I bought this for my brother one year for his birthday and read it before I gave it to him. It's a very interesting look at how comic books are shapedI bought this for my brother one year for his birthday and read it before I gave it to him. It's a very interesting look at how comic books are shaped by the spirituality and faith of those involved in creating them. If you think about it, the majority of mainstream comic books revolve around the classic "good vs. evil" plot, which of course can be seen in all major religions.
I found this book very insightful and interesting, and enjoyed reading the author's views not only exploring how faith and spirituality shape our comic heroes but also our views on society as we grow up with these beloved characters. A good resource for comic book fans as well as readers interested in exploring how personal faith shapes the world in which we live....more
This is my book so I'm not going to write a review.
Contains the following stories: • Book I: The Positions of Love • Book II: Two Pillars Position • BooThis is my book so I'm not going to write a review.
Contains the following stories: • Book I: The Positions of Love • Book II: Two Pillars Position • Book III: Clasping Position • Book IV: Hammock Position • Book V: Two Dogs Position • Book VI: Cowboy Position • Book VII: Kneeling Butterfly Position • Book VIII: Pillar and the Ivy Position • Book IX: Tripod Position • Book X: Lotus Position • Book XI: The Arc Position • Book XII: Sideways Position...more
I fell in love with superheroes in college, and no storyline is more endearing to me than the "coming out" or "coming of age" arc when the hero realizI fell in love with superheroes in college, and no storyline is more endearing to me than the "coming out" or "coming of age" arc when the hero realizes the potential in his powers and struggles to come to terms with them. Most stories of that type center on the superhero himself, and all the angst associated with realizing he's some sort of freak shunned by the society he aims to protect.
One of the things that makes "Masks: Rise of Heroes" so different in this genre is that the main character is not the superhero ~ he's not even the sidekick. He's just your average teenage boy with raging hormones who constantly seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Eric Plath is sixteen, precocious, and lusts over the new superhero in town, who seems to have an uncanny knack for saving his hide.
I really liked Eric ~ his voice, dialogue, and actions rang very true to life. As the story progresses, he learns more about his best friends, Peter and Althea, and his emotions also hit the mark. I also loved spunky Althea, who seems destined to play the role of fag hag for the rest of her life (get used to it, honey, is all I'm saying; take it from someone who knows). And Peter quickly grew from the nerdy "best friend" in the wings into a character of his own right, the perfect foil for Eric: level-headed, weighed down with responsibility, and so very much head over heels in love.
The story takes place in a very somber setting ~ Vintage City. The author's use of language to describe the atmosphere really helped set the mood, and contrasted nicely with Eric's internal landscape. Lines I particularly liked were:
"... rain that seemed to be made of liquid metal."
"Understated jewelry sprouted like sparkling lichen on her arms and neck."
"The wild, manic expressions on the horses' faces and the wide-eyed, watchful looks with which wooden cherubs regarded carnival visitors had that distinct glamour of madness to them. I couldn't help but stare back."
There is a lot of humor infused in the story, as well. The author's turn of phrase sometimes made me laugh out loud ~ Eric has a quick, sardonic wit that I thoroughly enjoyed, particularly in his internal dialogue:
"My glasses clung to my head by one temple with a death grip around my right ear."
"He had a cleft in his chin. God help me, he had a cleft in his chin."
There is also a very strong love element throughout the story. While Eric is already out with his family before the book starts, and is very comfortable with his sexuality, the relationship that grows between himself and Peter is his first true romance. And while the story is YA or "young adult," the boy is sixteen. There are quite a few places where the author subtly reminds the reader of that fact, in such wonderful phrases as:
"Then I dreamed of him 'arresting' me and taking me into custody. Not once did I demand to see my lawyer, and yes, I came willingly."
The reason behind Magnifiman's superpowers is nicely explained, though we don't learn much about the Devil's Trill. The plot involving his interest in Eric comes up in the final half of the book, bringing all elements of the story together to a satisfying ~ if rushed ~ conclusion, but there are still many questions left unanswered. "Masks" ends abruptly, until you realize this is the first in a trilogy, and I hope that the other two books will fill in the bits readers are left wondering about in Book 1.
For a story about caped superheroes and maniacal villains, the human element shines through, a realistic thread that makes the tale believable. What makes super powered heroes so irresistible to us isn't so much the desire to be rescued from our own devices or mundane lives, but rather to know that beneath those rippling muscles, somewhere within that super-smart brain, lies the very same heart, the same emotions and thoughts, hopes and dreams ~ the same soul ~ that lies within us all.
I found myself drawn into the story almost immediately, and couldn't stop turning the pages to get to the end. This book is a great start to what looks to be a fun series about superheroes among us. I can't wait for the next part. ...more