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Mystic, Mythical Music

By Megajoule, author of The Warlock Ruthless

Oct 29, 2018: A quick summary: NAH is a dark, gritty, almost noirish take on the superhero genre. There are some mythic, mystical notes to the worldbuilding that provide an extra flavor I’d say reminds me of Halo: writing this review I am distinctly reminded of the gorgeous Gregorian vocalizations that made you feel you’d stepped into something otherworldly. I don’t mean mystical in the sense of DC/Marvel who need to justify magic-using heroes in their kitchen sink universes. I mean that this mythic feeling pervades the entire work and elevates it. Though, the first notes of this song are slow, methodical, so that you’re not quite sure of the vastness of the music you’re about to hear. We follow Sabra, a young girl with a driven heart and a chip on her power-armored shoulder, Fisher, an ex-cape that mourns for his former life, and Leopard, a man that doesn’t quite know who he is or where he belongs, and because of that, ends up in the worst places.

It took me some time to appreciate Not All Heroes. It was slow going for the first arc or so, and I found that my hectic life schedule didn’t allow me to appreciate the slow entrance of NAH enough. There are some flaws, and I’ll go ahead and get them out of the way now. Some of the POV switching, especially in the early arcs, like a piece that is changing key every measure or so, or time signature, or adding an extra beat. There are some small info-dumps – though, compared to other serials I have read, including my own, they are negligible – but nothing I couldn’t look past. My largest complaint was the slow going, and I realized that wasn’t so much a complaint as it was that I hadn’t been able to concentrate on the entrance, as subtle as it was.

You’ll notice that I’m primarily using musical language to describe this serial. That is because, simply put, Not All Heroes feels like music. The piece blossoms as the three threads come together, combining their different keys into a beautiful piece that crescendos into action-packed sequences interspersed with thoughtful meditations on the philosophy of being a hero. More than that, on the philosophy of being a human. There are motifs present in the work, as in a good piece of music. I’ll point to one of Sabra’s mantras that show up time and time again: "I am because you are."

Perhaps I am cheerleading a bit here, but as I reached the end of Arc 9, and have begun the most recent arc, I realized that I would be cheerleading this serial for quite some time. Because Not All Heroes is mystic, mythical music, and it deserves it.

I absolutely recommend NAH if you like superheroes. I think it’s a must-read of the genre. I recommend it if you want dark and gritty. I recommend it if you’re looking for a glimmer of hope in the grittiness. I recommend it, I recommend it, I recommend it.

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