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Inheritors » Member Reviews, page 2

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Am I Clone? Or Am I Hero?

By Hejin57, author of Music Masters

May 28, 2018: A few weeks ago, I finished catching up with the story that is Inheritors.

These days, it seems that superhero fiction is a popular genre to write about, and superhero serials flood the halls of the internet. It’s hard to find gems among all of the similar subject matter, but when a gem is found, it certainly shines brighter than the rest in the process.

Inheritors is one of those gems. It’s not perfectly cut, but it shines with the Technicolor glory mixed underneath a film of realism and maturity.

The story follows Gabe, clone of Megajoule, the greatest superhero to ever live. Gifted with power to absorb and redirect energy, Gabe struggles with his own identity and the idea of what it means to be a hero. He’s joined with other members of Heroic Underground, a group of non-sanctioned vigilantes that attempt to make a difference despite strict laws against that very notion. Together they tackle the things that sanctioned heroes often miss; petty crime, gangs, human trafficking, and other things that lurk in the underbelly of the their home city, Houston.

Upon beginning the story, one of the first things you’ll notice reading this story is that Gabe is not a perfect superhero. He’s haphazard, he’s unsure, and most of all, he is inexperienced. He struggles to have full command of powers that he indeed has inherited, and he wonders if it’s his destiny to live up to Megajoule’s name or carve his own path to the future. In the midst of all this, he even meets shadows of Megajoule’s past along with dealing with a colorful gallery of other super-powered beings both hostile and otherwise.

I find that one of the strongest things about Inheritors is the author’s voice; told from a first-person persepective, you’re quickly immersed in the narrative and the gritty action of Gabe’s exploits. You grow fond of Heroic Underground, and even later characters like the trigger-happy band of "heroes" known as Second Amendment. Characters have unique and creative super powers, from Flashfire’s colloquial flashbangs to the infamous Saw-Off’s shotgun sneeze. The powers can sometimes seem silly, but they never offset the seriousness of the story and the stakes at hand. It is ambitious and dark for sure, opening with a case in child sex trafficking and only speeding off confidently for sure.

There are some gripes, of course, if only minor. Sometimes some characters overuse the same joking line of dialogue, and there are moments when the action is lost due to it being told from Gabe’s perspective. This is not at all a problem in the bonus chapters, since they’re about characters from the past, but it is something to note. For those interested in casual, family-friendly four-color glory, Inheritors is not for you. The violence is heavy, realistic and quite bloody. There is some pretty heavy sexual content later on as well, and while some may abject to it, I find it fit the context of the story based on Gabe’s backstory and the events that led up to it.

In the end, I feel Inheritors measures up against most superhero tales on the strength of its main character and his realistic struggle. It asks the common question of what it means to truly be a hero, but with Gabe being a clone, this is tackled in the most literal sense.

Will Gabe ever figure it out in the end? It’s hard to say, but for the readers following, and those who may check it out in the future, I predict the ride will surely be worth it in the end.

Final score: 4/5

5 of 5 members found this review helpful.
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Embrace the Darkness

By AM_Thorn, author of Vigilantes Make Us Safe

Jan 2, 2019: From the first time I started reading Inheritors I found it grabbed my attention and didn’t let go. Megajoule (the writer, not the character) has a strong grasp of momentum and he rarely lets up as he drives Gabe and his friends into darkness and danger. At times that darkness may not be entirely to the story’s benefit but on the whole I still find Inheritors easy to recommend.

If you want a deep story recap I’d encourage you to just read the piece but Inheritors is about Gabe, a clone of Megajoule who was possibly the greatest superhero the world ever knew before his mysterious death. Gabe doesn’t have the man’s full ability but he’s living a life on the run as he tries to use the powers he does have for good and stay off the government’s radar as they’d like nothing more than to bring him in.

Gabe’s an interesting character, finding himself in a very large shadow but with limited knowledge of the man he feels he has to live up to. He simultaneously wants to be worthy of that legacy and be his own man, a combination which proves difficult as he gets drawn further and further into a dark world.

As strong as Gabe is though the supporting cast really shine. Personal favorites include Remise and Bedevil. What I love most about the supporting cast is Megajoule’s ability to weave layers of development for each character. If someone seems one dimensional you’ll probably find more beneath the surface if they get to stick around. He’s done it enough throughout the story to give me faith that the few characters I’m still looking for more from will get there in time.

If I have one big complaint about Inheritors it’s the level of darkness that hangs over everything. I’m no stranger to the dark and sex and violence have their place in many stories. To his credit, Megajoule makes the level of content you’re in for clear up front with a large disclaimer on the main page of his site. That doesn’t make it a stronger means of telling a story though. While sex and violence have their place, far too often they fell gratuitous here, serving more to break up the story or to try to add excitement than to move the story forward. Inheritors spends a lot of time in true darkness. I can respect that but a little more time in the light would both make it an easier read and help to contrast that darkness in a stronger way, driving home what the heroes here are fighting for.

Despite this I’d call Inheritors one of the strongest superhero based serials I’ve read. It isn’t perfect but its a constantly interesting read with strong characters to pull you in. If you’re looking for a new story to kill the hours, you’ve found it.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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1.21 Gigawatts of Dark Superhero Action

By SovereignofAshes, author of The Vorrgistadt Saga

May 26, 2018: Disclaimer: This review was done as part of a review swap.

First Impressions: When it comes to matters of capes and heroes, I have to admit that I prefer the darker elements of the genre rather than the typically heroic. When it comes to comics, I’ve always liked the works of Watchmen and Batman. When it comes to movies, I’m a huge fan of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Watchmen, Logan as well as dark humor stories that turn the genre on its head like Deadpool and Mystery Men. Some stories can often easily gloss over the ‘realistic’ aspects of what a world with heroes, villains—and the gritty vigilantes fighting amongst them—would entail. As heroic and dastardly as the personalities involved, it’s always good to explore the rich lives and personal dramas of what these supers have to live with.

That is precisely where the story of Inheritors comes in, it’s a ground-up view of the superhero genre from the perspective of a vigilante-turned-hero who must walk in the footsteps of the world’s greatest hero of all, Megajoule. We are thrust into the gritty world that the author has in store for us through the eyes of Gabe, a clone of the last and best hero, with the power of kinetics. Nothing is held back as we are thrust into the world the author has created for us and the first chapter illustrates this as we join Gabe on a mission to liberate young girls being trafficked by a gang.

Content: The story of Gabe is told to us in a present-tense, first-person narrative. We’re inside Gabe’s head as he has to deal with the injustices of this dystopic world around him, set in the metropolis of Houston. You get to understand how he fuels his powers with each kick, punch, and shot that he gives. You get to feel the contempt he has for the ineffectual and jaded Federal Investigation Services (Fishes) he often has to deal with.

The author doesn’t hold back as the story progresses, dark elements are laid bare and the growing mystery of Gabe’s origins is explored bit by bit. The good and the bad of humanity are shown for exactly what they are as groups of vigilantes have to fill in for a once-great superhero that was killed. From the first moment we are introduced to Gabe, the pressing question of his origins are weighing upon us and our source of information in this world seems to know as much as we do at any given moment. There is that gnawing existential drive to find purpose, just as there is to find order amidst the chaos of a world turned upside-down.

There is a lot of built up tension as the story flows forward, and there is a fair deal of exposition in the early chapters that helps us grasp onto the particulars of this world we find ourselves in. Some readers may enjoy the interplay of these, while others may feel the tension and the exposition can be a bit heavy. This reader found them necessary and enjoyable, but I’m a big fan of fleshed-out characters in a deep, fully-realized setting.

Particulars: The nit-picky details of spelling and grammar are solid in the story thus far. I’m glad to see the inclusion of complex dialogue tags that mix dialogue with action rather than scenes full of talking heads. Personality flows through every little bit of interaction, even the curt words of Drone, a seeming hacker assistant that helps Gabe out as much as possible. Paragraph structure is sparse and straight to the point, not lingering overlong on detail or ever coming close to purple prose. The point here is action that rides a knife’s edge and the author pulls it off admirably.

As of this review, there are currently twelve chapters up and two bonus chapters to Inheritors. You’ll get to experience the full gamut of the author’s abilities between fight scenes, character interplay, and even a romantic encounter; all to help flesh out the characters in this ongoing story. As the story moves along, the author starts to hit their stride and the story really starts to culminate near the chapter twelve. I have high hopes for the future of this story and believe the author can get many more chapters out of these characters and situations.

If there are any rough patches, it would behoove the author to come back and revise some of the early chapters once they’ve gotten another dozen or more chapters up and fully explored the range of their voice. The pacing of the story is very intense right now, which will appeal to some and throw off others. A bit of smoother pacing (and yes, the necessary cliffhangers for any serial, which we already have) would be most appreciated as the story moves on. As it is, right now, this is a solid entry into the superhero genre and will draw in a devoted audience of those willing to explore the darker side of heroes.

Conclusion: I’m not normally a big fan of superhero stories, but this story manages to draw me in, keep me hooked, and appeal to my grittier sensibilities. I see a lot of promise with this story and with the author. I am eager to read all of what will befall Gabe in the future. I’ll be watching this serial intently as it moves on.

If you are a regular reader of the cape-style stories, I would recommend giving Inheritors a shot. You’ll see things here that are familiar, and you’ll get to experience some new twists and turns with the genre. If you aren’t a regular reader of supers-stories, then you may be in the same boat as myself. Give Inheritors a shot, it might end up becoming something you’ll enjoy curling up with on a tablet in the middle of the night.

3 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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