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Masked Paperback – July 20, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
"Cleansed and Set in Gold" by Matthew Sturges
A reservist member of the League of Heroes, named Wildcard because his powers are "variable", finds himself at the center of an ongoing conflict that killed the supposedly immortal hero Veraine. I couldn't quite guess the trick to Wildcard's powers. The trick is disturbing, though in all honesty I see the merit in it. While the basic premise of the story is one that floods comics on a monthly basis (uber-powerful enemy kills one of the greats and everyone else has to figure out how to stop it), the delivery is more than worth it. Wildcard felt realistic, like an ordinary guy who just stumbled into this hero gig. I did not guess how he resolved the reporter thing, or how he came to terms with his powers.
"Where Their Worm Dieth Not" by James Maxey
Death is as commonplace to heroes as rebirth is. But sometimes the knowledge that you are one of the few who can--and has--returned from death multiple times can be more torturous than anything else. Oh this story made me tear up. It hit home a lot of pertinent facts about superheroes and villains--the whole game can be very like the myth of Sisyphus. While death for most people is the final act, how often has Superman or Cyclops or any hero been brought back to life through some weird invented excuse. I guess that's part of the charm, good will always rise again.Read more ›
It seems we have created a sub-cottage industry to the original super hero comic book trade. This has meant more original efforts that move the genre forward. Take into consideration the movies Hancock, Unbreakable and The Incredibles, Michael Chabon's Pulitzer-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay, Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman, and one will see that characters in bright tights and capes have evolved.
And to my surprise, while reading this collection, I read a story in the February 26, 2011 edition of The Wall Street Journal called, Bam! Pow! Superhero Groups Clash In an Epic Battle of Good vs. Good. It covers the true story of individuals dressing up as superheroes in the Seattle area (among them Phoenix Jones - Guardian of Seattle, Zetaman, Knight Owl, Dark Guardian, and Mr. Raven Blade). And like the stories in Masked these real-life characters are revealed to have conflicts amongst themselves. Life imitating art indeed.
This collection has a dark and deep tone that appeals. The stories are all highly original and cover a range of subjects that add reality to the unreal.Read more ›
Cleansed and Set in Gold by Matthew Sturges (writer of JACK OF FABLES) 9/10 - A B-rated superhero named "Wildcard" (for his ability to take on the powers of other heroes, seemingly at random) must fight alongside his peers against The Ghoul King, an ostensibly indestructible villain who is mowing down everyone in his path. The real story here is not the battle, but the back story behind Wildcard's powers. There is plenty of death and violence in this one. This was a well thought out concise story and Sturges took an unusual twist that I was pleasantly surprised with. I wouldn't mind reading more by him. I was still thinking about the ethical considerations the story leaves you with well after finishing it. I have no idea what the title has to do with the story.
Where Their Worm Dieth Not by James Maxey (Author of the fantasy series Bitterwood (Dragon Age)) 6/10 - The villain Prime Mover is in prison and things go horribly wrong at his trial when he manages to get out of custody. It is up to Retaliator and Atomahawk to stop him. This story had some potential, but was way too confusing and the resolution didn't make much sense to me. I could actually figure out what happened at the very end, despite reading it twice. Additionally, there is a bunch of backstory thrown in that is just way too extraneous. Maxey describes a relationship between Retaliator and Nubile that serves no purpose to assist the story. In this case less would have been more for most of the story, with more exposition needed at the end.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This collection had some nice stories from some authors I had not heard of. It was a nice way to discover their writing and I will check out some f their other works.Published on January 6, 2014 by kris Patterson
Like superheros? Evil vs Good? Comic books? If you answered yes to any of those, you will want to check out Masked! Read morePublished on August 18, 2013 by Wendy L. Hines
This is a great collection of fiction because it uses the basis of superheroes to examine meaningful tips in unexpected ways. Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by Shain Eighmey
An uneven collection of prose superhero stories; none of the stories were terrible, but a lot were pretty pedestrian. Read morePublished on August 7, 2012 by Patrick O'Duffy
I can't go into detail about each story since I don't have time! But there is something for everyone here and no love of superhero stories is required. Read morePublished on August 6, 2011 by TC McCarthy
I agree with other reviewers; very monotonous indeed. Somehow it made me think of reading 20 stories about Aquaman. How much is there to say, really? Read morePublished on July 17, 2011 by Rubik
Superheroes - and supervillains - have always been problematic. They are usually all but impossible to kill, but have a single vulnerability that everyone seems to know about, and... Read morePublished on October 11, 2010 by Terry Weyna
This is an incredible collection of stories. If only the writers of this anthology would have been the writers of the show Heros. Read morePublished on September 26, 2010 by Steven Roy Author of Black Redneck vs. Space Zombies