In Hero Years... I'm Dead [NOOK Book]

Overview

Twenty years ago someone stole him away from Capital City. Having been released from captivity he returns to find everything changed. The great heroes of his day, men who could move planets or tear apart criminal syndicates, have all retired. A new breed of hero has sprung up to deal with a perplexingly new brand of villain. It's a world that makes no sense, and a world which, if he persists in playing the hero, will surely see him dead.

In ...
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In Hero Years... I'm Dead

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Overview

Twenty years ago someone stole him away from Capital City. Having been released from captivity he returns to find everything changed. The great heroes of his day, men who could move planets or tear apart criminal syndicates, have all retired. A new breed of hero has sprung up to deal with a perplexingly new brand of villain. It's a world that makes no sense, and a world which, if he persists in playing the hero, will surely see him dead.

In Hero Years... I'm Dead mixes action, dark humor, satire and strong characters into a thrilling page-turner. It's superheroes facing challenges both in costume and out, battling a cunning enemy bent on destroying all they have worked so hard to preserve.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012695154
  • Publisher: Stormwolf.com
  • Publication date: 11/12/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 343,931
  • File size: 616 KB

Meet the Author

Michael A. Stackpole is the New York Times bestselling author of I, Jedi and Rogue Squadron. He is an award winning novelist, graphic novelist, podcaster, game designer, computer game designer and screenwriter.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    An interesting mix of homage and originality

    An interesting mix of homage and originality. As seems to be standard for a work focusing on costumed superheroes, we get our normal cast of characters with the serial numbers filled off (big blue boy scout, dark knight, armored genius inventor) but we also get a few that are usually passed over (I'm looking at you, joke of a fish guy). We get a world that's already used to the idea of heroes and villains with extraordinary abilities, but the reaction to that fact has to be the most unique piece of world building I've seen in a while. And in a world of comics come to life, our central character tries his best to live as normal a life as possible.

    There are a few problems with it. My biggest issue was that there was so much of a world built here that it can be a little bit confusing. There are times where it felt like the author was trying to cram in every character that has ever been listed on the roster of the Avengers into one issue of the comic. We've a couple of generations of heroes and villains to deal with here, and because of this, there are times when someone new gets introduced and its up to the reader to guess as to the connections between this new character and the ones that have already been established by that point. This is not helped by most characters having two (at minimum) identities, several characters using the same heroic persona at different times in the book, and several different heroic personas being the exact same ability set with a slightly different paint job. I actually think there's a part in book where even the author got a little confused and labeled one hero's trade mark weapon as one used by a different hero. Some may also claim that the book is a slow read. For me, it works. Yes, it takes its time getting to the major plot of the story, but it spends that time well as an origin story for our main character (a person so paranoid that I don't think he gets locked down into a civilian identity until chapter nine at the earliest).

    Over all, I really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Great Book

    This book is a great read. I really enjoyed it. The book has enough twists to keep it interesting. I had a hard time putting it down. A must read for anyone into comics or superheros.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    Capes and intrigue

    I've been a follower of Stackpole's for many years. In that time I have grown to expect ahigh standard of story telling. This book does not disapoint! Entertaining and imaginative, Stackpole weaves a super universe that is familiar, yet new. If you enjoyed graphic novels such as "The Kingdom," this eill be a good read.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    Pure Super Originality

    It is incredibly hard to tell an inventive superhero story, but In Hero Years.I'm Dead genuinely spins an original tale. Stackpole mixes the traditional comic book feel with quirky humor and a noir-detective backdrop that makes for truly compelling reading. Capital City is full of surprises around every turn as caricatures of all the classic heroes propel you further down its alleys. The characters feel very real and leap off the screen. The protagonist keeps you engaged as he explores the new world Capitol City has become in his absence. Everyone can connect to the range of emotions he experiences throughout the story. Most hero stories focus on the heroes themselves and their personal struggles. While Stackpole certainly captures this, he also explores the pressure of society as it works against the traditional hero versus villain mechanic. He creates a truly modern city that brilliantly figures out how to cope with its super inhabitants that is so believable, it is almost scary . ? The social commentary he weaves into the main storyline adds that bit of depth that some hero stories skim over to appease the masses. You won't find the same old 'have to beat the bad guy' plot here. Stackpole dishes up a fresh take on caped crusaders and their reason for protecting their city.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2011

    Pure Super Originality

    It is incredibly hard to tell an inventive superhero story, but In Hero Years.I'm Dead genuinely spins an original tale. Stackpole mixes the traditional comic book feel with quirky humor and a noir-detective backdrop that makes for truly compelling reading. Capital City is full of surprises around every turn as caricatures of all the classic heroes propel you further down its alleys. The characters feel very real and leap off the screen. The protagonist keeps you engaged as he explores the new world Capitol City has become in his absence. Everyone can connect to the range of emotions he experiences throughout the story. Most hero stories focus on the heroes themselves and their personal struggles. While Stackpole certainly captures this, he also explores the pressure of society as it works against the traditional hero versus villain mechanic. He creates a truly modern city that brilliantly figures out how to cope with its super inhabitants that is so believable, it is almost scary . ? The social commentary he weaves into the main storyline adds that bit of depth that some hero stories skim over to appease the masses. You won't find the same old 'have to beat the bad guy' plot here. Stackpole dishes up a fresh take on caped crusaders and their reason for protecting their city.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2011

    Enjoyable read and an interesting world

    This book takes several interesting looks at the superhero genre by depicting a world in which superheroes and supervillains not only exist, but are embraced by society. There is a sports-handicapping type system that rates heroes and villains based on their exploits. An eBay-like environment allows villains to subcontract parts of their schemes to other villains, heroes to bid on access to the villain's plans, and to subcontract how the bad guys will be handled with other villains. Ordinary folks participate through a sort of "fantasy league" in which they win money based on how well their heroes and villains are doing.

    Into this somewhat orderly world of crime and punishment steps a hero who has been out of circulation for 20 years, for reasons unknown at the start of the story. He's confused by the bank employees anticipating a robbery, the heroes and villains using non-lethal weapons, and the whole attitude of people just accepting these events as normal.

    The hero is also coping with his age, a relationship that has been damaged by disappearing 20 years ago (not by choice), and the fact that the heroes he thought were invincible are all retired.

    I don't want to spoil the story, so I'm going to be somewhat vague from here on out. The main character, whose real name we never learn, finds himself dealing with his age, his own mortality, the changes to the city he loves, family issues, and a belief that something just isn't quite "right" in the world.

    Meanwhile, Stackpole shows us how the existence of superheroes and villains can warp how a society views crime and punishment, how an actor's portrayal of a person can alter the public's perception of that person, how fandom and entertainment influence each other, how heroes and villains can be similar, and how two heroes can work together but have very different (perhaps incompatible) views of the world.

    If you have an interest in the superhero genre, comic books, and fandom, you'll enjoy this book. It takes a look at the genre in a way that is respectful (if not loving) and thought-provoking (what makes one person a hero and another a villain?).

    At the end of the book, the author explains where the story idea came from and how it evolved into the finished book. As a writer myself, I found this "backstage" glimpse into the story education and perhaps as entertaining as the book itself.

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    Posted February 6, 2012

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    Posted August 27, 2011

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    Posted January 20, 2012

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted February 12, 2011

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    Posted March 19, 2011

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    Posted May 5, 2012

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    Posted May 3, 2011

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    Posted September 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2011

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