So a few weeks ago, I was in my friendly neighborhood Barnes and Noble (which isn't actually in my neighborhood, but . . . well, never mind) and I was looking at the sci-fi and fantasy anthologies. Much to my surprise, I found one dedicated to nothing but short stories about superheroes, namely Masked. Seeing as I've written a superhero book myself, I thought it might be fun to see what the authors who contributed had come up with. Like most anthologies, it was a mixed bag. Some of them I liked. Some of them I didn't get. A few were only "meh."
Let's talk about the gems: Cleansed and Set in Gold by Matthew Sturges was a wild ride if a little disgusting. The Non-Event by Mike Carey was an interesting read as well. Message from the Bubblegum Factory by Daryl Gregory was pretty wild too but I really liked it. Thug by Gail Simone was truly awesome, written from the viewpoint of an mostly illiterate henchman. Downfall by Joseph Mallozzi was good too, although I was a little confused by the ending. And the final story, A to Z in the Ultimate Big Company Superhero Universe (Villains Too) by Bill Willingham was really cool. I loved some of the characters Willingham came up with.
But by far, I think my favorite was Avatar by Mike Baron, who sought to write a "realistic" superhero story. No fancy powers. No nothing like that. Just a very troubling story about a very troubled young man.
So definitely worth the read if you're a superhero geek.