Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Superhero Month: SHERO by Jack Wallen
SHERO by Jack Wallen is a fun, breezy yet still superheroic adventure with a very different kind of hero.
Shero, the hero(ine) of Wallen's story, is an intrepid crime fighter and member of the Society of Superheroes, doing it all and then some in fabulous couture and three inch heels. Shero is dedicated to protecting the innocent and being an exemplary leader in the SSH...until it's all turned upside down and she doesn't know who she can trust or where to turn to. Now instead of fighting crime and keeping the citizenry safe from VILE, the group of supervillains at odds with the SSH, Shero must clear her name and figure out who in the Society has it in for her and why.
Wallen has done an admirable job of creating a colorful, over-the-top comedic take on the superhero genre and seasoned it with the tropes one would find in more traditional adventures. Shero is not your ordinary crime fighter; she is a transgendered superhero top to bottom and embraces herself totally and is also accepted by society. From her custom made, Kevlar coated black dresses to her poisonous fingernail polish, there is no shame in her game! And her compatriots are just as colorful, with their code names and awesome super powers. There are leagues for both the heroes and villains in this story, double crosses and secret histories. Clearly,Wallen has read more than a few comics in his day, and has turned out a new adventure here with a very clever twist.
I really appreciated that Wallen was able to try his hand at telling a superhero story, especially with a protagonist such as Shero, and keep it fun and light. Just because there are gay characters in a story, too often it seems that the story will wind up in the gutter, with said characters winding up in the sheets. Wallen never takes it there and decides instead to titillate his readers, even in the scenes that involve the sensual temptress, Mephistopheles.
In fact it's with the scenes between Mephistopheles and Shero that I had a small issue with. It's stated that she is irresistible and she and Shero do have a past from years before but I felt that with a protagonist that is unapologetically transgendered, would this be the lover that Shero would really be with? Ultimately though, this is a superhero story, and I didn't think twice about it as the story rushed to it's climax. Wallen leaves the door wide open for a sequel (do I smell franchise?) and I'd be more than happy to see what shenanigans Shero will get into next.
This is NOT your classic superhero adventure but something different. Shero is a different kind of superhero indeed but still embodies what makes a person a superhero in the first place; she is honorable, forthright and true. And most importantly, true to herself. Pick up your copy here and you will enjoy Shero's adventures as much as I did.