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Literature / Hero

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Hero is a 2007 novel by Perry Moore. It deals with Thom Creed, the son of retired-in-disgrace hero Major Might.

Major Might, also known as Hal Creed, has two strong beliefs. One is that homosexuality will directly lead to the collapse of society as we know it. The other is his grudge against superpowered heroes. Guess what two attributes define Thom?

The novel won awards.

Perry Moore and Stan Lee were in the process of making it into a TV movie pilot on Starz, but it fell into Development Hell. Some sequels were also planned, until Perry Moore's death got in the way.

Not to be confused with the Jet Li movie, Hero (2002), or the Hero Series of books.



  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Thom conveniently develops Flying Brick powers as a consequence of absorbing pain while healing people.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Golden Boy. This is actually a point of contention for him, since he grew up a ward of the state and nobody wanted to adopt him because they couldn't figure out his race.
  • Anachronistic Orphanage: Golden Boy and Major Might both grew up in an orphanage, except that the US abolished the orphanage system in the 1950s in favor of foster care and group homes.
  • Assimilation Plot: Justice's plans involve Brainwashing all of the heroes with their membership rings; those he killed Knew Too Much.
  • The Atoner: Ruth became a superhero to make up for her life of crime.
  • Babies Ever After: Not explicit, but Scarlett does miss a period at the end of the book.
  • Badass Normal: Major Might and the Man In Black.
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  • Bara Genre: Thom likes this. Specifically hairy chests.
  • Bring My Brown Pants;
    • Thom wets himself while having a fit playing basketball near the beginning.
    • One of the burglars that breaks into Thom's house, pisses himself when he realises he's in the house of a retired superhero.
  • Captain Ersatz: Justice couldn't be more a Superman clone if his name were Clark Kent, Not counting the evil, obviously but with a few elements of the Martian Manhunter (phasing through matter, psychic powers). However, retired hero Captain Victory plays the Clark Kenting aspect of the Superman mythos completely straight. Thom's dad even lampshades it.
    Hal Creed:"Can you believe that? All that stood between him and every Dr. Ice, Mr. Metal, or Nazi Ned figuring out his real identity was a pair of eyeglasses."
    • The Man In Black/Dark Hero - Batman
    • Warrior Woman - Wonder Woman
    • The Spectrum - Green Lantern
    • Silver Bullet - The Flash
    • King of the Sea - Aquaman.
    • Uberman - Again, Superman at first glance, what with the multiple powers and his seemingly perfect nature.
    • The school Scarlett attended to hone her powers was an obvious reference to the X-Men.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Justice is able to mind-control all the other heroes through their rings, but Thom's team placed theirs on Ruth's hand before burying her, hence why they weren't affected and were able to save the day.
  • Coming-Out Story: Thom is forced to do this to clear Sssnake of suspicion for the murder of King of the Sea.
  • Cool Old Lady: Ruth, without a doubt.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Scarlett plans on naming her baby "Ruth" if it's a girl.
  • Explosion Propulsion: Justice's spaceship was launched to Earth from his exploding home planet this way. At the end of the book, he tries to destroy Earth to launch himself back there.
  • Expy: Every single hero in the League.
  • Empathic Healer: How Thom's powers work. In a twist, he can absorb that pain and turn it into strength if he can survive it.
  • Eye Beams: Transvision Vamp has them.
  • Fantastic Recruitment Drive: When the League holds tryouts for new superheroes.
  • Five-Man Band: The team led by Golden Boy consists of Thom, Scarlett, Larry, and Ruth.
  • Flying Brick: Uberman is. By the end of the book, Thom is too.
  • Fragile Speedster: Golden Boy is very fast and that's all he is. He even gets tripped up at one point.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Thom manages to get his hands on a bit of Phlebotinum by being able to survive being repeatedly stabbed.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: While the murders are not shown, the descriptions are very lurid. Averted when the team is targeted and Ruth is impaled on a tree branch.
  • Handshake Refusal: The only parent at Thom's school willing to talk to Hal is a known wife-beater whom Hal ignores.
  • Healing Hands: Really, though, Thom can heal through any skin contact. Hands are just easiest.
  • I Believe I Can Fly: A couple of scenes refer to the main League group flying, implying that even The Flash and Aquaman expies can fly.
    • Near the end when Justice mind controls all the League members, dozens of heroes are flying overhead. It's not mentioned if the ones who can't fly are running along the ground somewhere below.
  • Intangibility: Justice can phase through walls.
  • Kid Sidekick: Silver Bullet has Golden Boy.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The mineral in Hal Creed's wedding ring is from Justice's home planet. Since Justice is a Superman Expy...
  • Lady Land: Warrior Woman is implied to come from one.
  • The Medic: Thom serves as this during nearly all of Golden Boy's battle plans. He's not too happy with it.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Word of God confirmed on his website that Thom succeeded in bringing Larry back to life.
  • Noodle People: Sssnake's ability allows him to do this.
  • Plaguemaster: Typhoid Larry, a rare heroic version of this.
  • Planet Eater: one that's literally called the planet eater attacked Earth in the backstory.
  • Playing with Fire: Miss Scarlett's powers.
  • Power Incontinence: At the beginning of the book, Thom experiences epileptic seizures (and, often, literal incontinence) whenever he uses his powers. Apparently all that injury has to go somewhere and that somewhere is him.
  • The Power of the Sun: When he was first starting out as a solo superhero, Justice would fly into space once a day to charge his powers from the sun.
  • Preserve Your Gays: The novel was written as a response to the use of the Bury Your Gays trope in superhero comics. There are several gay characters and several characters who die, but no overlap. The most prominent is obviously Thom, who also faces hatred from his homophobic and superhero-phobic father.
  • Radiation-Induced Superpowers: Scarlett got her powers from radiation, but it also gave her cancer.
  • Seer: Ruth's power.
  • Snake Talk: Sssnake. It's in his name.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Ruth and her black boyfriend from her younger days.
  • Starfish Aliens: Major Might got an award for defending Earth from some telepathic starfish aliens.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: The Spectrum has rainbow-themed powers and his real name is Roy G. Biv note .
  • Straight Gay: Thom, Sssnake, Goran.
  • Superhero School: Scarlett briefly attended a private school for children with powers.
    • The League is run a bit like one with dozens of young heroes being put through training sessions.
  • Superhero Speciation: Weird aversion where The League is basically the Justice League with two Supermen and no Batman.
  • Superman Substitute: Justice and Uberman.
  • Telepathic Spacemen: Major Mite once got an award for defending Earth from telepathic Starfish Aliens.
  • Tsundere: Scarlett. Very, very much Type A for the majority of the book, however, the ending hints that she's become more of a Type B after Thom's Healing Hands put her cancer into remission.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Thom.
  • Wonder Woman Wannabe: Warrior Woman is a pretty straight example being this story's Wonder Woman.
  • You Will Know What to Do: Thom gets this from his invisible mother in the form of her engagement ring.
    • Ruth also says this to Thom when the League is about to charge Ssnake with a number of deaths, since only Thom would know he's innocent because they were making out at the time.