22 February 2009

Books: Captain Freedom by G. Xavier Robillard


So, this is my third book I’ve read over the last year about superheroes and their problems fitting into modern day society. Soon I Will Be Invincible was a glorious poke at comic books and their fans, while Hero was about a gay teen trying to fit in with the rest of the good guys. In Captain Freedom, which seems to owe a lot towards Cartoon Networks Johnny Quest parody, The Venture Brothers, and in particular, the Monarch, we get a neurotic superhero who is also a media whore.

So fame, as it always, is fleeting and comes crashing down on Freedom after a dinner date that goes wrong. Soon, he finds he’s been fired from Gotham Comixs -who’s middle managers say the his comic can no longer compete “with the indecipherable but adorable manga” - and forced into retirement. What's he supposed to do now? Being a superhero is all he’s ever known. So, like anyone with too much time and money on their hands, he enters politics and writes a childrens book.

But as his life coach points out, all he really needs is to commit to a single long-term archenemy.

Captain Freedom is hysterical, very wicked satire of being a celebrity, about office life, about politics and being, of course, a Superhero. In the meantime, he takes on NPR, Hollywood, and the fashion world.

The novel is wonderful in many ways, with a Superhero who both dumb and smart, kinda clueless and sort of adorable. A quick read and one you won't be disappointed in.

1 comment:

GXavier said...

Thanks for the kind words. I should mention that I do indeed love the Venture Brothers but only started to watch after the book was finished. There's a shared cultural progression, though, from Bullwinkle and the Simpsons to the Brothers Venture. At least in my mind.