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Hero by Perry Moore

Hero (2007)

by Perry Moore

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1,1546311,723 (3.8)50
Thom Creed, the gay son of a disowned superhero, finds that he, too, has special powers and is asked to join the very League that rejected his father, and it is there that Thom finds other misfits whom he can finally trust.
  1. 10
    Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman (lampbane)
    lampbane: An alternative perspective on the lives of superheroes, also told outside the comics page.
  2. 00
    The Awakening by Michael Carroll (Vulco1)
    Vulco1: Action. Adventure. YA. Super powers. Next generation of young heroes.
  3. 00
    Hero-Type by Barry Lyga (lampbane)
    lampbane: Also features a teen protagonist ruminating on what makes a person a hero.

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Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
Back in the day, Thom's father was one of the most well-known American superheroes; everyone knew his name, and boy, did they cheer it when he came to save the day. But that was all a long time ago. Now, it's more about pretending neither of them saw the angry looks of hatred whenever someone realises just who Thom's father is. The mere mention of the s-word is more or less forbidden in their house – Thom has never felt the urge to try say it out loud.

Which is why things feel very complicated when he starts to realise that he has superpowers of his own; incredibly healing abilities which are put to the test when he runs away from home (the shared laptop freezes on pornographic picture of Thom's favourite superhero) and ends up on a bus hijacked by a bunch of villains. Together with a mysterious masked hero, he attempts to save the other passengers until help comes. A brave and heartfelt act that grants him an invitation to try out for the superhero squad. Even if he's hesitant, it's hard to not show up at the try outs. '

Soon, Thom finds himself tangled up into a complete mess; trying to hide his secret superhero-hood from his father whilst figuring out how break the news of his sexuality to his father, let alone new buddies. Has there ever been a gay superhero? Could there ever be one? Would they accept him as a hero if his secret came out?

To top it all off, someone seems to be killing superheroes here and there – and for every day, Thom's mess just seems larger and larger, but most importantly, dangerous and possibly fatal. Is he really made of the right stuff for this job?

It's hard to not pick up a book about a gay superhero as it's a mix rarely encountered, so naturally, I was quite excited for this one. I'm still not entirely sure what my general opinion of it is. I felt like I was both pleased and disappointed.

I guess I mostly feel disappointed because it kept rubbing me the wrong way without any proper, concrete argument as to why. I wasn't a total fan of the writing, I often felt restless and lost – like I just wanted the book to be over with. I also had a hard time completely connecting with the main character, Thom, as he felt quite a lot like cisgay male filled to the brim with sexism he considers to be accepting as he's not into women that way. I did momentarily like him and sometimes I did relate to him quite a lot but it was hard to properly like him as a character.

I had kind of hoped for a book where the gay character was allowed to be gay without literally everyone throwing a fit about it – but I quite did like the way the homophobes were portrayed in this book. It was sad and infuriating but also raw and realistic. In those moments, I could truly relate to Thom with his anger, fear and insecurity.

Although, the best part was undoubtedly every scene with Ruth. She was a true blessing to the book and it definitely hadn't been as good and enjoyable without her. ( )
  autisticluke | Nov 14, 2019 |
This was a fun romp through the world of super heroes!! Thom is a typical teenager ... or is he? He’s maybe got some super powers that he doesn’t know how to control. Also, he has feelings that he’s uncomfortable about because he thinks his father won’t be able to love him if he finds out.

Sad and laugh out loud funny.

I adored this. ( )
  Charlotte_Kinzie | Jun 20, 2019 |
This was a fun romp through the world of super heroes!! Thom is a typical teenager ... or is he? He’s maybe got some super powers that he doesn’t know how to control. Also, he has feelings that he’s uncomfortable about because he thinks his father won’t be able to love him if he finds out.

Sad and laugh out loud funny.

I adored this. ( )
  Charlotte_Kinzie | Jun 20, 2019 |
Great idea. So-so writing. Loved it anyway.

I'll just cut the equivocating for once. Moore is clearly a comics fan on both sides of the Marvel/DC dividing line, even if he seems to favor the DC archetypes, and has filled his book with parallels and direct references to characters as prominent as Superman and Susan Reed and as obscure as Matter-Eater Lad.

There is so much material to be found in superheroes that it's surprising how its only recently that text novels have come out on the subject...no pun intended.

Because, yeah, the main hook here is Thom Creed coming to terms with his homosexuality, and the ridicule and aggression he's afraid to face at home and from the League of Superheroes. The book is funny too, from Thom and his team-mates being the designated 'D' squad, to Thom's masturbation fantasies starring Uberman.

And yes, the writing is mostly choppy, and most of the cast of characters are pretty skimpy, relying heavily on reader-knowledge of superhero archetypes to fill the gaps. But did I like? Hell yes.

Here comes the personal story:

The importance of this book to others will be like what 'The Broken Hearts Club' was to me, a fluffy and inconsequential romantic comedy where all the characters are gay (starring Timothy Olyphant, Dean Cain, Zach Braff and the dad from Frasier!) I saw it around the time I first really started to come to terms with being gay and what that really meant for my life.

A joke in the movie is that how the only gay characters in movies are dying AIDS patients or resolute friends of dying AIDS patients. Or catty best friend to lonely female. Which was true. The sexless 'Will & Grace' hadn't really come in on my radar yet. Here was a movie that was about a normal group of friends and their relationships, no one was dying of AIDS, there was no big scene about suffering intolerance. I guess my eureka here was that there were enough of us out there that there was an audience for this kind of movie. And maybe, normal life was possible.

/end personal story.

I'm OK with the fact that this book is a little flawed, a little trivial, a little gushy; whatever. It has action and heart and a happy ending. This book can be important with a little 'i,' because I think it accomplishes, and then some, the author's original intent to craft a story about being a gay teenager and creating a realistic gay superhero. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
I'm annoyed that the writing here was so poor, since the subject matter was so necessary in mainstream literature. The preface by Stan Lee was a humorless twist, since many of the superheroes depicted were blatant analogs of the classic DC Comics starting lineup.

All told, a disappointment. ( )
  Ubiquitine | Nov 24, 2018 |
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I never thought I'd have a story worth telling, at least not one about me.
Everyone in the world should have at least one moment in their lifetime when an entire crowd of people cheers them on for something, one moment to feel exceptional, one moment that lets you know you really do mean something in the universe.
I thought about how she’d felt the need to explain to me what colored meant because people didn’t use the term anymore. I wondered if the same thing would happen one day to faggot.
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Thom Creed is used to being on his own. Even though he's a basketball star, his classmates keep their distance. They pick up on something different about Thom. Plus, he can't escape his father's history. Hal Creed had been one of the greatest and most beloved superheroes of his time, until a catastrophic event left him disfigured and a pariah - and led to the disappearance of Thom's mother.

The last thing in the world Thom wants is to add to his father's pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he's been asked to join the League - the very organization of superheroes that disowned Hal. The most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself, much less admit to anyone else. To make matters worse, he knows someone's been following him. Someone who now knows everything.

But joining the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.

To survive, Thom will have to face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he'll have to come to terms with his father's past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be. This groundbreaking novel tells an unforgettable story of love, loss, and redemption.
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