Chris Butcher takes a much more thorough look at Perry Moore’s Hero than I did, and I’m relieved that he shares my concerns about the book:
“On the other hand, even though the kid completes the hero’s journey in the end and the novel aims to be a positive statement about coming of age as a homosexual in American society, I’d kind of be afraid to give this to an at-risk gay teenager because it’s so incredibly bleak, right through the ending of the book during which the superhero establishment still can’t… or won’t… cut the kid a break specifically because he’s gay. Sure, I’m a fan of happy endings, but I’m also a fan of balance, and I found the tone really unbalanced in an off-putting way.”
Beyond that, I absolutely agree with Butcher’s glowing assessment of the action sequences, which burst with inventiveness and clarity. (The latter can be a real problem in super-heroic prose.) Passages where the protagonist’s D-list squad kick ass are really delightful reading, especially for someone who always though the Legion of Substitute Heroes got a raw deal.
Beyond being thought-provoking reading in general, I love Tom Spurgeon’s piece on webcomics for introducing the concept of the “Suck It, Grampa letter” to my consciousness.
Update: Now you can go vote!
Jeff (Bone) Smith kind of looks like he’s posing for print ads for a cologne targeted at the gay, blue-collar demographic. Also, I hope he had some serious SPF protection at work, because that desert sun is ruthless. Also, dude is RIPPED. Who knew?