WELCOME TO THE SECOND “GOLDEN AGE” OF SUPERHEROES AND HEROINES
Superheroes have come a long way since the “Man of Steel” was introduced in 1938. This brilliant new collection features original stories and novellas from some of today’s most exciting voices in comics, science fiction, and fantasy. Each marvelously inventive tale shows us just how far our classic crusaders have evolved—and how the greatest of heroes are, much like ourselves, all too human.
In “Call Her Savage,” MARJORIE M. LIU enters the dark heart of a fierce mythic heroine who is forced, by war, to live up to her own terrible legend.
In “A to Z in the Ultimate Big Company Superhero Universe (Villains Too),” BILL WILLINGHAM presents a fully-realized vision of a universe where epic feats and tragic flaws have transformed the human race.
In “Vacuum Lad,” STEPHEN BAXTER unveils the secret origins of the first true child of the space age—and disproves the theory that “nothing exists in a vacuum.”
In “Head Cases,” PETER DAVID and KATHLEEN DAVID blast through the blogosphere to expose the secret longings of a Lonely Superhero Wife.
In “The Non-Event,” MIKE CAREY removes the gag order on a super-thief named Lockjaw . . . and pries out a confession of life-altering events.
Also includes stories by Mike Baron • Mark Chadbourn • Paul Cornell • Daryl Gregory • Joseph Mallozzi • James Maxey • Ian McDonald • Chris Roberson • Gail Simone • Matthew Sturges . . . and an introduction by Lou Anders, “one of the brightest and best of the new generation of science fiction editors” (Jonathan Strahan, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year).
Anders (Fast Forward) delivers an ambitious collection of superhero tales that provide top-notch plots and characterizations while honoring their four-color roots. In Daryl Gregory's superbly metafictional "Message from the Bubble Gum Factory," a former sidekick finally realizes the broader implications of superheroes. Stephen Baxter nicely applies hard science to the futuristic "Vacuum Lad." Gail Simone's "Thug" and Mike Carey's "The Non-Event" bolster predictable plots with solid characters and prose. Joseph Mallozzi's "Downfall" and Marjorie M. Liu's "Call Her Savage" embrace comics cliche s and make them both more complex and more entertaining. Only Mike Baron's dull, heavy-handed, and predictable "Avatar" stands out as noticeably weak, though Peter and Kathleen David's witty "Head Cases" feels more like the opening of a novel than a complete story. Overall, Anders has assembled a solid anthology that provides first-rate entertainment.