Forget the image of the tight-lipped, bun-haired, aged, school-marmish librarian. She's gone. If the Shifted Librarian hasn't sufficiently stuffed her worn, tattered butt into the relic bin, Rex Libris will drive a stake through the old stereotype's barely beating heart.
Rex Libris, the invention of illustrator-turned-comic book creator James Turner, is, according to the cover of my book, "The World's Favorite Kick-Ass Sesquepedalian Librarian." I don't know what "sesquepedalian" means because it's not in Mirriam-Webster's dictionary. "Sesquipedalian" is there, though: it means "having many syllables" or "given to the use of long words." Those definitions make some sense given that our hero, Rex, is incredibly well read and tosses out words like "floccinaucinihilipilification" willy-nilly.
Maybe that's because he's kind of old: he was born in ancient Greece (or was it Rome?). With his dark suit and tie, thick, dark-rimmed, bottle glasses and puffed-up torso, he looks like Clark Kent on steroids. But he's no alien in tights; he's the weapon-toting, universe-trotting, several-thousand-year-old head librarian at Middleton Public Library. His job: to protect the collected knowledge of civilization by tracking down every last overdue book, no matter how many galaxies away it might be or how strong the forces of evil or ignorance that stand in his way. Or even how much brute force he has to use.
Volume I of Rex Libris follows Rex on his quest to recover an overdue copy of Bertrand Russell's Principia Mathematica from supreme warlord Vaglox of the planet Benzine Five. Rex accepts his assignment, given by his boss, the ancient Egyptian god Thoth, who lives in the bowels of the library, by saying, "You got it boss. I'll get the book back an' give him a few lumps for good measure." Lucky for me my librarian still just charges a fine for overdue books.
But by this point we already know that Rex is no ordinary librarian. In fact, Chapter One opens with Rex doing battle with a demon spirit samurai who has come to the library looking for the book, Evil Made Easy. Rex will let the samurai read the book in the library but won't let him leave with it. Why? Because the samurai has no library card, of course! A fight ensues, naturally, and Rex lures the samurai to the mythology section where he picks up Demon Samurai and How to Defeat Them, in which he learns the best way to, well, defeat the demon samurai.
Knowledge is, indeed, power.
Over the next four chapters, we follow Rex on his quest to reclaim the overdue book. Along the way he reveals his weakness for butter tarts, uses crystals to teleport to Benzine system, jumps from orbit to the planet below, frees electric snowman-like beings from tyranny, and ultimately battles Vaglox himself.