Five college flatmates suddenly develop a range of superpowers and form a costumed vigilante group. Yes! David Schwartz’ novel Superpowers is yet another attempt to reinvent the superhero mythos – more on that story later. The plot of this novel has a superficial similarity to the film Chronicle and does cover some of the same ground, however the climax - and perhaps the point - is very different.
The cast are pleasingly diverse. That’s SOP for novelists now, ever since Ben Elton daringly wrote his novel Gridlock which features a traffic warden hero. The ethnic diversity is also a pointer to another aspect of the book. The term “superpowers” has another meaning, and the issues faced by the All-Stars can be read as a metaphor for conflicts played out every week on the international stage. The Earth’s most powerful countries routinely have to decide how and when to use their economic or military strength, and whether to intervene in the affairs of other countries – and in the resulting pressure, mistakes can be made.