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Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
This isn't a bad book, just not anywhere near as good as it could have been.
"It's a futuristic-retro superhero romp that mixes and matches 1930s Art Deco architectural lines with the gung-ho Soviet formalist propaganda style, twisted into 1960s pop art sentiment and the huge influence of Jack Kirby. Think golden and silver age American comics channeled into a dystopian future--via Japanese manga--while heavily skewed by the '60s Marvel comic book baggage of Kirby, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Jim Steranko, Steve Ditko and their ilk. And then decant that concoction into the legacy of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett."
Now, I did say `book', not `comic book'. Andrez Bergen has stuffed all these comic book concepts into one hefty novel. But the visuals so dear to comic book aficionados have not been forgotten. Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? is illustrated by a variety of artists from the UK, Italy, the United States, Japan, Russia, Spain, Canada, Argentina, and the author's homeland of Australia.
"I wanted a more professional take on the visual concept and I also liked the idea of disparate visions of the same character--it's the way comic books, after all, work in the real world. Bryan Hitch's perception of Captain America in 2009 was far different from John Buscema's in 1969."
But the most challenging hurdle of all was his decision to let me read the book. I appreciate comic books for their rich history and contributions to our culture in the form of action movies, occasional fashion statements and a rich abundance of cultural references. However, my own interest in comics was short-lived, just a small dose of Superman back in grade school.Read more ›
Meanwhile, in the real world...
Andrez Bergen steers us carefully through the layered reality of an Australian dystopic future mixed into a fantasy comic book past. Equal parts Stan Lee and Raymond Chandler, with Gibsonesque twirlings, this story could easily get away from a writer. But, lacking the visual framework of the comic books that it draws on for its own legends, Bergen eschews the grandstanding and instead focuses on the characters. The novel is full of empathy and emotion. After all, when you're not sure how real your world or your fate is, what else have got to rely on except your own sense of self, of right and wrong, love and hate, friendship and enmity? And of course, your chosen superpower.
Not that you have to be into comic books to enjoy this. Comics have always been more incidental in my life than a mainstay, and yet I still got most of the references, or at least understood them. Superhero fans certainly will enjoy it, but there's as much mystery, intrigue, and romance as there is action. And Bergen does a great job in not only bringing the world to life, but also in toying with the conventions of pulp and comic book lore. When we do find ourselves out in the 'real world' it is insufferably grim and forbidding, neatly contrasted to the shiny newness of Heropa, where whole city blocks can be destroyed and repaired over night - in true comic book fashion, consequences never last longer than a story arc. At least, not when things are working right.Read more ›
Actually, homage isn't really what's going on here--it's almost an investigation of the assumptions comic books are based on. You see, Heropa is a futuristic virtual reality set up with super heroes, villains, and blandos (all the people who super heroes save). The world has become such a terrible place that people have totally given up on it and they journey to Heropa mentally, if not physically. Heropa is a fundamentally (and mechanically) broken place, where the super heroes and the blandos resent each other and everything seems to be falling apart.
Bergen uses this premise as a vehicle to poke at a bunch of interesting questions: What does being a super hero mean? Would a world with super heroes be better or worse? What about all those people who the super heroes "save"? Are they real people or just objects? Can virtual reality be as important as reality?
And this is what I dig about Bergen's work in general--he takes entertaining plots and characters and uses them to explore deeper issues. Yet he's never didactic or navel-gazing; he walks the tight rope expertly.
After three books, it's clear that Bergen doesn't confine himself to one genre. In fact, he prefers to mix and blend genres with gleeful abandon. Yet there is consistency. He creates some of the most wildly imaginative places you will ever encounter in fiction. He has perfect pitch for witty dialog and cultural references.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Haven't finished yet and maybe it's too early to write a review, but as I'm not a native English speaker I agreed with the other review that makes reference to the grammar... Read morePublished on 7 Mar. 2015 by Bibi
Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa is a fantastically different and entertaining novel. Set in a dystopian post apocalyptic future where there is only one city left on earth. Read morePublished on 11 Jan. 2015 by Amazon Customer
An absolute joy. Andrez Bergrns obvious passion for the subject matter oozes from pages packed full of tight and delicious prose with wonderfully created characters which are all... Read morePublished on 24 Dec. 2014 by Mr. D. I. Newton
Who Is Killing The Great Capes Of Heropa? by Andrez Bergen is a sprawling, and occasionally rambling (but that is part of the fun) love-letter to the comicbook superhero genre. Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2013 by Xopher tm
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