It has come to my attention that the original setting for my new superhero series was way too extreme and impractical. I am thinking of redoing the setting so that it is more down to Earth and realistic. This will require some extensive planning, but I am up for the challenge. Instead of it being a space opera that takes place in a space station orbiting the Earth, I am thinking of making the setting an alternate version of the United States. In this alternate reality, the United States will be turned from a democracy to a fascist monarchy. At some point in the future, a President changed the law so that there would be no elections and that the President serves for life before being replaced by one of his relatives. I have plenty of inspiration for such a setting because I have a strong feeling that such a thing could happen if the occupant of the Oval Office is not held accountable. Essentially, this new superhero series will be less like Star Wars and more like V for Vendetta.
In the Curiosity Stream documentaries, I discovered several segments that talked about the concept of megacities. We often think we can build cities horizontally forever, but the truth is that the Earth’s surface is finite. As our population grows, it would make sense to build cities vertically to accommodate our increasing numbers. Megacities are essentially super sized skyscrapers and can house tens of thousands of residents. Some megacities could be built on land, on artificial islands in the middle of the ocean, be 3D printed, or have plants and jungles growing from their walls. I am thinking of featuring a megacity in my new superhero series that could house a quarter million residents. It will be the last of its kind.
I have always had a cynical and nihilistic view on humanity. I strongly believe that we are living on borrowed time as a species. We are the first species to have the power to prevent our own extinction and yet we squander that power on war, terrorism, pollution, and petty political grievances. Due to this, we also have the power to cause our own extinction with global warming and nuclear war. As a whole, we are far too short-sighted to tackle the problems that are dooming us in the long run. Some of us acknowledge these long term problems, but the rest are more concerned about their short term interests to take them seriously. The dinosaurs went extinct because of natural changes to the environment and an asteroid that crashed on Earth’s surface. When we go extinct, and we will, it will be all our fault. This concept of humanity living on borrowed time will be a prominent theme in my new superhero series. In one cataclysmic event, humanity almost destroys itself and prolonged their extinction by keeping their species on a form of life support for five thousand years. Will they be able to keep their species alive or will they join the dinosaurs in the ash heap of history?
After watching the news, I had a thought about something to add in my futuristic dystopian series. One of the cases we deal with in the real world is illegal immigration. While some of these individuals are a danger, most are desperate people seeking asylum and a better life for themselves and their families. Despite their intentions to improve their lives and give their children a future they can be proud of, these immigrants are often regarded as subhuman by the native population. More recently, migrant families had their children stolen from them and had them locked up in cages like animals. These cruel and inhumane actions against migrants made me wonder how illegal immigration will look like five thousand years in the future. In my story, there will be a civilization that is divided up into multiple districts and moving from one district to another is strictly prohibited. If the borders of the districts are crossed, the migrant parents would be deported to their native district while their children would be executed on the spot in order to act as a deterrent to other would-be migrants. Even so, some districts are more impoverished than others and desperate citizens try to sneak through the borders regardless of the risk. This form of injustice will be one of the atrocities my new superheroes will be battling throughout the series.
In the documentary Superheroes Decoded, I learned that superheroes also reflected the darkest times in American history such as Watergate. There was a comic where Captain America fought a supervillain in the White House and when he unmasked the supervillain, it was revealed to be the President of the United States himself. This made Steve Rogers lose all faith in America as a country and resulted in him renouncing the name “Captain America” and adopting the alias known as the “Nomad”, a man without a country. In my new superhero series, I am thinking of doing something similar to reflect the dark times we are facing under Trump. I have a strong feeling that the Trump fiasco is going to be bigger and messier than Watergate ever was. The reason for this is because Nixon resigned when he had the chance while Trump is willing to hold onto his power until the bitter end regardless of the consequences that will ensue. That would make a good story to model on as I write.
I have been thinking what kind of motivation my new characters would need to begin their crusade as superheroes and I think I may have found one. The world they will live in will be ruled by a government that labels all superhumans a danger to society. In order to gain the public’s trust and fight the status quo at the same time, the main characters will fight to prove that the government is wrong about them. However, the government will think of new ways of turning the public against superhumans. It is going to be a battle of both ideals and politics as a new team of heroes rises to the challenge.
I have started my first superhuman book, completing the prologue and started the first chapter. It is a fun process when I bring what I have learned of futuristic technology to bear. The prologue sets the stage for the overall setting while the first chapter depicts an average day in a futuristic world. I will keep you updated on any further developments.