“An excellent read that certainly lived up to the reviews. This anthology of superhero short stories is far from your typical comic book fare. The characters are flawed and encounter problems that are usually just glossed over by others. Terrific!”see full review » see other reviews »
“An excellent read that certainly lived up to the reviews. This anthology of superhero short stories is far from your typical comic book fare. The characters are flawed and encounter problems that are usually just glossed over by others. Terrific!”nuclearblonde wrote this review Sunday, September 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A great book to dip into. Perfect between books book.
Being a comic fan this book was a must have, and for anyone who is looking for something different.”
“There were a couple of reasons I picked up Masked (a 50% coupon, advance reviews and Lou Anders growing reputation as an editor), because it falls into a sub-genre I usually avoid. Yes, while I read comics and saw the Incredibles and the last Iron Man movie I usually avoid the super hero genre in prose. Writers usually either fail to write interesting stories. One of the few exceptions for me over the years was Superheroes edited by John Varley. Truthfully after all of these years I remember only three stories from that collection one by Laurell K. Hamilton (yes, the Anita Blake author) that was slightly disturbing, Varley's, and Michael Stackpole's entry. Stackpole's story was all right, but he gave Aaron Williams permission to use the character Revenant in PS238, a title that remains one of the best monthlies out there. The sub-genre is gowing there is now a site dedicated to this sub-genre.
Anders gathered together a better group of writers than Varley, and with the exception of the Downfall entry edited this stories better. Stephen Baxter's, the hard science fiction writer, Vacuum Lad offered some excellent science. While his ideas might not work, Baxter's ideas for dealing with climate change, and the title character's biology, made sense.
Three writers who work in both the novel and comic formats contributed stories. Bill Willingham best know for the award winning comic Fables, found an intriguing way to mix drabbles and the alphabet in his entry. Marjorie Liu's AU story had much more of a pulp feel, and she could turn her setting into a novel. I was surprsingly pleased by Mike Carey's The Non-Event. Gail Simone's first non-comics work, Thug, was also better than I expected at building sympathy for a developmentally handicapped henchman.
Based off the reviews I have seen for Ander's other anthologies I am tempted to try those. This is an entry that can appeal to both fans and non-fans of the sub-genre.”
“A great anthology. Although I didn't read three of the stories, the rest of them were very well written. My favorite was "Message from the Bubblegum Factory" by Daryl Gregory. The last one by Bill Willingham is a great quick look at many different characters involved in a battle.”Kelsey B wrote this review Wednesday, December 29, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Overall, the quality of the 15 short stories were excellent. I am removing a star for a couple of the stories that were just ok or a little dull.
The book presents the full gambit of story possibilities for heroes and villains. A range of abilities, uses of those powers, cliches of the genre as well as original ideas or new uses of old ones.
My favourites were:
"Cleansed and Set in Gold" by Matthew Sturges about Wildcard, a hero with variable abilities
"Secret Identity" by Paul Cornell, about a gay Shazam who doesn't seem as gay as his alter-ego.
"The Non-Event" by Mike Carey which has the coolest/oddest set of super powers and an unusual universe where it's just tough to be a super-villain.
"Thug" by Gail Simone, about a well meaning, super strong boy who mixes in with the wrong crowd.
"Downfall" by Joseph Mallozzi, about a reformed super villain roped into working for the government to investigate the death of a superman type character who no one actually liked.
"A to Z in the Ultimate Big Company Superhero Universe (and Villains Too)" by Bill Willingham - a smash! Bang! Crash! collision of loads of heros and villains that best represents the entire book - lots of variety in this one.
Those I didn't like:
"A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows" by Chris Roberson - just dull, "The Shadow" type character. Sorry, does nothing for me
"Call Her Savage" by Marjorie M. Liu - a ex war hero who would like nothing more than to be away from war, but inevitably gets called back. Also dull and difficult to follow. I don't really know what happened in this one.
There are a few more that fall between. The great stories were worth the bad ones, that's for sure. The bad ones weren't even really that bad.
I've enjoyed this collection more than most books this year. Certainly a new favourite.”
“Masked is an anthology of superhero stories with a central theme of the burden of being a hero. The book is sort of a mixed bag of different styles. Some of the stories are light and some of them can get to a dark place really quickly. If you are interested in superheros, then more then likely you are probably going to find at least one or two stories in here that you will like. My only complaint is some of the longer stories, to me, out stayed their welcome and meandered a bit. I whole heartedly recommend it.”Colton B wrote this review Wednesday, August 4, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a really fun read and perfect for summer when novels can be overwhelming. You can pick this up and read a story in an hour, put it down and then read another one. The short stories of this anthology are all based on super heroes of some sort. I have to say my absolute favorite one is Head Cases by Peter David and Kathleen David. The story revolves around a group of friends that meet in a bar and all have some sort of super power. It is just a perfect take on young adult angst and how even having a super power can be a cross to bear.
“Masked is more of an inside look into what makes a superhero in their truest form. So if you are looking for lots of action and adventure then you may be a little disappointed. I mean there was some fighting going on but I was expecting this anthology to be like the comics and television series I grew up with. Though, I have to say that I did really like some of the stories featured like: Where Their Worm Dieth Not (kind of like the stories I was used to reading. Also it reminded me some of the Twilight Zone), Secret Identity, Avatar and Call Her Savage.
I am not saying that some of the other stories weren’t bad but this is one time where I felt that the stories were too short. They were just start getting going and then the story would end. The more human aspect of the superheroes was nice to see where these characters come from and who they are. Though, I was introduced me to a bunch of new writers. Overall, Masked didn’t reveal itself to me, in order to fully enjoy this anthology.