Andrez Bergen's WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CAPES OF HEROPA? is an ode to the golden age of comics, and then some. It's a novel of great ambition brimming with escapism and heroism, portrayed in a dystopian setting encompassing an ideal that's refreshing, honest, and true to pulp culture.
The superheroes (capes) of Heropa are being picked off one by one. Southern Cross (Melbourne teen, Jacob) is the newest member of a small group of heroes banded together under the good-guy banner The Equalizers - their primary goal, to keep the inhabitants of Heropa safe from rogue Capes and other criminal threats. A task made harder by the mystifying murder rate of Capes that came before him.
Core to proceedings is Southern Cross and his ability to adapt then evolve to his persona and surroundings. From apprehensive baby steps to duking it out with menacing foes direct from the pages of superhero comics, Jacob's journey compliments the artificial reality of Heropa.
True to form for a superhero caper, there's a love interest with a little likeness to Lois Lane (in terms of civilian-come-hero-love-interest), a broad spanning mystery across the city itself and a another within dystopian Melbourne, and cool character designs (some of which are provided in the book). Louise, a seemingly innocent and bland character at first captures Southern Cross' heart and kick starts another dimension to the already stellar story giving it a more human side.
There's a lot to like about WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CAPES OF HEROPA?. Fans of DC comics will marvel (pun intended) at the cityscape, and capes alike (some baring a likeness in premise to The Thing and Wonder Woman). The action is top notch with further exploration of the city and it's heroes not outside the realms of possibility. This is a book that demands future installments.