ humorous tone, and a loving nod to a long-forgotten aspect of superhero history. Plus, it’s always great to hear the many absurd and delightful cat-based puns from the comics actually spoken out loud, for full dramatic (and very goofy) effect. The complete play is available to buy on Audible right now, and if you loved the comics, or are just fond of old-school superheroics, it’s definitely worth a listen.