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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and insightful
Grossman very carefully avoids parody or mockery of the superhero genre itself, or of its central tropes. This is a good thing. Instead he gives us a psychoanalasys of the stock characters. What drives a man to turn his genius to evil?

The story's two lead characters, Doctor Impossible (Villain) and Fatale (Heroine) are wonderfully self-aware and often second...
Published on 16 July 2008 by matthew_panton

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a new idea, but not a bad effort
Soon I will be Invincible is the story of a a supervillain Doctor Impossible and his ongoing quest to become well, invincible. Actually his quest is to win out over his various nemeses and enemies - trouble is, he's the kind of guy that not only needs to win, everyone else has to lose.

The story is actually split being the evil genius himself and Fatale the...
Published on 13 Feb 2012 by Amazon Customer


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and insightful, 16 July 2008
Grossman very carefully avoids parody or mockery of the superhero genre itself, or of its central tropes. This is a good thing. Instead he gives us a psychoanalasys of the stock characters. What drives a man to turn his genius to evil?

The story's two lead characters, Doctor Impossible (Villain) and Fatale (Heroine) are wonderfully self-aware and often second guess their own motivations. The former, having been imprisoned twelve times for twelve different world-domination schemes seems in little doubt that he will fail again. In fact, he seems to take it for granted while still lying to himself - surely, this time he must win? No, and he knows it. Doctor Impossible does what he does simply because he must. He at once strives to live up to society's expectations of a supervillain, while at the same time belittling those expectations.

Fatale, the cyborg superheroine protagonist exists in a state of uncertainty between the paragons of the superheroing golden age and her self-defined rust age reality. She doesn't seem to believe that either is real, but they're all she has to define her world. Again, the character lies to herself while fully acknowledging the facts.

This is one of those rare books that's precisely as deep as the reader wishes - it can be a throwaway pulp adventure story or a thought-provoking study of satre-esque philosophy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! A Supervillain we can all cheer for., 29 Oct 2007
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This book is fantastic. Doctor Impossible is an evil genius bravely trying to take over the world whilst being thwarted by a pesky superteam.

Starting with Doctor Impossible in prison pondering his life and wondering whether he should have taken a path of scientific research rather than trying to take over the world, the story follows him through the implementation of his latest scheme. First he's got to raise capital to fund his new idea, which means such indignities as having to travel by bus and get changed into his villain costume in the bushes so he can make an entrance.

Meanwhile, a rookie cyborg is given a chance to join a reformed super-team who are out to thwart Doctor Impossible's evil plan.

If you're a fan of comic books or superhero stories in general then you will love this book - the narrative points out the absurdities of the superhero world, whilst making it all believable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zap! Pow! Kerblam!, 29 Jun 2008
By 
Melmoth (London, England) - See all my reviews
Austin Grossman's "Soon I Will Be Invincible" (whose title really should have an exclamation mark at the end) is a witty and wonderful labour of love, a deeply-affectionate tribute to the comic-book worlds created by Marvel and DC, with added psychological depth.

Grossman's tale alternates between the stories of Doctor Impossible - a criminal mastermind who has done everything from travelling through time to suborning gods in his (failed) attempts to take over the world (and incidentally get one over on the oh-so-perfect college jock he accidentally turned into the world's greatest superhero, Corefire) - and Fatale, a down-on-her-luck cyborg with a mysterious past who suddenly finds herself a member of the world's greatest Superteam, The Champions. With Corefire missing, the not-so-good Doctor plans his most outrageous scheme yet, sure that this time he will finally take over the world, only The Champions stand in his way.

On the way through this conventional comic-book plot, Grossman takes time to ask and answer some of those questions that even the youngest comic-book readers can find themselves pondering: why do these super-intelligent scientists so often turn to evil, why do they fight on even in the face of perpetual failure and do they really do their own clothes-designing? Mixed in among the musings and super-powered maulings are fanboy-pleasing nods to everyone from Batman and Superman to Wolverine and Doctor Strange plus an array of supervillains old and young.

A funny and fun-filled book, with all the wit one might expect from a former member of Looking Glass Studios, the team that worked on classic video games such as Ultima Underworld, Deus Ex, Thief and System Shock.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a new idea, but not a bad effort, 13 Feb 2012
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Soon I will be Invincible is the story of a a supervillain Doctor Impossible and his ongoing quest to become well, invincible. Actually his quest is to win out over his various nemeses and enemies - trouble is, he's the kind of guy that not only needs to win, everyone else has to lose.

The story is actually split being the evil genius himself and Fatale the newest member of a team of superheroes that represent his main rivals. The chapters are alternately narrated by the Doctor and Fatale (a cyborg whose powers and origin are a mystery even to herself). But whilst this is the case it's definitely still Doctor Impossible's story.

The idea of a different spin on superheroes is not new - from Watchmen to Mystery Men, from The Specials to Doctor Horrible's Singalong Blog this is territory that's been covered before. Here it's neither straight out spoof nor serious deconstruction. It's fairly light and fun though I did tire a little that every person with powers (and all the characters we meet, major and minor, have powers) seemed to get the space for their own origin story. It made the story not convoluted but a little dense with excess detail. I also felt that there was a better female character in the book to be the counterpoint to Impossible's pov. However I understand how making her the other narrator would have robbed her of some necessary mystery. It did feel though that Fatale, whose story (and back-story) is clearly intertwined with Doctor Impossible's was a little further from the true centre of gravity of the book.

What I did like about the book was the characters. In particular I liked the sense of melancholy and longing for things to just work out. The sense of being an outsider and the feeling of ambivalence about powers. But in a world where pretty much anyone you meet is another superhero/villain then the story of an attempt to take over the world is like a drama about a bad day at the office - which is both a good and bad thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comicbook tale with literary flare!, 27 Jun 2008
I have really enjoyed reading this book. Being a long-term fan of the comic genre, Grossman's book made a well-written alternative.

Told from the alternating perspectives of the world's foremost super villain and a newcomer to the mantle of "superhero", you are trated to a whirlwind ride through the trials and tribulations of the classic Good vs. Evil.

Filled with acknowledgeable cliches and parallels from established comics, the story contains unique yet familiar characterisations, given their own new flare in the pages of this book. The history of the world in which these heroes and villains exist is vividly brought to the mind's eye along with all its rich history.

Full of twists, turns and chapter-end cliffhangers "Soon I Will Be Invincible" is an absorbing read; the best of the comic genre in a detailed transliteration.

A sequel set in the same world would be most appreciated!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playful homage, 22 Aug 2007
By 
Marcus Morgan (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Packed with details that draw you in, this comic book world is more four dimensional than four colour. I read this wishing it didn't have to end, and now I hope for a sequel. Bravo Mr. Grossman!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...and then the world will KNOW my name!, 26 Aug 2007
By 
M. Grace "Evil Genius" (within a hollowed out volcano) - See all my reviews
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Truly Truly Brilliant. Pratchett's humour/Gaiman's angst/DNA's twisting plotlines wrapped up in a spandex suit; without Moore's/Miller's dark depression.

May induce cackling insanely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best takes on the whole dynamic superhero/villain mythology!, 22 Mar 2013
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
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The superhero genre has been one of the most colourful in all history. The idea of superpowers, extra-ordinary individuals & their worlds has generated some of the greatest fiction of all time. Obviously, when we think of this, we look to Marvel & DC Comics. In recent years, we've also been treated to some refreshing, original and innovative takes on the superhero concept; for example, Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles and Mur Lafferty's Playing For Keeps.

Soon I Will Be Invincible naturally appealed to me right away. Not just because of its subject-matter, but also because of Bryan Hitch's GORGEOUS artwork for the cover. This hardback version is a thing of beauty in my hands. The dust-jacket is immediately eye-catching, what with Hitch's illustrations and the foil-stamped title. The book itself is all-the-more of a masterwork with the binding, paper-quality, font variations and more of Bryan's colour illustrations/sketches in the back of the book, some presented as actual comic-book covers! It's a true work of art, with the story to match.

Speaking of story, Austin Grossman has written a typical cliché of a comic-book plot. Supervillain wants to take over the world, and the heroes must stop him. That's the POINT of these kind of adventures, and while it NEVER gets old, Grossman wisely presents a twist for his novel to stop the whole thing from being redundant.

The twist is the EXPERT first-person narrative that Austin writes, alternating between two central characters; Doctor Impossible - a supervillain who's continually defeated/yet obsessed with ruling the world - and Fatale - a cyborg super-heroine and rookie who's been drafted to join the almighty team of heroes, the Champions. Neither character has anything to do with each other (apart from being on opposing sides!), but this is why Soon I Will Be Invincible succeeds. Great variety and contrast of insight.

Grossman pours a lot of qualities into both Impossible & Fatale to make them appealing. It's more than just a case of one being villain, the other being hero that makes this joint narrative a real winner. Both are as human as you & I, and because of their contrasting backgrounds, attitudes, situations, personalities & motivations, it makes the whole experience so refreshing. Not only can you RELATE to Dr. Impossible & Fatale (in some regards), this also helps advance the intelligent plot along.

But a key thing about Grossman's writing is that he keeps it all completely coherent. You won't get lost reading into the proceedings, and as much focus as Dr. Impossible and Fatale receive, the author manages to provide sufficient examination on the rest of the colourful supporting cast. The influence of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Avengers etc is blatant throughout, but again, it's so refreshing because of the human environments/domestic situations which grounds it all. A special appendix of all the players and timeline for this universe (provided by Austin) helps clarify certain details and makes the read even more of a fun, intelligent read.

Soon I Will Be Invincible is a work of excellence. It's well-paced, utterly engaging, breathes originality into a classic concept, has tonnes of character, and is bound to appeal to not only comic lovers, but sci-fi fans as well. Austin Grossman has produced a simply terrific novel here, one of the most outstanding in recent memory. Well worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Look at the Super Hero Genre!, 23 Dec 2012
By 
Killie (Armadale, Scotland) - See all my reviews
I picked up "Soon I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman with a hopeful mind as I always loved superhero stories but just never found comics to be something that I enjoyed reading. I wasn't disappointed, I am sure for people who read comics there is nothing new here, but for me I was happy that I got to read something that gave me the comic book styled story in a form that I enjoy.

The plot itself follows two intermingling stories, the first is that of a super villain named Dr. Impossible with the second following a rookie super hero named Fatale. We get to see the lives of these two characters and gain a little insight into their thought processes as their stories run parallel to each other with Dr. Impossible trying to implement a new plan for world domination whilst Fatale joins a team of super heroes who are intent on stopping him.

I have to admit there was a less satire than I had been expecting when I picked up the novel. I mean there are aspects of satire throughout but they are more hidden within the standard super hero story that Grossman is telling. The chapters around Dr. Impossible are definitely the most satirical and I found them to be the most enjoyable. This was helped by the fact that I think Grossman spent time developing him into a character that the reader could actually want to succeed in his aims.

Fatale and the super heroes however were much more straight laced and the real life issues they were facing almost seemed banal when you compared it to everything else. I understand, Grossman was trying to show the reader how both heroes and villains have things they need to deal with in their life. But whilst I found Dr. Impossible's inner monologue to be interesting and enjoyable to follow, the super heroes just came across as being a little bit more un-original and boring.

Overall, this was an enjoyable story and following Dr. Impossible's rise and fall in particular was highly entertaining and this alone was worth reading the book for. Just don't expect anything that original in regards to the super hero genre and you should be more than happy if you pick up this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've read this at least five times - an all time great, 11 July 2012
By 
Justin Keery "eljustinoid" (London) - See all my reviews
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As at least one of the reviews here has noted, the intro alone is spectacular. The first few pages are completely gripping, and the whole story unfolds at just the right speed.

What's great about this is the level of detail in the interwoven strands, and the way the whole thing pulls together beautifully at the end, following some great twists.

It's a hugely enjoyable read, and nothing would please me more than another book of this quality from this author.

I'd put this in my top 5 books of all time, with the others being Stranger in a Strange Land and then probably three Bruce Sterlings!
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Soon I Will Be Invincible
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman (Hardcover - 5 Jun 2007)
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