We are always in need of a hero, and The New Hero gives us fourteen. It seems the world should be safe for a while, but can these new heroes stand up against the old without stepping on their toes?
The New Hero sets out to provide fourteen fresh takes on the hero genre, each story by a different writer. The introduction promises unconventional tales of Rabbi pirates and vampires done in a way we haven’t seen before, and while these are present they aren’t particularly breaking any boundaries. Typical conventions are followed and expecting wafts of fresh air pumping through each tale will only cause disappointment. Sometimes an idea full of potential pops up, such as the ex-soldier with all his war buddies lurking in his head in ‘Better Off Not Knowing’, but often they feel like gimmicks rather than necessities to the plot. The final two stories do bring forth new age heroes however, with a Quaestor looking for dodgy priests in ‘A Man Of Vice’ and a group plotting to destroy the evil super hero in ‘The Captain’. These come across as the strongest tales thanks to their bold ideas and they are what The New Hero really should have consisted of throughout.
But the other stories while maintaining general plots of breaking curses and hunting down drug dealers (albeit re-skinned as goblins) they still offer solid reading. Perhaps the introduction and title falsely led me to believe that each tale would be a revolution rather than just general decent story telling, and so I found myself with high hopes waiting to be crushed. There are no duds and those looking for some epic tales of warriors and spies, The New Hero delivers, each hero different from the last. Just don’t expect anything out of this world, except a James Bond-esque spy in space.