I’m really glad Christopher Chambers pinged me about the release today of a new collection of stories he co-edited with Gary Phillips. Those of you who know me know that I’ve been a longtime lover and reader of comics. I’m currently really feeling Marvel’s X-Force limited series, although Todd Kelley tells me I’m missing the boat by not checking out Ed Brubaker’s work in Captain America. And I’ll pretty much buy anything that Jim Lee draws.
But enough about me.
It’s great to see the idea of the super hero expanded and evolved. And what a perspective! In the intro, the editors provide context for the collection by placing it on a continuum of storytelling that dates back to prehistoric campfires. Check this out
The heroes in those first stories weren’t Clark Kents or Bruce Waynes or Sue Richards, with her blond extensions and perfect C-cups. They were plain old us–flawed and scared. Blind and groping. Striving not to save the world, but to save one life or to right one wrong. In the process, they save something of themselves as well.
And this, too:
Be advised, these ain’t your mama’s and daddy’s super heroes. These protagonists, for the most part, are products of, and grounded in, the world we butt heads against every damn day–and they hvae the means to bite back. But isn’t that what we gathered abournd the fire to hear?
In addition to Christopher, I’m looking forward to tucking into stories by Walter Mosely, Tananarive Due, the late Jerry Rodriguez, and my man Michael Gonzales. Just got the review copy via messenger today, so I can’t make a judgment on the collection right now. But, for you fans of the genre, it looks like something worth checking out.
- The Darker Mask: Heroes from the Shadows, edited by Gary Phillips and Christopher Chambers