What makes a superhero? Someone with special powers ... Ordinary people doing good deeds ... Anyone with sophisticated technological gadgets and incredible agility? Superheroes can spring up from the most unexpected people in the most unusual places, and BEAT to a PULP: Superhero has gathered some of the best hardboiled and noir crime stories with a superhero bend. Billy Mitchell, the six-year-old "Red Avenger" in Kevin Burton Smith's tale, has an innocence and a special something that draws us to want to don a mask and tie a towel around our necks. Steve Weddle dissects the reality of a world in which super-powered "others" walk in the midst of normal people who tend to quote only parts of the Bible. And James Reasoner's story is set in a time not usually associated with superheroes -- the American Revolution -- yet Patrick Mainwaring finds the classic essence of a superhero. Other top contributors include Jake Hinkson, Garnett Elliott, Liam Jose, Sandra Seamans, Jerry Bloomfield, Thomas Pluck, Keith Rawson, Court Merrigan, Benoit Lelievre, and Chad Eagleton. If you like the work of Frank Miller or the recent Dark Knight films directed by Christopher Nolan, then you'll enjoy the grit of these thirteen tales in BEAT to a PULP: Superhero.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was my first foray into the BEAT TO A PULP (BTAP) series, edited by David Cranmer. He initially created the BTAP e-zine as a way to present well written stories that recalled the old traditional pulp adventures and now there is also a series of books that compile even more of these same great stories. I came across the series while exploring more pulp and noir reading, after finishing 8 Pounds by Chris Holm and I'm very glad I took the chance and got myself a copy of Beat to a Pulp: Superhero.
This volume, edited by Cranmer and Scott D.Parker doesn't just deal with the traditional "superhero"; as a matter of fact, most of the stories deal with ordinary people rising to the occasion and doing heroic things. So while not exactly what I was expecting, given the title, the excellence of the stories was very much what I was expecting and I found myself enjoying this anthology very much.
There are thirteen tales in this volume; I will highlight my...
I’ve read Beat to a Pulp’s site for a while now, never disappointed at the weekly short stories they put up. This is the first anthology of their’s I’ve ever read, but now I have, the Hardboiled series is on the list, for this is a brilliant collection. I was a little reluctant to buy it, because I’m sick of all the superhero films, and still shaking my head at the Spiderman reboot. I didn’t want to read about po-faced men of steel smacking skyscrapers from their foundations, thanks. However, as I said, I’ve not yet seen Beat to a Pulp publish a stinker.
I enjoyed all the stories here, but Kevin Burton Smith’s The Revenge of the Red Avenger grabbed my shirt collars and pulled me right in, making me realise (though the fabulous introduction by Scott D. Parker should have clued me in) that this collection isn’t about indestructible men and women boring us with daddy issues and teenage angst, which has paid off so well...
Editors David Cranmer and Scott D. Parker have given us another set of fine stories. Most of the people in these tales are not superheroes in the truest sense of the word. To be sure, there are a few. But most are just ordinary folks that find that inner core that makes a true hero.
Stories set all over the place: the future, present times, James Reasoner's tale is set in the Revolutionary War. Children playing at superhero, some adults doing the same, people wronged and striking back.
As usual in a story collection, I liked some better than others. Doesn't mean those were bad, they're not, just my faves struck a chord in me. The next fellow would likely have a different set.
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