Just Giblets

Austin Grossman Does Superheroes Right

16th September 2007
by Michael

Austin Grossman Does Superheroes Right

Soon I Will Be InvincibleWith the success of such movies as SPIDER-MAN, BATMAN, and THE X-MEN, and television shows such as “Heroes” and “So You Want To Be a Superhero,” it’s no surprise that an influx of novels about superheroes has appeared, much to this comic book geek’s delight. The first of the genre that I have embraced is Austin Grossman’s Soon I Will Be Invincible. Grossman is clearly familiar with the superhero world in comics, and he uses that world as the setting for his novel. There are two points-of-view in Invincible, bouncing back and forth between the villainous Dr. Impossible, and the newest member of the crime-stopping Champions, Fatale.

Grossman does a great job getting into Dr. Impossible’s head. After coming so close to conquering the world so many times, sent to prison, escaping, and repeating the cycle again and again, it’s interesting to see what motivates this super-genius to keep going. It seems that super-villainy is just hard-wired into his head. He’s got one more idea up his sleeve, and when the opportunity presents itself, he does the expected: busts our of prison, rebuilds his weapons and tries to take over the world.

Having disbanded a few years ago, the Champions come together again due to the mysterious disappearance of the best and brightest of their members, CoreFire. He was the most powerful of them all, unbeatable and charismatic, so when he seems to be missing for real, the Champions, Blackwolf – the Ultimate Crimefighter; Damsel – First Lady of Power; Elphin – Warrior Princess; Feral – Savage Street Fighter; Mister Mystic – Man of Mystery; and Rainbow Triumph – Teen Idol with an Attitude, feel duty bound to reunite and solve the mystery. To their ranks, they add a couple of newcomers; Lily, a mysterious, superpowered outcast from the future, and Fatale – the Next Generation of Warfare. It’s understandable that Grossman choses Fatale to be the readers’ entry into the superhero world. She’s new to the game, having received her powers after a freak accident destroyed most of her body and being transformed by new technology into a cyborg agent. Fatale is thrust into the glamorous world of the superhero elite all the while feeling she must constantly prove herself just to stand among them.

While the book is an entertaining read, and I do recommend it, I think the problem with using Fatale as one of our narrators is that when the finale arrives, and she is not a part of it, the reader is left on the outside looking in, when it would have been nice to have our point of view in the midst of the action. It’s like being sidelined for the big finish, and it’s a little distracting. Still, Grossman’s world is certainly representative of our own if it were populated by men and women with extraordinary powers.

posted in 2007, Books, Comics, Fantasy | at 3:45 pm | 0 Comments
4th July 2007
by Michael

Halfway Through the Movie Year

Chris beat me to it, but as it’s halfway through the year, I thought I’d report in on my favorite films of 2007 so far. It’s been a strong year for film so far. When I did my first cut for my top 10 so far, I came up with 15 films. Of course, I am including films that I saw at Film Festivals as well as general release. Usually the fall brings an influx of strong independent film so theoretically there will be lots of exciting film to come. That and the Toronto International Film Festival in September will certainly change the landscape of my top films. You can find reviews for many of these films at the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film site. And without further ado…

  1. Away from herAway from her
  2. Linda! Linda! Linda!
  3. Monkey Warfare
  4. Waitress
  5. Once
  6. Protagonist
  7. Climates
  8. The Secret Life of Words
  9. The Wayward Cloud
  10. The Lives of Others
  11. America the Beautiful
  12. Paprika
  13. The Bubble
  14. Brand Upon the Brain
  15. Colma: the Musical

It’s a great international showing so far, with ten different countries represented by the 15 films. After last year’s disappointing showing, Canadian films are represented three times, most notably in the 1st and 3rd spots. Four of the Top 1o films featured women directors, including the #1 film, and the top rated documentary.

posted in 2007, Movies | at 12:03 pm | 0 Comments
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