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Not All Heroes » Member Reviews, page 2

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NOT ALL HEROES

Addictive story with engaging characters

By Jellybean, member

Feb 27, 2018: I love every update of this webseries. The setting is a slightly dystopic world with realistic attitudes towards superheroes, reminding me a bit of Worm but darker. There were moments in the story that made me cry (and others that made me cringe). I am not really into superhero stories but what keeps me interested are the characters that showcase the human condition and all of its flaws. I love their backstories and finding out why they do what they do. I find myself emotionally invested in two out of the three main characters in this story, but they are all equally interesting.

I enjoy this story and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys some good old-fashioned character development and succinct writing. Good quality writing here makes it easy to read and sometimes teaches me new words I haven’t heard before. It is a superhero story that doesn’t dumb anything down for readers which is rare in this day and age.

5 of 7 members found this review helpful.
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NOT ALL HEROES

Things that make you go hmm.

By Joker, author of Mavericks

Jan 24, 2019: [Review through Arc 6.2]

I don’t like post-apocolyptia. The fact that Not All Heroes may be my favorite superhero serial should tell you everything.

Not All Heroes is introduced with the concept of the Golden Age, a time when empowered humans had just arrived to the scene and were rare enough to help society, but not overthrow it. But as ‘capes’ (I don’t like how this term is used by everyone emulating Worm) became more numerous and more powerful, humanity went through a paradigm shift. To prevent domination by capes, ‘baseline’ (much cooler term) humans brought down the jackboot during the Paroxysm.

Why am I telling you this? Because Rhodes, a student of history, treats the Golden Age and the Paroxysm as just another page in the tome that is human history. And the printing press that writes it cannot be stopped by any individual, even the man they called Demigod, killed by a single bullet. This is a refreshing take on a genre that too often treats its central conceit with more grandiosity than is warranted.

I should note here that his villains, the Seven, seem up to this point incredibly derivative of the S9 from Worm, who I was not big fans of. I trust him to go down a different path. Gate, a supervillain who can create portals, is hilariously over the top like a Bond villain, but in a cheeky fun way that I can get behind.

All of our characters are cogs. There’s nothing wrong with this, because this makes it far easier to relate to them. Sabra, perhaps the most main of the main protagonists, is a simple girl with simple friends and wants to accomplish a simple goal with a simple armored suit. This is not a knock on her. She’s charming and far more likable than other serial protagonists. Leopard is – not. He’s a dirty scoundrel mercenary with delusions of grandeur who never seems to put in the effort to be the hero he thinks he can be. I initially skipped his chapters, but he does get better, but not more sympathetic. He shines best when not egged on by his fellow sociopaths. Pavel,formerly known as Impel is like a darker version of Mr. Fantastic, a superhero whose career ended ignominiously and lives vicariously through others in their prime. This doesn’t make him feel weak, because in spite of many failures (primarily of his own doing), he carries on. Anyone can be punched out twelve times. It takes a strong character to get back up thirteen times. Also, he’s funny as hell and his cat is adorable.

Paradigm City, the island city the story is mostly set in, feels weak. What differentiates it from New York City, or Moscow, or Tokyo? It was created in the middle of the Pacific to be a home for folks of all ethnicities, but it doesn’t really feel like anything but a backdrop. I’d really like to see more of the town.

It’s more than made up by the fact that Rhodes makes you – god forbid – think. What makes an action noble? Intent, or consequence? How much freedom should we surrender for security before we’ve lost both? Is Pavel sad because he can’t feel his fluffy cat with his robo-hands?

Rhodes’ prose is absolutely gorgeous without being flowery. I can perfectly imagine every single thing he describes, yet I can read the story at a decent clip. It’s absolutely amazing and I cannot praise it enough. The three characters have unique inner monologues that are refreshingly swapped in and out.

There’s not much to say about the powers themselves. It’s standard Worm-esque fair that’s a bit overpowered for my tastes, but it simply works here due to the themes (that, thankfully, are not misery porn).

I think that’s about all I have to say here. Go read it, yo.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
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NOT ALL HEROES

Eureka!

By On The Edge, member

Oct 8, 2018: I’m writing this review based on everything up to the most recent chapter because I just had a moment where everything clicked. This is a great story, filled with depth, intricate world-building and fascinating, complex characters. Somehow Not All Heroes combines concise world-building with a fascinating depth, showing without telling.

The standout is definitely the characters and the characterisation of everyone. The story is about three people (Sabra, Fisher and Leopard) as they are each try to make a pretty grim, dystopian world a better place. Some of the character work is subtle and sublime and all of the cast, from the leading three to the wide supporting cast, all feel like real people, whether they’re a smarmy street thug or a shining demigod.

The story can be slow, especially over the first dozen chapters or thereabout, but it isn’t pointless. The author took his time setting up dominoes and they’re all starting to fall. The action scenes are often confronting and always tense. Overall, I think the story could move faster at times but everything feels relevant too.

What the most recent chapter made me realise is that this isn’t a story about superheroes per se as much as it is about heroism, going all the way back to figures like Achilles. It’s a very intelligent, grounded story that rewards thinking and isn’t afraid to engage with some very complex questions and I can’t wait to see where it all ends.

3 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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