REVIEW SUMMARY: Bound to appeal to fans of zombies and superheroes alike!
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The apocalypse has come and gone, the undead roam the streets of L.A. and superheroes like Mighty Dragon, Zzzap, Cerberus, Gorgon, and Stealth must protect what few living remain.
PROS: Cool heroes; original explanation of zombie virus effects and origin; good use of both genres; exciting action; flashbacks flesh out characters; cool setting.
CONS: Too many interchangeable regular people; somewhat boring villain; over too soon.
BOTTOM LINE: Ex-Heroes is a fun genre mash-up that pits superhumans against ex-humans. If ever a book had the potential for a Hollywood blockbuster, this is it.
How has Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines not been adapted for film yet? Really, I want to know? There’s no reasonable excuse I can imagine. Given the enormous popularity of superheroes and zombies, the major success of Marvel’s shared world movies and AMC’s The Walking Dead, it seems like a no-brainer (ha ha) that Ex-Heroes would make the ultimate Box Office killer. Someone call up the studios, I’m about to earn a commission.
SF Signal is pleased to present this exciting excerpt from Ex-heroes, a novel by Peter Clines, who we interviewed yesterday.
Here is the book synopsis for Ex-heroes:
Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes, using their superhuman abilities to make Los Angeles a better place.
Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Billions died, civilization fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland.
Now, a year later, the Mighty Dragon and his companions protect a last few thousand survivors in their film-studio-turned-fortress, the Mount. Scarred and traumatized by the horrors they’ve endured, the heroes fight the armies of ravenous ex-humans at their citadel’s gates, lead teams out to scavenge for supplies—and struggle to be the symbols of strength and hope the survivors so desperately need.
But the hungry ex-humans aren’t the only threats the heroes face. Former allies, their powers and psyches hideously twisted, lurk in the city’s ruins. And just a few miles away, another group is slowly amassing power…led by an enemy with the most terrifying ability of all.
After the jump…the excerpt!
Peter Clines is the author of the genre-blending -14- and the Ex-Heroes series. He grew up in the Stephen King fallout zone of Maine and made his first writing sale at age seventeen to a local newspaper. His first screenplay got him an open door to pitch stories at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager. He is the writer of countless film articles, several short stories, “The Junkie Quatrain”, the rarely-read “The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope Robinson Crusoe”, and the poorly-named website Writer on Writing.
Kristin Centorcelli: Peter, will you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Peter Clines: Well, I grew up in New England. Mostly in Maine, in the shadow of that well-known horror writer from Maine. I spent my early years writing awful comic book scripts (I still have some of the very polite rejection letters Jim Shooter sent me from Marvel), and then I moved on to even worse “novels.” I moved to California on a whim after college (where I wrote ever-so-slightly better novels) and stumbled into the film industry, and that got me playing with screenplays (like half the people in Hollywood). After several years I ended up writing for a screenwriting magazine. That gave me the time to sell some stuff to niche markets. And eventually it hit the point that I was writing fiction full time, because by then I’d made pretty much every mistake you could and figured out how to stop making them. Well, most of them, anyway.