YA?Twenty-five marvelous short stories about cartoon heroes. These are not your run-of-the-mill superheroes like Captain Marvel, Superman, or Batman?these people have weird, sometimes twisted, viewpoints. Consider Captain Housework in Laurell K. Hamilton's "A Clean Sweep," who gets so frustrated about everyone hiring him as a maid instead of using his special powers that he takes macabre revenge on his last customer. In Josepha Sherman's "The Defender of Central Park," a misplaced leshy (tree spirit) is upset at being out of his element. But, as he defends a young woman from a stalker, he decides his life's work is to protect innocent people. Nevertheless, his defenses take dark turns. Harvey, a pediatrician, writes to his mother complaining of the hardships in caring for extraordinary infants in Mike Resnick and Lawrence Schmel's wacky "Super Acorns." All of the selections have unusual twists and surprise endings. Many are satirical and full of dark humor, and some are violent. All are intriguing.?Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Superheroes and their derring-do are no longer confined to the cartoons, as a recent "biography" of Superman and this playfully entertaining collection of superhuman adventures attest. Coeditors Varley and Mainhardt wisely avoid episodes from the established superhero pantheon in favor of those from imaginative, even twisted, superhero variations. Using Varley's own wry tale of an invincible Soviet "Bolshoiman" as a springboard, they spotlight comic-book champions' often tongue-in-cheek literary cousins, from Captain Cosmos to Captain Housework. B. W. Clough, for instance, drolly recounts "the Gazorcher's" predicament of handing over "the goggles" to his Generation X-er daughter. Michael A. Stackpole in "Peer Review," however, takes a turn toward serious action-adventure as he treats one crime fighter's apparent defection into lawbreaking and his censure by fellow superheroes. In "Reflected Glory," Paul Kupperberg soberly demonstrates how today's world would really treat a superhero when a PR man slyly uses a superhuman vigilante to further his own career. These and the other stories well may satisfy both fans and foes of the comic-book scene. Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.