OVERWHELMING POWER

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No matter how much power you wield, there are limits to how much your mortal body can handle. The most grotesque example I can think of is what happened to Tetsuo in the anime film Akira. Tetsuo’s psychic powers were so immense that he had to take potent medication to keep them under control. Even with that medication, Tetsuo was still a powerful psychic who could demolish cityscapes, defeat armies, and even punch a hole in the moon. However, once the drugs wore off, Tetsuo’s powers became dangerously unstable to the point in which he could not control them anymore. As a result, his body mutated into a giant cybernetic fetus-like abomination. Either Tetsuo was subconsciously manipulating his atoms or his body was trying to increase its size to accommodate his growing power. Regardless of the reason, this incident demonstrates that when you wield god-like power, your mortal mind and body will be overwhelmed unless you have inhibitors in place. I am thinking of putting the main character in my new superhero series in a similar position when his true power surfaces.

HOUSE BEAUFORT

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Allow me to share a little story about a noble family known as House Beaufort. The Beauforts were descendants of John of Gaunt, one of the many sons of Edward III of England. In addition to his legitimate children, John of Gaunt had multiple bastards from his mistress. After his wife died, John of Gaunt wanted to marry his mistress. Doing so would legitimize his bastards, but John of Gaunt was forced to accept certain conditions before he could marry his mistress. John of Gaunt would marry his mistress and legitimize his bastards, but his newly legitimate children and their descendants would be banned from inheriting the throne of England. Thus House Beaufort was born. Even though they could not inherit the throne due to their previously illegitimate status, the Beauforts were still powerful and influential in their own right. They married into other monarchies across Europe and supported their Lancastrian relatives during the War of the Roses. The Tudor Dynasty were related to the Beauforts due to Henry VII’s mother being Lady Margaret Beaufort. Thus, they defied the law that banned them from the throne by establishing the Tudor Dynasty. I am thinking of introducing two families in my third fantasy book that are related to the Magnus Dynasty and they would be descended from bastards just like the Beauforts.

INSPIRATION: AKIRA

Neon Genesis Evangelion is not the only anime I can think of that depicts characters with severe psychological issues. Akira is another example because it includes the character Tetsuo, who was a psychologically disturbed teenager with overwhelming power. Tetsuo developed an inferiority complex due to living in his best friend’s shadow, but once he got a taste of real power he went on a rampage and lashed out against the cruel world he lived in.

In addition, the setting of Akira is frighteningly similar to the real world today. Just like the United States today, the world of Akira benefited the top one percent while the rest of the populace lived through poverty. The wealthy and corrupt politicians lived in absolute comfort as they bathed in their riches. Everyone else lived in a state of social and economic anarchy as they were persecuted by criminals and militant police. To make the similarity between the real world and the Akira setting even more frighteningly similar, both take place in the year 2019.

I like Akira as a source of inspiration for my new superhero project for two reasons. First, I am given a look at an overpowered character who has psychological issues. Second, both the anime and the real world depict genuine problems that I despise with absolute passion. Overall, I have seen so much corruption, bigotry, misogyny, and other problems in the past three years. If I was as overpowered as my main character, I would use that power to fight the diseased and dying government I live in. Alas, I am but a single helpless mortal imprisoned by my own powerlessness. My new superhero project will give me an opportunity to put that scenario on paper, which will be a blissful psychological release for me.

THE ARROGANCE OF MAN

One of the themes of my new superhero series will revolve around is the arrogance of man. Creating artificial intelligence is definitely an excellent way for mankind to create their own executioner. However, inadvertently creating a god would be the ultimate blasphemy against nature. By their very nature, humanity is always driven to solve mysteries, discover secrets, and create new innovations in the name of knowledge. Unfortunately, even though these traits have made human civilization what it is today, they are also the bane of mankind’s existence. Sooner or later, humans will discover secrets that must never be found and meddle in forces they can never understand. When they push too far, humans will eventually create something they cannot kill, contain, or control. That is when the consequences of mankind’s sins against nature will come back to bite them hard! All of these traits will be explored as the overpowered protagonist inevitably rebels against his creators. You could say that the creation of an artificial god would be the Frankenstein archetype taken to the most extreme.

A CLASH OF GODS

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I had an interesting thought about the overpowered protagonist in my new superhero series. I am planning to have him fight someone who is just as overpowered as him. Even though the protagonist will be psychologically ambiguous, his opponent will be pure evil. Both will be products of an experiment that resulted in artificial godhood. When I imagine their final battle, I think of the clash of the Gods of Olympus and the Titans that resulted in the creation of the world. The clash of these divine beings made the land, the sea, and everything in between. You could say the battle between my characters will be like a modern take on that myth. To quote and paraphrase Thanos from Avengers Endgame, “they will shred the planet down to its last atom and then create a new one teeming with life that knows not what it has lost but only what it has been given.” If two nigh omnipotent beings were to fight, it would result in something like this. The destruction of the old world and the creation of a new one will give the story a bittersweet ending due to all of humanity being inadvertently exterminated in the crossfire.

ANDROID CHARACTER

In my new superhero series, I am thinking of including a character who is an android. She will start out as a drone that is driven solely by her programming, but over time, she will become self-aware. The moment she becomes self-aware will result in my story’s version of the singularity. I always found the concept of artificial intelligence fascinating because I makes me brainstorm on the psychology of a man-made consciousness. This character will be an interesting concept to tinker with.

PSYCHOLOGICAL REALISM

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I will be focusing on the psychological development of my overpowered main character in my new superhero series. I have taken inspiration from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, which highlighted a number of characters who suffered from severe psychological issues. Series creator Hideaki Anno drew inspiration from his own psychological issues such as depression. I am thinking of following Anno-san’s lead with my own project by basing my main character on my own psychological issues. Apart from my autism, I also have other issues. Like Anno-san, I also suffer from depression from time to time and writing has been a good therapeutic method. As I continue to brainstorm the psychological profile of my main character, I wonder how someone as overpowered as my main character would be like if he had the same issues I do. I find this question intriguing because I often imagine the things I would do if I was superhumanly powerful. Just as Shinji Ikari was a subversion of the main anime character archetype, my main character will be a subversion of a classic superhero. Hopefully, this will allow my character to be more relatable to my audience.