Demo is a book of twelve one-shot stories with a connected theme: adolescents with superpowers. But wait! This isn’t a typical ‘kid gets superpowers and then joins a team of like-minded individuals who try to make the world a better place’ book–this is an intense, gripping look about what it would be like if people in our world today really had these powers. Each short story looks at a different person–one at a girl whose powers manifested as a young kid, and who’s trying to wean herself off the mind-altering drugs her parents give her to stop her powers from manifesting, another at a guy who can hit whatever he shoots at, and is recruited by the army, and another about a girl whose voice causes people to do what she tells them, even when she tells them to drop dead. This book is a great piece of speculative fiction that will appeal to both superhero fans and people who enjoy more realistic works of fiction. Brian Wood writes about issues that figure largely into teenagers’ lives–drugs, depression, success in life, physical appearance–in such a way that the stories in Demo are will ring true to teenage readers. Becky Cloonan’s black and white art excellently compliments Brian Wood’s gritty and realistic story-telling.
by Brian Wood
art by Becky Cloonan
DC Comics/Vertigo, 2008 (new edition)