Thursday, July 22, 2010

Masked Blog Tour & Contest

Edited by Lou Anders
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Gallery
Available from Amazon

Summary: Fifteen 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.

Superman never faltered, he always knew the right thing to do, and in the end he even got the girl. I like Superman. He's a cool guy. I think however, the imperfections of flawed and sometimes tortured heroes are far more interesting. The popularity of movies like Watchmen, Kick Ass and The Losers makes me think there are many of you who feel the same way. Everything is not black and white because life is complex. I was sent a copy of Masked when I asked to participate in the blog tour for it's release this week. I was only familiar with the writing of Marjorie M. Liu, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The stories in Masked are about flawed heroes who want to do what is right, but find it's not as easy as just putting on the suit.

The stories are all worthy of two or three reads, but I wanted to say a few things about my favorites.

Thug by Gail Simone is about a boy with super strength who's brain is not as strong as his body. It's a compelling, sad and dark story that made me think about much more than superheroes.

Avatar is written by Mike Baron, who raises the question: Why aren't there more good guys willing to go out and clean up the scum of an inner city? We learn about one young man that has a plan that he's worked on for a long time. He knows it will work and we follow him during his first night as an avatar come to life.

Head Cases is written by the husband and wife team of Peter David and Kathleen David. I love this story so much. Quirky superheroes are sitting in a pub trying to figure out their place in life and a few other things. I can't give any more details but it's a must read for those who love dark humor and sarcasm.

Lastly, we have Marjorie M. Liu's contribution Call Her Savage about a superhero called back into duty, faced with those from her past who don't understand why she left in the first place. It's a dark, complex story such as we've come to expect from Ms. Liu. She, as usual, tells a heart wrenching tale through the heroine's eyes. Though it's a short story she manages to get in a couple of twists before the end, which is one thing I always love about Ms. Liu.

Masked is an awesome anthology and fans of movies like Watchmen, Hancock and other darker tales will read it again and again.

It's very cool that I am allowed to give away one copy of Masked. To enter, simply answer my question, and leave an email IF you don't have one attached to a google account.

How do you like your superheroes? Perfect like Superman, or flawed like Wolverine or Hancock? Why?

The contest will run through August 1, 2010 and it's open to the U.S. only.



Miles Johnson said...

A perfect hero is no fun! All heroes have to have some flaws, or else they are something that is unattainable, unreachable, and unrelatable. So, with my pick, I'm going for flawed supers, because not only do they make a deeper character in most cases, but they also have something that most people will understand. After all, a perfect hero doesn't exactly make the perfect story!

Tyler Felty said...

Perfection is overrated. To have a good story, you need flaws in your character, which is what attracts me to spiderman so much. The writers spent all their time creating flaws in the character to present the best story they could produce on how to fix said flaws.

Linda Henderson said...

Since nobody is perfect, I prefer my superheroes to have flaws too. I've never been a big superman fan because to me, he's kind of boring. He never goes outside the box. I prefer a seat-of-the-pants superhero, unpredictible, edgy and a little dark.

seriousreader at live dot com

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Hey, great review! Don't need to enter me in the contest, as I have one on the way to me. :) But I wanted to thank you so much for the great review. I love this kind of setup, re: each story. I am looking forward to reading this one. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I like them flawed. I've found most heroes are flawed.

Vero H said...

Perfect heroes annoy me. I love a flawed hero, because I can really relate to them and love them.

Karen Mahoney said...

Obviously you mustn't enter me in the contest (as I'm in the UK), but I just wanted to say how glad I was to read your review! I've almost bought this a couple of times, but resisted because I'm broke. But I so want to read Marjorie's story, and I'm interested to see what Gail Simone's is like.

And I love superheroes, so I should totally just go and buy it. LOL!


Books and Bane said...

How do you like your superheroes? Perfect like Superman, or flawed like Wolverine or Hancock? Why?

Flawed. Who can relate to perfection????

nedsped at gmail dot com

Stephanie said...

Definitely flawed.
Perfection is boring and flaws truly make a character.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Definitely flawed. It makes them seem more like regular people...who just so happen to have amazing poweres or can do amazing things. It takes a lot of unrealistic situations and makes it a lot more realistic.

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Julie said...

I definitely like my superheroes imperfect, so that they are relateable.


Vampires and Tofu said...

Flawed, definitely. The heart of any character for me comes from their inner battles and the way they choose to fight them. Perfect characters fall flat for me.

And OMG, I REALLY wanna win this one!!!!!

booklover0226 said...

I prefer flawed heroes, emotionally or physically. Several years ago, I read a book with a blind hero and it gave me a completely different view on heroes.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Slightly flawed. Even Superman has a reaction to Kryptonite. It adds adventure and sometimes some humor to the story.

meredithfl at gmail dot com