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Superhero Mystery

By Palladian, editor, author of Super

Dec 24, 2013: From the beginning of this story, I liked how the author not only throws the reader into the deep end, action and story-wise, but I also liked the way he mixes a fairly straightforward superhero-type story with a more traditional mystery. As the story really begins, the protagonist, Curveball, is drawn back into the superhuman circles he used to frequent through the killing of one of his former comrades. The mystery centers around the fact that the man is so well-liked, both among heroes and villains alike, that no one on either side can figure out who did him in.

Curveball, who is really more of an anti-hero than a hero in a lot of ways, is an interesting and compelling main character. We’re first introduced to his wisecracks and his unusual power, and the way he refuses to let go of things once he’s decided to start looking into them. Eventually, it comes to light that he has been around in his current form, looking somewhat like he’s in his twenties, for decades. The author does a good job of jumping between past and present to fill in some of Curveball’s backstory, and in doing so manages to further the story in the present, as well.

I really enjoyed the easy flow of this story and I liked the author’s writing style in general. The only thing that really prevented my full engagement in the story, and eventually caused me to lose interest in it is a complaint I’ve had when reading many other superhero-type stories. The author’s take on metahuman abilities in his universe seems to be that they are randomly distributed among the population. If that’s the case, where on earth are all of the female metahumans? Among the many heroes and villains that have been introduced, eleven issues into the fourteen that are currently available, there have been three women – one villain who’s barely introduced, one hero from the past who plays a pivotal role in part of one issue but then disappears from the story, and one who inherits a powered suit, appearing briefly only to disappear again. This small of a number would seem to defy all laws of probability, and definitely wore on my sense of credibility for the story as the situation wore on.

At any rate, this is a by-the-book sort of superhero tale, with a definite mystery spin to the story as well. I’d recommend it to those who like that kind of story, with the caveat mentioned above.

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