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Soon I Will be Invincible Paperback – June 10, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
"This morning on planet Earth, there are one thousand, six hundred, and eighty-six enhanced, gifted, or otherwise superpowered persons. Of these, one hundred and twenty-six are civilians leading normal lives. Thirty-eight are kept in research facilities funded by the Department of Defense, or foreign equivalents. Two hundred and twenty-six are aquatic, confined to the oceans. Twenty-nine are strictly localized--powerful trees and genii loci, the Great Sphinx, and the Pyramid of Giza. Twenty-five are microscopic (including the Infinitesimal Seven). Three are dogs; four are cats; one is a bird. Six are made of gas. One is a mobile electrical effect, more of a weather pattern than a person. Seventy-seven are alien visitors. Thirty-eight are missing. Forty-one are off-continuity, permanent emigres to Earth's alternate realities and branching timestreams.
"Six hundred and seventy-eight use their powers to fight crime, while four hundred and forty-one use their powers to commit them. Forty four are currently confined in Special Containment Facilities for enhanced criminals. Of these last, it is interesting to note that an unusually high proportion have IQs of 300 or more--eighteen to be exact. Including me.
"I don't know why it makes you evil. It's just what you find at the extreme right edge of the bell curve, the one you'd get if six billion minds took an intelligence test and you looked at the dozen highest scores.Read more ›
The best decision that Grossman made was to focus the story on one super villain and one superhero. By focusing the story so narrowly, Grossman is able to infuse a humanity into these characters that one wouldn't typically associate with archetypes. Narrowing the story also gives Grossman the freedom to explore and poke fun at some of the more hallowed "sacred cows" in comic book storylines, like why do super villains always lose to superheroes, no matter how smart/strong/prepared they are?
While he's certainly willing to overturn the medium's conventions, Grossman clearly has a fondness for the genre. As a result, the skewering never morphs into cynical satire; but, retains an enthusiasm that's completely appropriate for the style. That enthusiasm infects the writing with a playfulness and humor that makes reading Soon I Will Be Invincible a pleasure.
Soon I Will Be Invincible reads so well that it's easy to forget that writing a semi-serious book about a subject as caricatured as superheroes is not an easy task. Consequently, Grossman deserves a lot of credit for creating a wonderful homage to comic books that retains the wide-eyed innocence of the medium while incorporating the humanistic touches of the genre's current writers.
Some capepunk stories are quite optimistic like Wearing the Cape, others pessimistic like Sad Wings of Destiny, and a few are a mix like Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. Soon I Will Be Invincible is one of the latter. It presents a world exactly like the kind in comic books but pulls back the curtain to reveal how much goes on to make the stories in superhero stories tick.
Half of the book is from the perspective of Doctor Impossible, an aging middle-aged supervillain who is halfway between Lex Luthor and Doctor Doom. The world's smartest man, he suffers Malign Hyper-Cognition Disorder (i.e. he's an evil genius), which compels him to try and take over the world. He's aware, on some level, all of his plans are going to fail but is compelled by his ridiculously potent intellect that he must try anyway. It's, in a weird way, one of the more authentic portrayals of mental illness I've encountered in fiction as it is treated with sympathy and care despite the utter ridiculousness of the condition.
The book gives a sympathetic take to its lead even if it never shies away from the fact his actions are self-destructive and foolhardy. He doesn't even have anything he wants to do once he takes over the world, it's merely something which he must do. This, of course, is part of the book's delightful out-of-universe subtext.
Doctor Impossible tries to take over the world because he is a comic-book villain and that is what comic-book villains do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So clever! Grossman peppers this novel with snippets of information that turn the reader into a participant in this fight between sorta-good and in-the-neighborhood-of-evil. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Noelle
I learned about this book via the webcomic "Unshelved," a library-themed comic that regularly features new and interesting books. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kenya Starflight
Soon I Will be Invincible OK; I have never reviewed a superhero novel, possibly because I didn’t think there were such things. This is one, however. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Peltier Cooler
Glad to someone is writing great superhero fiction OTHER than Marvel and DC.Published 3 months ago by Everyone
The Marvel and DC universes are so large and complex, and I don't know them. Or whatever little I ever did know, I don't remember. Read morePublished 3 months ago by R. Wolfe
If you're looking for a superhero book full of snark (and let's be honest, you should be) this is perfect. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jeremy Flagg
Great story; a little slow going at first, but I love the characters.
Can't wait for Austin Grossman to write a sequel!