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Superheroes have feelings too

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily
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“Soon I Will Be Invincible” is like a comic book without pictures. In his debut novel, Austin Grossman pokes fun at every superhero cliche ever created while managing to take them all seriously at the same time.

He takes the glamour out of being a superhero or villain and brings those characters down to our level. When all the spandex and masks are removed, the characters in “Invincible” all have real feelings, emotions and problems, just like the rest of the human race, and in the end they are anything but invincible.

The book alternates narratives in each chapter between the point of view of two main characters. The first is a “mad-scientist” type who calls himself Dr. Impossible. When we first meet him, he’s plotting his escape from prison in his latest attempt to take over the world. Like anybody, the doc has habits he can’t break. He finds himself constantly battling the urge to reveal the details of his evil schemes to others and feels drawn to construct elaborate machines that can pull the moon out of orbit or bring the next ice age to Earth. He also wonders what it would be like to be a superhero instead of the evil-genius outcast he’s become. Impossible is the most intriguing character in the book, especially when he muses lines like: “When you become a villain you cut your ties and head for the bottom. When you threaten to crash an asteroid into your own planet just so they’ll give you a billion dollars … there’s no statute of limitations. So you have to have the courage of your convictions.”



On the hero’s side we see things from Fatale’s perspective. After a truck accident obliterated half of her body, she awoke as a cyborg with superhuman strength and a built-in weapons arsenal, but no memory of how she got that way ” kind of like Jason Bourne. Now she finds herself a rookie member of the New Champions ” Earth’s most powerful and popular superhero team hot on the trail of Doctor Impossible for his role in the death of their comrade CoreFire. But once Fatale is on the team she sees how divorces, affairs, stress and internal jealousy affect even the most super of the super. None of her teammates are what they appear to be in front of the cameras and at press conferences in between saving the world.

“Soon I Will Be Invincible” is a quick yet memorable read full of colorful characters, super battles and keen insights on human frailty ” both emotional and physical. One can’t help but feel empathy for Dr. Impossible and his underworld friends who have been constantly rejected by a world that doesn’t understand them. At the same time, the characters we’re supposed to root for are easily viewed as spoiled snobs used to getting their way. Geeks will enjoy it because of the way it relates to so many familiar comic book characters but anyone can appreciate the newness Grossman brings to an otherwise tired genre.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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