I’m not really a superhero guy. Growing up in a small market town in the UK, American comics were not readily accessible. One local newsagent did stock a random selection but there was no rhyme or reason to the issues available and certainly no consistency. Which meant that if I did buy one I got the middle of a story arc with no possibility of reading the rest. With two notable exceptions, the comics I bought were quickly forgotten. Only the one issue of Sandman and the one issue of Hellblazer I found stuck with me. I think I still have them somewhere.
It wasn’t until a good friend of mine opened a comic book shop – Comic Connections – that I actually got any real exposure to comics. By that time I was firmly entrenched in the goth sub culture and it was the Vertigo titles that caught my attention. I was the guy in black reading Preacher and Sandman and Hellblazer. The superheroes just passed me by. More recently, I’ve added Locke & Key, a bit of manga and one or two Batman one shots to my shelves but that’s about it.
I’ve dabbled with superhero movies and enjoyed some (Batman) and been bored by others (Superman Returns). Fiction wise I think I’ve read one superhero book – Ex-Heroes –which is really a zombie book in disguise. But the cover to Ernie Lindsey’s Super caught my eye and by the time I got to the end of the blurb, I was sold.
“Every hero’s journey has a beginning, middle, and end…I am that end.”A world mourning a fallen superhero.A president targeted for assassination.A conspiracy that runs deeper than anyone suspects.Leo Craft is the best at what he does; he assassinates superheroes, but only the ones who deserve it. Life is good, simple, until an ultra-secretive government agency hires Leo to execute two impossible tasks: eliminate the world’s foremost superhero, Patriotman, and hunt down a fellow assassin whose target is the President of the United States.When everyone wears a mask, trust is hard to come by – and even the elusive truth can be caught in a web of lies.
An assassin that kills Superheroes? That’s an idea I can get behind. I picked it up pretty close to release and put it to the top of my To Be Read Pile. By some miracle I don’t quite understand, it didn’t get bumped by anything else (I buy 5-10 books a week, most of which go to the top of the TBR pile) and I fired it up a few weeks later. By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked.
Super is a fast, light, read and for me, fell right into that ‘page turner’ sweet spot. Most of it is split across two timelines and thanks to some nifty cliffhanger-y writing at the end of each chapter, the story dragged me along at a breakneck pace and I was reluctant to put it down. There’s a good mix of action and plot, and some nice twists along the way to a satisfying conclusion.
And I was very happy to find that it was a complete story – no cliffhanger ending to the book itself which, frankly, is a pleasant surprise for an indie title. Of course, just to contradict myself, I’m hoping Lindsey will continue the series with another Super book. For some reason (and this may just be my warped imagination at play) I envisaged the world of Super as a mix between Watchmen and The Incredibles and it’s a world that I’ll quite happily return to in the future.[Super by Ernie Lindsey by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 14th April 2015]