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Behind the Mask: A Superhero Anthology

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Behind the Mask is an exciting collection of short stories about the everyday lives of superheroes. Ranging from laugh-out-loud funny to deliciously dark, these stories are about the ordinary day-to-day challenges facing these extraordinary individuals growing up, growing old, relationships, parenting, coping with that age-old desire to fit in when, let s face it, they don ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Meerkat Press, LLC
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  101 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
In a nutshell: very well-crafted anthology with lots and lots of amazing, thought-provoking stories, both by established authors (Kelly Link and Seanan McGuire for example) as well as authors who are less well-known. I enjoyed this mix of different voices a whole lot.

I have been thinking about this review all morning and still do not know how to write it. I always find anthologies difficult to assess and to review - there are so many things happening and obviously some stories resonate more wit
Lexxi Kitty
*I received this book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for a fair review.*

Holy Angst Batman! This sure is an angsty bunch of stories. Super depressing. Anyone who decides to become a hero is stupid (judging by these stories). These are stories of the lives behind the mask. The mask of superheroes. Turns out superheroes have crappy lives, who knew, eh (maybe anyone who has watched most superhero movies and seen how angsty and depressing superheroes are)?

Cat Rambo: Ms. Liberty Gets a Ha
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Edited for mini review:)

*Spread this out a bit by reading a story or two/three each day but not feeling good skewed that a bit haha*
Overall, a well done collection with some stories I think would have been/would be great as full length novels or series :). Loved catching the hints and nods to SuperHeroes we all know and love as well.

I hadn't heard of the majority of these authors but I enjoyed getting to know them, so to speak, for the first time in these stories and wouldn't mind reading mor
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Superheroes. Superpowers. I'm a huge fan. Wasn't quite sure how to rate it, but in the end decide to be generous. Not every story in this anthology was a standout, but the quality was notably consistent and some were surprisingly good. Surprisingly, because with exception of 2 or 3 names, most of the authors were unknown to me and I've only read Vaughn previously. Majority of the stories have a female angle, female protagonists, etc. Don't think I should have read them all in a row in two sittin ...more
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ff-romance, netgalley
An anthology of short stories that show how depressing it is to be a superhero. This book is full of angst and the dark side of doing good.
I have now officially taken Superhero off my bucket list!
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
I ended up enjoying this anthology way more than I thought I would. I was expecting some standard superhero stuff but what we actually get is some really raw and human stories that can be very emotional.
Some of my favorites included:

Fool by Keith Frady – about a villain, Dr. Entropy who finally has the means to destroy the world but may be suffering from a crisis of conscious.

Pedestal Seanan McGuire – about a female superhero who moves to a suburb to try and be anonymous so she can have a normal
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I....don’t have a single bad thing to say about this anthology. Sometimes a piece of gold is hidden in an anthology. Sometimes you just find a collection of stories that won’t fit together no matter how they’re forced. And sometimes you find Behind the Mask.

It might not be as wonderful if you’re not already a lover of the strange and outrageous but ultimately still human worlds of comic books. But if you are, these stories will speak to you. Most of them quietly broke my heart. Some of them made
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A strong, varied anthology about superheroes, supervillains, and their regular lives

tl;dr at Overall, as always

The whole point of an anthology is to bring together wildly different styles and ideas, united by a single concept and see if it works. More often than not, it doesn’t. There’s always a varying ratio of duds to gems and it’s very rare to see a book of this kind that accomplishes the herculean feat of being good all the way through.
And yet here we are.

Behind the Mask presents 20 stories
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would TOTALLY recommend this anthology. While I didn’t love all of the stories (and it is totally normal and fine), they all had their place in here and I feel that the ones I didn’t connect with still have the potential to be someone’s favourite. This will make everyone see super heroes/villains in another light.

Some stories were lighter than others, some were really dark, but they all complement each other on what it must be to be a super-powered person, live in a world with super-powered be
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I wrote mini-reviews for all 20 short stories, so enjoy!

Ms. Liberty Gets a Haircut by Cat Rambo

I love superheroes. I've made that very clear multiple times. So I was very happy when I started reading this story about a team of SUPERHEROINES. Our protagonist, Ms. Liberty, is a cyborg writer whose creators made her to not really feel anything, just to have a woman to have sex with. Pretty disgusting to me. This is her journey on how she discovers herself and her true meaning, and what doea life m
Alex Sarll
A collection of prose short stories themed, sometimes loosely, around superheroes and their worlds. Contributors such as Kelly Link and Lavie Tidhar were what got my attention more than that, though; if anything, I have the same scepticism of SF and fantasy writers doing superheroes as of litfic writers doing SF and fantasy. There can be the same sense of condescension, the notion that 'I've not been keeping up with this field, but I know better anyway', leading to an awful lot of pale retreads ...more
I adore superheroes. They are one of my weaknesses and as soon as I saw this book, I jumped on it. It did not disappoint. The stellar line-up of authors have crafted short stories that all approach superpowers differently, and in often unusual ways. Like the story where gaining superpowers means you end up being forgotten. Or the one where a retired superhero doesn't realized she's retired. A number of the stories showed the human side of superheroes, the stories about those who were in their li ...more
Lianne Burwell
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Also reviewed on my blog here

Behind the Mask falls into the category of themed collection in that all the stories are variations on superheroes, or at least people with abilities beyond the normal. Most are about characters that could be called superheroes or supervillains (right down to the mad scientist with a hideout in a volcano), but there are also aliens (or the child of aliens), cyborgs, and even some magic realism. I requested this book from NetGalley mainly because I am a fan of Seanan
I started reading superhero comic books when I was a mere sprout in the 1960's. I still love them-especially female superheroes. That's why I immediately jumped at the chance to read and review an ARC of Behind The Mask: A Superhero Anthology from Net Galley.

Sixteen of the twenty stories that appear in this volume are original to the anthology. Only four are reprints. The stories I liked best have never appeared anywhere else. Other stories were well-written but didn't appeal to me. There also w
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A collection of really powerful superhero short stories. These stories are not your run of mill super hero tales - but rather a look at superhero's after the bad guys have been fought. Or at the families of superheroes. Or the tough loses that superhero's face. And maybe a villain tale or two.

Very good read - most are very powerful stories. i wish a coupla could be expanded into full novels.

*I got this book through GoodRead's Giveaways - an excellent source of interesting books!
Kaitlyn Ferrier
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Kind of a miss. I liked the idea and I enjoyed some of the stories more than others but I was expecting it to be funny and it had a very somber tone.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan of superhero stories. I rarely read comics these days, but I seem to enjoy an awful lot of prose novels that take the superhero genre and give it a little twist. In Behind the Mask, there are 20 stories that play with what it is to be a superhero (or supervillain, in some cases). Some could come straight out of the existing comic universes we know, others are far more subtle and different. All are, without exception, highly engaging reads. From stories that are (at least on the surface ...more
Martu Castro Vallejo
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review on:

4.5 out of 5 stars

"Superhero" can mean different things depending on who you ask. If you ask your Grandpa, he'll probably recall reading about superheroes in comics when he was your age; if you ask a kid, he'll probably say his Dad is a superhero. The official definition, however, states it is a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; or an exceptionally skillful or successful person.

I think "exceptionally skillful person"
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Behind the Mask is a solid collection of short stories that nevertheless left me feeling ambivalent. Since I'm not much of a short story reader, this could definitely be more a reflection of my reading taste than the anthology itself. However, I didn't find myself hurrying back to it.

The stories often focused on the domestic and the personal, which I rather enjoyed. They're less about the big, flashy battles--though those make the occasional appearance, such as in Seanan McGuire's story Pedestal
Rina Reviews
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Super hero lovers
Thank you to to Xpresso reads for providing this ARC to me in exchange for an honest review.

Overall Rating 8.5/10 Stars

I really enjoyed this anthology. I felt that all the stories were well written and edited. Reading each story was like sampling a fancy cheese tasting plate. Some I liked more than others, but Behind The Mask provided a diverse and enjoyable array of different styles, subject matters and tones. Each story was unique and interesting in it’s own right. My personal favourites inclu
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-net-galley
I received this book from Net Galleyi. Exchange for an honest review.

First let me be straight up and say that short story anthologies aren't always my thing. Their usual unevenness bothers me. I was interested in this anthology because of the A-List of authors involved. It doesn't disappoint but it doesn't enthrall, either. For the most part, the stories are interesting, and some, for example Kate Marshall's "Destroy The City With Me Tonight," and Ziggy Schutz's "Eggshells," have stayed with me
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t read short stories since my teenage years and I must say I have been missing out.

What a great collection this was, we are introduced to a myriad of new superheroes, villains with a range of quirky powers. I especially loved the truth serum beard; this particular one had me laughing out loud. We follow these characters as they not only try to save or destroy the world but also their daily struggles of whether they should change their appearance, listen to their guilty conscience or if t
Behind the Mask is an anthology of 20 short stories about superheroes and/or supervillains. There are a variety of stories by authors that are both familiar to me and new to me. Besides the super powers, one thing all the stories had in common were that they were more about the superhero as a person rather than their exploits fighting crime. They were stories about people that happened to have super powers rather than stories that focused on those powers. I really liked all the stories in the co ...more
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stunning smorgasbord of super stories

These stories are bite-sized and range from light-hearted to heart-breaking. The superhero genre is an old one by now, but these authors each manage to put their own spin on the people behind the masks. Some of them made me uncomfortable with the angsty 'reality' that superheroes would bring, others were a total mind-screw. My favourites were those that kept the optimism of the genre alive, but through a different lens.

Standouts for me – though others can a
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to fairly review an anthology as they're are so many different stories but the best thing I can say is that these stories were all unique! I loved almost all of them, only one or two which I didn't really enjoy as much. I liked the general theme of the whole anthology, I mean who doesn't give superheroes? Each author interpreted the term "superhero" differently so there was a diverse set of characters. The stories themselves and their specific themes were diverse as well. Some stories ...more
Alison C
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received an ARC of "Behind the Mask: A Superhero Anthology," edited by Tricia Reeks and Kyle Richardson, through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program. As the title advertises, this is an all-original anthology of short stories about superheroes, a few by authors whose names I recognize (Cat Rambo, Lavie Tidhar, Carrie Vaughn, Kelly Link) and most by people I haven’t read before. As with all anthologies, any given reader will like some s
Tejas Kotak
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Behind the scenes stories of superheroes and villains give readers a view into a world beyond the glamour, action, and drama seen in comics and movies. The tales range from the wry comedy of mundane glimpses into job interviews or the woes of aspiring sidekicks to the more existential questions of what heroes and villains want and need from each other.

The anthology is a great read for anyone who enjoys the superhero genre, and can introduce them to intriguing new authors.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I don't think it really fits as a superhero anthology, as there wasn't much heroic. There was a lot of dysfunction, but it didn't feel like the characters were really heroic, just costumed. The stories involved either deal with some form of dysmorphia, physical or sexual, or some level of existential dread. The more interesting stories dealt more with supervillains than heroes.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
(This review is for Seanan McGuire's "Pedestal.")

I really loved this one. I'm a huge fan of The Incredibles, so I really enjoy seeing what's "behind the mask." (Yes, the anthology is aptly named.) This story was perfectly crafted and paced and the little snippets of gossip/paparazzi talk were perfect as an opening and closing.

This story nicely addresses the topic of celebrity and access, which is an ever more important issue. It's done in a way that should easily click for most while still bei
Suzanne Moses
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I often find short story anthologies uneven, but I was really pleased with this one. The stories are different and distinct but seem to share an overall tone and reflect well off each other.
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Play Book Tag: Behind the Mask - Reeks & Richardson (4 stars) 4 21 Apr 08, 2017 12:02PM  
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