I’ve been a fan of superhero comics since I was a little kid. I grew up with SpiderSpider and Batman and Superman in my house. Even though I preferred funny animal comics, I read the superhero books and enjoyed them and read all the way through the 70s 80s and 90s. I even read a couple superhero novels over the years.
So when I discovered Mike Stack pole had written a different sort of superhero novel, I had to pick up a copy. It sat in my to read pile waiting to be read. I had been rereading some classic comics and finally decided it was time to read this one.
When I say a different novel I mean different. Sure Batman has the dark and gritty covered, but villains making g plans and posting those plans so heros can bid on what they were going to defend. Heros scoring point to help them grow in popularity. A city that allows crime to happen so heros can save them. Color me curious.
Our hero has no name to start with. He’s had so many identities over that names are interchangeable. He is a hero out of time. 20 years he disappeared only to discover a new reality where thing are allowed to happen.
But he’s not ready to p,any this game. He’s retired. The life he left and the one he came back to are not the same. And someone is trying to break this new system.
Mike does a great job intertwining the tropes of traditional comics and dropping in parody, insight, and a twist all his own. The characters are fun, unpredictable, and wind their way along as best they can. Just when you think the story is going in one direction, BAM! You forced sideways and have to wonder if that was on purpose.
I really enjoyed this book. There were a couple lines that rubbed me wrong, but that could be said of any book. Overall this is a fun and fast read. Highly recommended.
I had read the deluxe edition. What did I get for my extra buck? Oh, just an essay explaining not only the behind the scenes of writing the book but the history, thought process, and little insights that made the story tick.
Do yourself a favor. If you’re a fan of superhero comics and have been looking for a different take, pick up this book and give it a go.