Saturday, March 3, 2018

Caped: The Omega Superhero by Darius Brasher review

    I'm a huge fan of superhero fiction as anyone who checked my Goodreads book lists would be able to tell (or, you know, has read the Supervillainy Saga). That means I'm always looking forward to a new series which is both established as well as good. This is certainly the case with the Omega Superhero, which has four installments at the time of the publication of this review as well as being good.

    The premise is Theodore Conley is a 17-year old living in a world where superheroes are real and the product of a X-men like meta-gene. After accidentally throwing some bullies superhumanly far, he discovers he is a Omega-level superhuman. An attempt to live a normal life goes disastrously wrong and Theodore ends up forced to go to superhero boot camp in order to train with his new abilities.

    I happened to really like this book's premise and it reminded me a bit of Starship Troopers as well as the short-lived Avengers spin-off AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE. It was about a bunch of kids put in a mandatory boot-camp by the government to train to be superheroes and how that screwed them up or made them better. This is a far less cynical take on the subject and we get to see Theodore prosper under the guidance of the superheroes there instead of crumble.

    I was a real big fan of Smoke and Myth, Theodore's ("Kinetic") best friends that he makes at the camp. Smoke has the usual protagonist's background of being a supervillain's daughter and Myth is just a big bundle of fun. They all play off well against one another and have a very believable dynamic that I think makes the book readable at the worst of times and greatly entertaining at the best.

    The villain of the book, Iceburn, is somewhat generic but he exists primarily as an obstacle for Theodore to overcome rather than a more meaningful antagonist. I'm more interested in who hired Iceburn to go after the protagonist, though the law of drama indicates it's probably the one other supervillain mentioned in the book who would cause massive personal drama to our heroes' budding relationship.

    For the most part, Caped is a very solid traditional superhero tale about great power and great responsibility. It's a coming of age story where he goes through an arc of trying to put down his own selfish motives and embrace a higher calling without being cheesy. I kind of regret one of the major influences in Theodore's life is killed early in the book because I really liked their relationship and would have been interested in the continuing development of it.

    In conclusion, if you're looking for a solid Spiderman meets Superman-esque story of good versus evil as well as what a "realistic" hero might look like then this is a decidedly optimistic non-cynical book for you.



  1. Darius Brasher's books are actually how I discovered you, following the click vortex after finishing one. But, do yourself a favor, read the Superhero Detective books first! It's a bit of important world building you will appreciate later :D. Can't wait for your next one!

    1. I have read all of the Cape novels and am currently reading Killshot. I'm not sure which I like more, though I think Theodore may edge Truman out. Darius is an awesome guy on Twitter, too.