As I draw closer to the next stage of my series, I have developed plans for the Young Guardians’ future as an organization. In the fourth volume, the aftermath of volume three will grant the Young Guardians will have more additions to their team that will make them a force to be reckoned with. However, their numbers will fluctuate during the battles that will take place in the next two volumes and they will face an uncertain future. In that uncertain future, I am already imagining how they will evolve in a society that is significantly different than the one we live in. During this time, the Young Guardians will finally transform into the disorganized ragtag team of youths they once were and will develop into an organization with actual leadership and hierarchy. When that happens, the Young Guardians will serve as a linchpin to this new society.
I have great news! During WonderCon earlier this year, a group of art students made a collection of concept art of my characters, which was featured through a slideshow. I was so impressed with their art that I gave one lucky student the chance to have their art converted into the cover illustration of my upcoming collection of short stories. The selected picture is essentially a fiery silhouette of the main character of the series, Patrick Donovan. Currently, their art is being converted and will be ready at around Christmas time. I cannot wait for this opportunity to unfold and give a talented kid a chance to give his art some exposure. I will keep you updated on any further developments.
I have noticed that in virtually every anime and manga characters have the ability to undergo transformations that grant them powers that were vastly superior to their original forms. I drew inspiration from this idea and decided to give the Young Guardians super forms as well. However, in order for the Young Guardians to gain access to these super forms, or Taiven forms, they have to pay the ultimate price in order to be reborn into more powerful beings. The Young Guardians are at their strongest when they are in their Taiven forms and used them to battle the demon Fanoxean in my second volume. While the Young Guardians are in their Taiven forms, their appearances change and they gain weapons that help channel their augmented powers. For example, when Patrick Donovan undergoes his Taiven form, he manifests a sword that generates so much heat that it incinerates anything it touches. For the moment, their Taiven forms need refinement and have plenty of room to evolve for the final battle in volume five.
A superpower that had caught my attention was the ability to manipulate one’s physical size ranging from subatomic sizes to as big as mountains. When a user of this power is small, they are pretty useful because they are able to squeeze in places that most superheroes cannot. This allows them to get the job done with stealth and precision. When the user is gigantic, they possess a considerable physical advantage over most opponents since their strength and tissue density increases along with their size. In my fourth volume, the Young Guardians gain new allies and I am thinking of adding a character who possesses this power, which would be a serious benefit to the team.
I saw the Goosebumps film tonight and upon seeing the overall premise of the film, I realized what my greatest fear and worst nightmare is. The thought that always haunted the dark corners of my mind is what would happen if the supervillains I created for my series became real. I created these characters so I know better than anyone just how psychopathic and bloodthirsty they all are and how much madness, death, and destruction they would unleash upon the world if they were real. In a way, this makes me consider myself to be Doctor Victor Frankenstein and my supervillains my monstrous creations. Every once in a while, whenever I sleep, I would have nightmares of this scenario, which would include a world engulfed in flames, cities demolished, bodies strewn throughout the streets, and my supervillains psychotically laughing in unison. Without warning, I would wake up to find myself in my room and have difficulty sleeping for hours. I guess when all is said and done, the creator sometimes fears his own creation even if the creation originates from his imagination.
I have always toyed with the idea of what could possibly happen if every single known superhuman ability were to clash with one another simultaneously. Based on my research, there are thousands of known superpowers each with their own unique effect and strength level. With that in mind, what outcome occur if all those strength levels and effects were to interact with one another on a violent scale? To various degrees, each superpower is scary enough in their own way, but ALL powers mixing together is utterly unthinkable. The end result is simply far too big to truly predict or fathom. In the fifth volume of my series, the Young Guardians will come face-to-face with my personal prediction of what could happen if something like a superpower collision could take place.
One of the questions that a superhero constantly asks themselves is where the line is drawn between justice and revenge. When fighting supervillains, they have to be careful of not giving into their darkest impulses otherwise they become the very villain they fight. The Young Guardians struggled with this very question after tragedy struck them all and they hunted down the individual responsible for the tragedy. Their entire superhero career is a never-ending war whose climax is swiftly approaching. Soon the Young Guardians will have to test themselves on whether they are truly heroes or the villains they have been fighting all along.