It’s tough being a superhero but it’s even tougher being a third-world superhero.”
I have to admit, if it weren’t for the pedicab chase depicted at the back cover, I wouldn’t have picked this title up. Heck, if I hadn’t been waiting for an event to start last May 21, I wouldn’t have picked this title up. The book cover was nice enough, and the title was intriguing enough—but when a book is placed on the bottom part of a display table, along a line of display tables, it’s going to have a hard time attracting attention. So I thank the browser who picked the book up, left it with back cover facing up, in a more visible place than where it was displayed.
With that out of the way, let’s dig into Book One: Stick and Stones.
Book One: Sticks and Stones plays out a bit like an origins story. Which makes sense, seeing as this is the first book of the series. Here we meet the heroes Flashlight, Invisiboy and Kidlat Kid–our three main protagonist who we’ll follow throughout the series. Or at least, that’s my guess. There’s only the first book out. But that’s how I read it, so moving on–
Okay, so the main heroes of the story are set up. Where are the bad guys? Where’s the apocalyptic threat that would force the heroes to band together to save the entire human race? There’s none! Well, we don’t see one in the beginning of the story anyway–because the villains have all been defeated. Heroes have become a moot point. And that’s their main dilemma.
Except, somewhere else in the metro, government officials who are calling for the impeachment of the President are being killed one by one. And the Filipino Heroes League members are being framed for masterminding the assassinations!
By the time the story reached this point, I was completely hooked.
I’m not going to say any more about the story, or the characters, as I feel I might spoil what happens in the book. It’s not a very thick book, and it’s comics, so there’s a huge risk of me saying something that might ruin a few surprises. But the book does boast of three well-developed characters, and a host of others that are full of potential.
If you’re a big fan of comic heroes, and you’re looking for something new to read, then do pick up a copy of The Filipino Heroes League. It’s got heroes, femme fatales, and twists that would make soap operas proud–but with enough heft and plausibility that non-soap fans wouldn’t call it out; it’s also got robots made of trash. Seriously. Robots made of trash. It’s one hell of a cool book.
I got my copy from National Bookstore, but it might also be available in other bookstores.
I just haven’t seen them.
Edited to add: You can also get copies from Fully Booked.
Check out an actual review at One More Page!
Or, give it a test read online through this Filipino Heroes League blog link provided by the author and artist.