CHRISTOPHER CHAMBERS is the author of Sympathy for the Devil and A Prayer for Deliverance. He is currently working on a historical novel titled Yella Patsy's Boys, about the African-American experience during the American Revolution. GARY PHILLIPS is the author of the Ivan Monk series and the Martha Chainey series, as well as Bangers and the Perpetrators. His short fiction appeared most recently in Los Angeles Noir and Hollywood and Crime. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Phillips (Violent Spring) and Chambers (A Prayer for Deliverance) edit this anthology wherein the superhero origin tale meets the mean streets. Transients and junkies, abuse victims and prostitutes, tattoo artists and bounty hunters are among the folks (mostly of color) who use their edgy superpowers to retaliate against their victimizers. Many of these stories would work better in a graphic format, but each does get a first-rate illustration. After a slow start, patient readers will be rewarded and transported by strong work from Gar Anthony Haywood, Naomi Hirahara, Mat Johnson, Victor LaValle, Walter Mosley, Ann Nocenti, Jerry A. Rodriguez, and Peter Spiegelman. A solid choice for libraries where speculative anthologies circulate but especially recommended for inner cities and libraries with diverse readership.--Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Themed along the grayer areas of superhero fiction, this anthology of 18 original stories nonetheless covers a wide spectrum. One standout is "Switchback," by Ann Nocenti (Daredevil), in which teenage Mimi must try to cope with both her strange mind-control powers and the shards of familial ties that still bind her to her broken family. In "Tat Master," Edgar award-winner Naomi Hirahara (Snakeskin Shamisen) introduces tattoo artist Eye, who discovers the ability to bring her designs to life while on the run from her abusive boyfriend. Shamus winner Peter Spiegelman (Black Maps) pulls off a classic tale of superheroics meeting reality with "In Vino, Veritas," delving into a simple tale of ethics and love through the viewpoint of lie-detecting Veritas. Deceptively simple and entertaining while never skimping on serious topics, this tight anthology will satisfy any superhero enthusiast. (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
A solid and interesting collection that should appeal to fans of the superhero genre, especially those willing to explore the subject from a new and darker perspective. --Booklist