I created a link to C.T. incase anyone wanted to check it out without having to scroll through the blog below. Now on to something else…

 

Recently I finished reading The Big Aha by Rudy Rucker and Confessions of a class D Super Villain by Jim Bernheimer.

The Big Aha is one of the most bizarre novels I have ever read, period, hands down. It is set in a future where genetically modified animals have replaced all machines. The main character and his friends have created this new technology that enables them to have telekinetic powers among other things, and allows them to alter their minds to different states. In a sense they can make themselves high, as if on drugs. I do not want to give away too much if you want to read it, but this only scratches the surface of the weirdness of the novel.

For the strange premise of the novel it is not a bad story and flows quite nicely. I personally did not really care for the story overall, it was just too weird for me. Don’t get me wrong I like new and different ideas especially those that are out there, but this one is even too farfetched for me.  It was just so far from the realm of possibility for me that it was hard to keep my attention on the story.

All that being said the entire novel is based in Louisville, which is the author’s hometown. It was neat to read a scene in the story and know where it is located and know exactly where the author is talking about.

Now on to Confessions of a Class D Super Villain by Jim Bernheimer.

This is a self published novel on Amazon that is fairly short in length, only about 150 pages. The novel itself is about a want to be super villain who through a strange set of circumstances finds himself playing the role of the hero trying to save the world. It is a very cool, very new take on an old theme that has been done a million times.

In any good book it is the characters that make it and the characters in Confessions are the believable type that you can easily root for. I found myself hoping that things for the main character Cal would finally turn around. He seems to always get the short end of the stick and it is not always his fault. Again don’t want to give too much away but that novel is a cool take on the whole super hero/villain theme. This was the first novel I have read with the super hero theme and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some of the negative reviews on Amazon have to do with the lack of description throughout the novel. I can say that there are very few descriptions dealing with anything in the book. To me this was never an issue. I have always felt that there is a fine line between enough description and too much. It drives me crazy when authors go on for pages describing something bringing the story to a screeching halt. There was enough there for me as I generally use more of my imagination anyway when reading. The lack of a detailed description in the novel was never an issue to me. Don’t let that stop you from reading this fun and exciting story.

I was drawn to Confession because it was a totally different take on the super hero/villain theme. I really enjoy novels graphic novels or anything that has a different take on what is the norm or main stream. One of my favorite comics was Irredeemable from Boom Comics. I love this story because it is such a different take on the whole super hero genre.

The whole premise of Irredeemable is that what if a Superman type hero, someone that is basically unstoppable and has no weaknesses, went crazy and became mentally unstable. I know superman has Kryptonite, but the Plutonian from Irredeemable has no weaknesses so he is basically a god. During the story the Plutonian losses it and goes bat sh*t crazy and kills everyone and everything just because he can.

This story has a lot of interesting pieces to it. What I think is one of the most important aspects of the story is that it has the usually fantasy superpowers super hero stuff but on the flip side they are meshed brilliantly with every day real world problems.

Mental illness for example plays a huge part in the story and I feel things like this are often left out of the universe of comics. Writers in my opinion are always trying to think up some farfetched super villain or super problem for the heroes to combat. A super hero needs a super problem right? To me sometimes it is better to have the hero heartbroken over being dumped by his girl friend, or struggling to pay his mortgage or rent. To me it adds a level or realism to the character and their everyday lives. I think these aspects are sometimes forgotten when reading comics. Comic readers only get to see the epic battles or the most dramatic scenarios that happen in our hero’s lives.

In my opinion I think Marvel has done a better job with this than DC. I think more of the Marvel characters are, take this with a grain of salt, more believable, or as believable as they can be given the circumstance. Heroes like Iron Man, Spider Man, and the Hulk all have a lot of real world problems that are easy to relate too. I think DC has done a poor job of making their characters have these real world problems and as a result are harder to relate to as a reader.

I have always liked Superman but I find it very hard to relate to the character. He is too powerful, to begin with, and he is too good in every sense of the word. No matter the situation I feel that he always does what is right and is never tempted in the slightest to the dark side. I know he is not human but still I think being an alien he should still have personal character flaws. I will confess that I have not read a ton of Superman comics but again I find it hard to really dive into a character that is basically perfect.

I would also like to say that for all the shortcoming of Superman I feel that DC has done a good job with Batman. I confess that I have read more comics on Batman, but he seems easier to relate to. While reading Batman Year One, Arkham Asylum, Batman the dark knight returns, and The Killing Joke you get a real in depth look at the character. My favorites of these two are The Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum (the artwork in Arkham Asylum is amazing.) these two books give a lot of insight into the character of not only Batman but also the Joker and quite a few other villains in Arkham Asylum. If you are a Batman fan and have not read any of these it is truly an injustice.

 

Manik

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