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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.

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