This remarkable novel by Minister Faust—a remarkable person—is both parody and horror. It threads a tight needle of societal critique using a celebrated psychologist narrator who defies good faith. Sections are also presented as a self-help tome written for the troubled superhero reading it. The plot involves therapeutic sessions mandated by the Fantastic Order Of Justice (FOOJ), an organization composed of hundreds of super-characters. It’s six core heroes—a bizarre amalgamation of DC heroes—have becoming increasingly dysfunctional, struggling with all sorts of interpersonal conflicts and motivations. Three of the heroes (two men, one woman) are much younger than the others. The other three range in ages from their 50s to over a millennia. It’s worth noting that two of the younger members, X-Man and Brotherfly, are Afro-American. The only thing that I thought slowed down the story was the heavy use of accents, dialects, or psychotherapeutic gibberish that several of the characters use most often. It takes some getting used to and I thought that sort of speech might be more diminished with characters of that age and experience or mitigated by the author himself in order to not have speed-bumps scattered so frequently along the reading way. But Faust appears to have been uncompromising in his life, so goes his writing. Get used to it, that’s the story, so buckle up.
I considered the setting a near-dystopia. There is a subversion of law and order that’s normally enforced by ordinary humans ceded to their super-heroic saviors. The plot that drives the book is one that sees the world teetering on the brink after the death of its greatest hero, Hawk King, a near omnipotent, thousands-of-years-old demigod. The plot follows various efforts to solve or not solve the murder. As narratives go, this one does a good job of obscuring the mirror Faust is holding up to America. One might consider the world-building a warped version of our own reality, but it’s a concise explanation of how “white”* supremacy works in this nation—with or without the cooperation of those who benefit—and how it plays out in shocking and disappointing ways. Faust draws all the threads of the characters coming together in a narrative that drives the reader aggressively to the end. It’s mostly in hindsight that the mystery and true message is revealed. I highly recommend this novel!