Superheroes don’t start out super. It’s a hoary trope that’s a key part of every adventurer’s origin story. Superheroes don’t have to be penciled onto the printed page, either. In the right hands, words alone can make the powers and responsibilities of a gifted protector come to life in a mind of a reader.
League of Somebodies is a new novel that does just that, starting off with a trial by fire that’s abusive, stomach-churning and darkly funny. Read the first chapter and see for yourself.
In the opening chunk of the debut novel from Samuel Sattin — who’s contributed to Kotaku before here and here — Lenard Sikophsky’s dad puts him mortal danger and berates him while the kid runs for his life.
It’s all part of a bizarre plan to make Lenard into a superhero. League of Somebodies is a meaty read concerned with the heavy weight of legacies and what it takes for a man to be super and for a metahuman to be a mortal.
If there was an alternate reality where comics god Jack Kirby taught a postgrad “religion and superfamilies” lecture, this would be Sam Sattin’s final paper. He’d get an A-, mind you, with grades taken off for impertinence and sarcasm. Still, for all its loopy science-fiction logic, it’s really a tale of what generations of men do or don’t pass on to each other and how to make a break with the existential places that spawned us. Go on and see for yourself.
Samuel Sattin is the author of the chaos-inspired superhero epic, LEAGUE OF SOMEBODIES, described by Mat Johnson as “So rich with originality it’s actually radioactive.” A featured up-and-coming author by in San Francisco Magazine’s 2013 ‘Writers on Writers’ Issue, his work can be found in Salon Magazine, The Good Men Project, io9, and, of course, Kotaku. He is a Contributing Editor at The Weeklings, and lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, beagle, and tuxedo cat. You can visit him here: www.samuelsattin.net.