Invulnerability is a pretty useless superpower if you’ve only got a one-hundred pound frame to back it up. That’s what Quinton West’s life became when he went from small guy who got beat up to small guy who can’t get hurt after the meteor shower dubbed “The Event” gifted him the power of invulnerability but no other powers to compliment it.
But there’s more to Quin than meets the eye, and after some encouragement from his new mentor–a local New Orleans-based superhero named Glow–Quin realizes that he can use his quirky hobby of creating Rube Goldberg devices to outsmart the opposition. But being a hero paints a target on your back, and Quin’s got to risk it all to join the ranks of the superheroes he looks up to. It’s a good thing he can take a punch.
Warnings: gun violence, physical violence, discussion of institutionalized racism
An origin story plot for a young superhero, Quincredible has a teenager with invulnerability rise up to his potential, amidst conflict in New Orleans. The story begins sometime after a devastating flood and meteor strike, the latter of which caused a spike in superhero numbers. Quin looks up to all the superheroes that emerged since then, but with his power only being able to take a hit without damage, he feels he has nothing to offer, plus he doesn’t know if he is cut out for hero business.
Meanwhile, in a community that has been recovering from two disastrous events, there are rising tensions regarding institutional racism, with an activist at the center of it, and an increasing distrust towards the superheroes themselves, who are seen as yet another arm of forces that harass them. Quin’s story feels a bit lost in the story about the community tensions, and his development is a bit cliche ‘kid who has to learn to overcome his fears and learn the meaning of bravery’. He is helped by another superhero, Glow, who teaches him that every power is useful in its way. The other plotline about the activism and how to calm race tensions in a community was clumsy in execution, and simplistic in its resolution considering it is a nuanced issue.
While the story has nothing new to offer, the artwork of the novel was refreshing. I loved the style, the gestures, the action scenes and the coloring. It was aesthetically pleasing, and fit the story. Overall, it is an okay read.
Is it diverse? The majority of the characters, including the protagonist, are black or POC
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Lion Forge, via Edelweiss.
Releases on June 4, 2019