Prepare to Die!
Paul Tobin. Night Shade (www.nightshadebooks.com), $26.99 (350p) ISBN 978-1-597
The deconstruction of superheroes has been accomplished before, but rarely has it been done with the vigor and affection of comics veteran Tobin in his nearly pitch-perfect superhero tale for grownups. Steve Clarke’s teen years of playing baseball, smoking pot, and falling in love were interrupted by a catastrophic accident that transformed him into Reaver, an indestructible muscleman whose every punch takes a year of life from his victim. As an adult, Steve undertakes a journey of redemption and retribution to his small Oregon hometown, grimly aware that supervillain Octagon has given him only two weeks to live. With minimal angst, maximum humanity, and equal parts hilarity and pathos, Tobin (Marvel Adventures; Gingerbread Girl) crafts an entirely new collection of heroes and villains and their corresponding secret identities against a backdrop of fierce action, sexy romance, warm nostalgia, and wry observations on being a superhero in the age of YouTube. This is a contemporary and satisfying paean to superheroes and their fans. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012