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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Origin of The Follower and His New Actions: About an Action Character with Unique Capabilities by John Durbin Husher is a bold exercise in the narrative-based superhero origin story. It becomes a compelling, visceral tale that depends solely on text to evoke images rather than the sequential art that characterizes the genre. Axel Tressler is The Follower, a man with the most mitochondria that any scientist has ever seen in a human being. This provides Axel with a unique advantage where he has the potential of having more than five to ten times the energy capacity of a normal person. Given his unusual ability, he works as a biology teacher except when the U.S. Agency calls on him as The Follower to solve major problems in the interest of national security. In tracing The Follower’s origins, you are taken back in time on an airplane trip from western Pennsylvania to Boston, that had as one of its passengers a pregnant woman, Virginia Tressler.
A considerable amount of jargon is thrown into explaining why Axel became The Follower, particularly when it comes to his mitochondria. You don’t read to dwell too much on the science, but more on what makes the hero special. It’s a powerful paradox in which Axel’s special gift allows you to see how human he is, and how he yearns to have a normal life with his family. Basic human dilemmas are what make Origin of The Follower and His New Actions a reading experience that will generate great curiosity. It might seem unlikely for readers to identify with a protagonist possessing a unique ability, but John Durbin Husher gives his hero a sense of vulnerability that is enthralling. The story is engaging enough to make you read it more than once, and it is bound to spark discussion among hardcore superhero buffs.