Book Review: Who Can Save Us Now?

Book Review: Who Can Save Us Now?

Edited by Owen King and John McNally
Illustrations by Chris Burnham
Written by Various Writers
408 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4165-6644-1

Who Can Save Us Now? is an anthology of original superheros and supervillian short stories. The stories, twenty-two in all, range from a few pages to more than a score of pages in length, and, as much as the story length, vary wildly in style, content and approach.

Who Can Save Us Now? tells the stories of new superheroes, ones not tied to any comic book company, but rather grounded in the real world. The stories contained are well selected, each given a single, inviting illustration, and grouped and arranged in such a way that would radio station music programmers jealous. It is published by Free Press, a division of Simon and Schuster.

The closest analogue the stories in this book have to previously released material in any format is the movie Mystery Men. The stories vary wildly in tone and style, but they are all grounded in a very human, realistic (if one can say that about comic book style superheroes) ground level approach.

Whether one likes the approach a particular writer has taken, they are all original, enthusiastically written stories by individuals that have honed their craft. They are very human stories, even if all the heroes aren’t human. Very few of the stories are written for straight comedy, in fact very few of the stories are written with one specific purpose in mind, but many of them do lace their stories, whether tragic, adventurous or just plain strange, with humor.

The one thing that kept me reading, story after story, was the originality. A few of the stories are very different takes of well know characters (with the serial numbers filed off), approaches that show a very different possibility of what happens behind the mask and during off hours.

Most of the stories are the products of imaginations unbounded by the concerns of modern comic publishing, and written outside the echo chamber of the mainstream comic book market. Ideas that wouldn’t launch a movie or a merchandise line, but make the very most of the few pages they get.

If your superheroics have to be done by overly muscled characters in spandex fighting each other while posing gratuitously, or if you have to have pictures with your stories, this may not be your proverbial cup of tea.

However, if you want a fresh, imaginative, unique and often amusing stories featuring down to earth superheroes in a modern day setting, this book will certainly satisfy. Who Can Save Us Now? offers the reader a look into some of the untapped potential of the genre, and have your horizons broadened a little, pick this book up.

Who Can Save Us Now? is recommended reading.

Note: This book was sent to The Revolution for review by the publisher. If you would like your material reviewed, please email us at [email protected] and we can make arrangements to review your material also. We will give your material a timely and fair review.