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Let us continue with our review of Corrupts Absolutely?, a collection of twenty-one metahuman stories edited by Lincoln Crisler. Yesterday’s review of Retribution started the book off extremely well. Today’s tale, Hollywood Villainy, was written by Weston Ochse (a Bram Stoker award winner who was raised during the Silver Age of comic books. The story is a reimagining of The Shadow, the classic hero from old (though very cool) radio dramas. And when we say reimagining, we absolutely mean it.

This story focuses on a fifteen year old Chinese-American boy named Valiant Fang and the events leading up to a murder. Valiant, it turns out, has been alive for quite a bit longer than fifteen years and has a secret. He can read minds and, based on what he reads can predict the future with startling accuracy as well. As we learn more and more about Valiant through flashbacks to the 30s and 60s, we start to suspect that something is not quite right. Is what is it that he’s preventing?

Ochse delivers an off-beat story with an unconventional character in Hollywood Villainy. His style moves the reader through the story with suspicion of every single character we meet. Has Marvel actually straightened out his life? Is Jimmy a pedophile or just a porn addict? And most importantly, is Valiant (who calls himself The Shadow) as heroic as The Shadow from the radio show? Weston doesn’t let us know until and ending that makes us realize that Stephen King could not have penned this story better. Hollywood Villainy gets .

So, after two reviews, Absolutely Corrupt? remains at  as well. And Lincoln Crisler is quickly becoming one of our favorite anthology editors.

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