Thursday, October 24, 2013

Legacy by Jon Davis

I had a lot of fun reading this story. It is a superhero story that has blended classic elements of Gold, Silver and Iron Age comic stories quite nicely. A protagonist with a clear moral framework and strength of character and the initial threat of the meteor are both very much Gold Age in nature. Later on we start to get shades of the Silver-Age with its growing moral complexity. Meanwhile, the seriousness of the battles and the collateral damage and death of innocent bystanders is very much something out of the Iron Age. These elements don't develop one into another like some representation of the development of comics in micro form. No, these elements exist side-by-side as a coherent whole. There are other, specific elements that I could mention, but not without spoiling the story.

The author also handles the first-person perspective very well. In addition, it seems to capture the thoughts of a bright teen rather than a bright adult. Vaughn is intelligent, but he still lacks some level of foresight and complexity of thought that only comes when those parts of the brain finish developing in the early twenties. His thought processes wander and he considers things at times very clearly and at times wanders off on tangents. Very realistic, it makes me wonder if the author has read the literature on the development of thought from childhood to adulthood. Also, the first person perspective makes it easier to combine the of the elements I mentioned previously. Since the world around Vaughn is only described from his perspective, it is possible to have a sea of gray and gray sprinkled with black and white because Vaughn is literally trying to map things along with us. Meanwhile, staying in Vaughn's perspective keeps us within the mind of a person who wants to do the right thing but would also be very happy not to have to be the one to do it.

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