Monday, September 28, 2009

Superpowers - David J. Schwartz

Set in 2001, a book about five uni students that suddenly develop super powers of a fairly archetypal nature, except they have no energy projector. Flying, super strength, speed, telepathy, invisibility.

Written as it is about a few around 20 year olds trying to deal, the major problem it has it is is fairly flat, at least for the first 3/4 or so, anyway. So, is it trying to be realistic about what it might be like, or is it supposed to be a more four color approach? Appears to be stuck in the middle.

It certainly fails the first part - pretty much documented evidence of more than human activity in a city provokes zero interest from corporate, spook, major law enforcement, criminals, or others? Certainly the existence of an actual telepath might keep a lot of those people away from casual contact - but the All-Stars themselves wonder about this little themselves. They aren't morons, you are shown that - but pretty braindead given their situation. Not like this is happening in backwoods Kentucky or anything. Everyone who finds out has little problem believing, either, with no freakouts.

Them pretty much instantly deciding to fight crime on the back of some amateur martial arts training and some nifty seamstress work does lend more to the four colour interpretation, perhaps, where security and politics issues don't come to Keystone City unless the plot requires it. The Dial-H-For Heroness of the first part, them going along with nary a scratch, just the occasional hangover leans this way, too.

They do of course make mistakes - and things get worse as this is set in 2001, when some planes are crashed into major New York real estate. Revelations about the past as things get problematic.

However, points for giving a shot to a serious approach, as opposed to heavyhanded satire. The latter being significantly harder to do than the former.

A bit under 3.5 perhaps

3.5 out of 5

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