After looking through the photographs I took in Kauai, I noticed this picture of a waterfall I took after hiking into the jungle. Upon examining the luster of sunlight reflecting off the cascading water, I thought about the futuristic world that will appear both at the epilogue and my sequel series. If the future will possess this level of beauty and perfection, what kind of utopia would the Young Guardians live in several centuries from now? The beauty of this force of nature and the possibilities that could happen in the years to come has given me much to think about.
Neohumans are human beings who have had their inner abilities awakened by the Genesis Spell. Each neohuman has their own unique set of superhuman abilities based on their own personalities. As a race, neohumans have a number of traits in common. For example, like high elves, they are immortal in the sense that they do not physically age, are immune to disease, and never die by natural causes, but they can be killed if the physical trauma they sustain is great enough. To human eyes, neohumans are considered extremely attractive and are always at the peak of human conditioning. When I was designing neohumans, I thought of what to call them, but I did not want to use names such as mutants or super humans because I found them a little cliche. Unlike mutants or super humans, whose powers originate from either mutation or evolution, neohumans’ powers originate from magic. So, I decided to call them neohumans because “neo” means “new”. With this in mind, I thought of neohumans as the “new form of humanity”. As I write, I imagine how such a species would live in a world populated by ordinary humans.
Joshua Rauje is the short-tempered loose cannon of the Young Guardians. I based him on one of my best friends, who wanted to be a kind of superhero who is fearless and possesses a powerful hatred towards criminals. When engaging convicts, Joshua is not afraid to use violent methods to stop them, which makes his teammates nervous while around him. The answer to his prejudice towards crooks is revealed in the second volume of the series. Joshua’s powers consist of potent wind manipulation, which he can use to either create solid air balls that he could use to shoot from his fingers like bullets or overwhelming vortexes to blow his opponents away. In addition, Joshua has a pair of eagle-like wings that he can use to fly. Despite his short temper and unpredictability, Joshua is fiercely loyal to his teammates and a devout believer in their crusade against evil.
As a devout science fiction fanatic, I have always been fascinated by the idea of combining man with machine. In many ways, cyborgs make me think of Kurzweil’s theory of transhumanism in which humans would eventually evolve into machines or transfer their consciousness into a computer system. When I developed Cyber Shadow’s character, I wanted to create my own cybernetic character. However, as advanced as this technology may sound, there are bound to be a few defects. One example would be that the organic components of the cyborg would reject the robotic parts just as a metal plate can be rejected by a person’s body. Another example is that there would be a chance that the cyborg’s only senses would be seeing and hearing while their remaining senses would be either gone or diluted. A third example would be that the cyborg may not require food because they may not have either a mouth or digestive system, but would have the subconscious need to feed, which would result in constant hunger that they could never satisfy. While depicting Cyber Shadow, I tried to illustrate on the psychological impact these defects can have on him. In Cyber Shadow’s case, the only organic component in him is his brain, so when his brain is implanted into his robotic body, his brain suffers considerable mental strain as it struggles to adapt to its new physical conditioning. Before he became a cyborg, Cyber Shadow was a sadistic school bully who was already mentally unstable and the defects of his cybernetics only exacerbates these traits. With these flaws in his psyche, I drew inspiration for Cyber Shadow’s personality from the bullies who harassed me throughout middle and high school and the disturbed android Roy Batty from Blade Runner, who was also a product of the inevitable mistakes that human technology would generate. Overall, whenever one is developing new technology, they should be cautious about the effects it would have on the people they are trying to sell it to otherwise the consequences would be disastrous.
I have been a connoisseur of fantasy and fiction all my life and, as a result, I have grown fond of a number of mythological creatures. Among them are high elves, which have been described as the fairest of all beings, which could be an indication of angels without wings. In almost every sword and sorcery story, elves have been depicted as being wiser and more knowledgeable than other beings. For the longest time, I have admired the inhuman beauty and wondrous power that elves possessed. With such tremendous abilities and dashing good looks, I thought that elves would make the perfect superhero and so I applied that idea into my work when I created Tinisha Dolaira, making her a member of the superhero team known as the Young Guardians. While developing the characters for my series, I wondered what would happen if a high elf, who has been born and raised in a world where magic reigns supreme, is taken out of their comfort zone and placed in twenty-first century Earth. They would be morally wise with strong ideals, but would be inexperienced about how the modern world operates. I wanted to depict how such a scenario would occur and how the elf in question would survive in such an unfamiliar environment.
One of my favorite superpowers has always been pyrokinesis or fire manipulation because of the powerful ferocity it can give the user. When I was designing one of the main characters of The Young Guardians Saga, Patrick Donovan, I wanted to give him a power that stood apart from ordinary fire manipulation. To that end, I turned my attention to my favorite of all mythological beasts: dragons. I wish to give Patrick features of a dragon while maintaining his human form, so I decided to give him the ability to generate and control the very flames that dragons breathe. Apart from wielding dragon fire, I wanted this power to have a psychological effect on Patrick whenever he uses it to the extreme, which would result in giving Patrick the ferocious mindset of a dragon.