The world is glutted with superhero stories these days. Some are excellent, some are less than spectacular, most are about people in tights doing things to other people in tights. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good superhero story, especially when it breaks the normal routine of putting on tights and fighting crime.
I guess one of the major problems with a lot of superhero stories is they’re all fundamentally the same: good guys fight bad guys, there are lots of flashy things happening, good guys ultimately win. They trend toward an area of fantasy where things are black and white. In a way, that’s why I wrote Henchmen; it was an attempt to break the normal routines.
Other people are doing the same kinds of things. Actually they’ve been doing them for some time now; I’m hardly a groundbreaking author. What I like to see are the stories where the people with the powers aren’t out sacrificing themselves for the good of all mankind because, let’s face it, people usually don’t do that. Series like Jessica Jones (Alias – the comic series it sprung from – was better in my opinion), Daredevil, and Gotham are covering these areas now, but they still trend toward good guys and bad guys doing things to each other out of the kindness (or blackness) of their hearts.
Into this maelstrom drops Ben Berman Ghan’s Wychman Road, a tale about what’s really likely to happen to people with superpowers. The general gist of the story is there are people who can control other people, oftentimes causing irreparable damage to the people being controlled. The reaction to the damage their powers cause is what starts to define the Thought Walkers.and separate them into basically okay and probably pretty bad camps.
Wychman Road is partly a superhero yarn, but it’s also musings on what it means to be human and what regular people will do when suddenly granted amazing abilities. Now, if normal people would go off the rails when they found they had the ability to control others, those who’ve had the ability for a long time would have very different outlook on what’s okay and what’s not.
If I have one complaint about Wychman Road it’s the large amount of telling instead of showing. There are scenes that could have been extremely fun to explore but were simply told. The telling drug the story down in some places, but when Ghan rolls in the action Wychman really shines.
If you’re looking for something exciting, a new way of looking at superheroes, check out Wychman Road.