Axiom-man
by AP Fuchs, fantasy (2006)
Coscom Entertainment, $10.99, ISBN 1-897217-57-9


Axiom-man is a superhero. He can fly, but he is not invulnerable to bullets. When he's not playing the superhero, Gabriel Garrison works as a customer service guy in a credit card company Dolla-card where he's constantly moping in lovelorn ways after his colleague Valerie Vaughan. The fun really starts when a new superhero, Redsaw, shows up in town and begins upstaging Axiom-man in every way. Gabriel also discovers that Redsaw emanates some kind of aura that makes him feel ill whenever he approaches Redsaw. Who is this fellow and is he really working for the greater good?

I generally have no problems with this story although I wish author AP Fuchs has done a little bit more to distinguish his character from Superman and other superheroes. Axiom-man seems to follow the standard "cool hero alter ego/rather insecure Average Joe" dichotomy that the other superhero tales also take after. Not that this is anything wrong in itself, but this also makes Axiom-man come off as more generic and ordinary than it probably should be.

Compounding the problem of this story being rather too familiar for its own good is that the author takes a pretty long time to set up his story. The first few chapters of this book are not as interesting as the more dramatic final few chapters of this book. The author takes time to share Gabriel's backstory of how he becomes Axiom-man interspersed with scenes of the present in those few chapters, but the predictable characters and the slow pacing make those chapters too easy to put aside. Secondary characters like Valerie are also in need of some better character development because they remain here as familiar comic book stereotypes that don't really stand out.

Overall, the writing in Axiom-man is fine with only a few odd typographical errors that are more amusing than obstructive to the reading process. However, the author could have tightened up the pacing in the first half of the story because things tend to drag too often and... I don't know, do something to make the characters stand out as his own unique characters instead of easily pigeonholed stereotypes. What could have been an interesting project in Axiom-man doesn't really take off in my opinion and feels more ordinary than I would expect it to be.

Rating: 62


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