Edited by Lou Anders, Cover Illustration by Trevor Hairsine,
Here's a description.
WELCOME TO THE SECOND “GOLDEN AGE” OF SUPERHEROES AND HEROINES
Superheroes have come a long way since the “Man of Steel” was introduced in 1938. This brilliant new collection features original stories and novellas from some of today’s most exciting voices in comics, science fiction, and fantasy. Each marvelously inventive tale shows us just how far our classic crusaders have evolved—and how the greatest of heroes are, much like ourselves, all too human.
In “Call Her Savage,” MARJORIE M. LIU enters the dark heart of a fierce mythic heroine who is forced, by war, to live up to her own terrible legend.
In “A to Z in the Ultimate Big Company Superhero Universe (Villains Too),” BILL WILLINGHAM presents a fully-realized vision of a universe where epic feats and tragic flaws have transformed the human race.
In “Vacuum Lad,” STEPHEN BAXTER unveils the secret origins of the first true child of the space age—and disproves the theory that “nothing exists in a vacuum.”
In “Head Cases,” PETER DAVID and KATHLEEN DAVID blast through the blogosphere to expose the secret longings of a Lonely Superhero Wife.
In “The Non-Event,” MIKE CAREY removes the gag order on a super-thief named Lockjaw . . . and pries out a confession of life-altering events.
Also includes stories by Mike Baron • Mark Chadbourn • Paul Cornell • Daryl Gregory • Joseph Mallozzi • James Maxey • Ian McDonald • Chris Roberson • Gail Simone • Matthew Sturges . . . and an introduction by Lou Anders, “one of the brightest and best of the new generation of science fiction editors” (Jonathan Strahan, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year).
Originally Masked was titled With Great Power. Marvel had issues with the original title, so we had to change it last minute. Below are a few early comps that I played around with, what do you think? Which were rejected....
I enlisted the help of Trevor Hairsine, who did a great job getting the mood just right. These are some of Trevor's early thumbnail sketches. My art director and I talked about having a superhero be the protector standing in front of his city in the first sketch. The second concept was having a team of superheros flying overhead looking like airplanes in old WWII propaganda posters. The Third idea was a superhero in deep thought, contemplating his life as a superhero, hard decisions he has to make which was what we went with.
Here are two examples of type treatments I tried before coming up with the final cover.
Below is the final jacket. Which I think has a good balance of color and atmosphere. Not taking itself too seriously, it's a superhero book after all.
I love the book! It features some of my favorite comic book writers like Bill Willingham (Fables) and Peter David (Hulk). The first story by Matthew Sturges, Cleansed and Set in Gold starts the collection off with a bang.