I have been rewatching the documentary known as Superheroes: Decoded, which gives a detailed description of the origins of the modern superhero genre and how it reflected the past century of American history. Even though there were several pop culture heroes such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and Zorro, the first true superhero was Superman, who was introduced to the world in 1938. After Superman, comic book companies tried to make something that could rival Superman in terms of popularity and there were countless failures that are largely forgotten. However, the next major superhero to follow Superman was Batman. Batman was created to reflect the urban fears of the gritty city. The thirties were a time when the Great Depression struck America hard. While Superman was meant to give people hope in the face of the Great Depression, Batman was created to reflect the grim reality of crime-ridden cities. From this perspective, both Superman and Batman represent opposing sides of the human psyche with Superman signifying the ego and Batman signifying the dark subconscious. Even Batman’s origin story, which is the most unchanged out of all major superheroes, represented what could happen to you in a crime-stricken city.
For my future fantasy books, I am thinking of introducing a particularly dark breed of monster: the kind that is born out of incest. Unlike real life, children born of incest in my books will not be human even though their parents would be human. Instead, they will look like beasts you will only find in your most unholy nightmares. These creatures will be what they are due to their parents being exposed to byproducts of a failed magical experiment. As a result, these monstrosities will roam the corners of the Empire, attacking towns and villages where they find them. I will be drawing inspiration from a creature known as the Shtriga, which was the Albanian version of a vampire.
In Norse mythology, there was a very specialized version of a zombie called a Draugr. Draugr were undead warriors who lived in their graves and guarded treasure. However, because they used to be warriors in life, I often wonder what an army of Draugr would be capable of. Throughout my third fantasy book, the Imperial Dynasty will be engaging in a form of mystical imperialism in an attempt to further consolidate their power over the empire. They would do this by uncovering long forgotten secrets in magic. One of those secrets will involve turning a mass grave of fallen warriors into an unstoppable army of Draugr. However, because of their nature, this Draugr army can only be deployed as a last resort when the Imperial Crown is most at risk. I looking forward to elaborating on this further as I continue to write.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a vampire. To be a vampire would mean to be immortal, but it would be immortality that would come with certain conditions.
Chief among these conditions are that I can only eat blood whether if it is human blood or animal blood. I would keep my pantries, refrigerator, and cellar fully stocked with bottles of blood. That way, I won’t have to hunt and kill prey. Some vampires need to feed once every four or five days. With this in mind, I will drink one whole bottle of blood once every four or five days. That way, I can make my blood supply last for a long time. The question is how would I acquire the blood if I do not hunt and kill prey. I would buy blood from blood banks and slaughter houses. That way, I can keep my belly full and not worry about becoming a predator. I would preferably buy blood that has high blood sugar. To a vampire, that would be like drinking maple syrup or chocolate milk.
I like the 30 Days of Night vampires because they could only be killed through either exposure to the sun or decapitation. That way, as long as I stay out of the sun and keep my head fastened to my shoulders, I will live forever.
Being immortal, I would literally have all the time in the world on my hands. I would spend my days sleeping and my nights doing whatever I pleased. I would have more than enough time to write books until my imagination was spent. I would see every new Star Wars film that will ever be made. I would read every manga and watch every anime. The sky is the limit as long as I do it at night.
When you are immortal, you always risk your loved ones growing old and dying in front of you. With vampires, you have the option to grant immortality to another person, making that person your eternal companion. However, I will allow a human to get to know me to the fullest before giving them the option to join me until the end of time. I am a social individual and I am always looking for someone to socialize with. I don’t want to risk driving a potential companion away by taking away the choice of whether or not they want to be human. If I turn the against their will, they will hate me and either kill me or run away into the night to become man-eating predators.
In addition, vampires sometimes turn animals into their familiars. Familiars are servants who are as long lived as a vampire, but not a vampire themselves. I could turn my pit bulls into my familiars. They would guard the house while I am sleeping by day and sleep on my lap at night while we lounge.
Overall, if I was a vampire, I would have civilized and a semi-human lifestyle.
I like ligers because they are such fascinating big cats. They are the offspring of male lions and female tigers. Ligers tend to be larger and more powerful than either of their parents and surprisingly quick for their size, bursting with hybrid energy and stamina. They are about the same size as Smilodon AKA the famous saber-toothed cat (minus the sabers). After watching this video of ligers, they are not the big killer cats you would expect. Instead, they are essentially large, lazy, and spoiled babies.
I am thinking of including ligers in my fantasy world and their origins would be based on a local fairy tale and children’s story. I will base this legend on a Greek myth about the Myrmidons. In the original legend, the first king of the Myrmidons prayed for Zeus to give him a strong and powerful people to rule over. Zeus granted his wish by turning every ant on the island into a human and the Myrmidons were born. Because they used to be ants, the Myrmidons were the original Ant-Men.
At some point in my fantasy series, The Magnus Dynasty Saga, I am thinking of introducing a creature known as a Bauk. Bauks are from Serbian folklore and they are known to hide in shadows and abandoned buildings and wait to snatch away unsuspecting victims. Bauks were one of the mythical creatures that inspired J. R. R. Tolkein to create his version of Orcs. Also, Bauks gave J. K. Rowling inspiration for the shape-shifting Boggarts. I am thinking of following Rowling and Tolkein’s example and doing my own spin on Bauks. They will even have the same name as the original myth. To make things even more intriguing, these Bauks won’t be native to the Gradaian Empire. Instead, they will be from a different, previously unknown and uncharted continent. I look forward to tinkering with this idea.
Norse and Germanic mythology is overflowing with great legends and stories that have lasted right up to the present day. Among those legends was the tale of the hero Sigurd, who slew the dragon Fafnir and claimed the beast’s treasure. After slaying the dragon, Sigurd bathed in its blood, which made his skin impenetrable with the exception of a weak spot on his back. Another story is of the All Father of the Norse Gods, Odin, who sacrificed one of his eyes in order to gain wisdom. A third legend regards Tyr, the Norse God of War, who lost a hand while fighting the demon wolf Fenrir. Even though these features have been included in heroes and gods, I am thinking of making them the features and characteristics of the main villain of my spin-off fantasy trilogy.
Out of all the Greek Gods, one of my all-time favorites would be Zeus, god of the heavens and King of Mount Olympus. Zeus was the youngest of the first generation Olympians, which made him the runt of the litter. Despite his youth, Zeus was nevertheless the mightiest of the Olympians, which made him most suitable to be their ruler. When his siblings were swallowed by his Titan father Kronos, Zeus was spared by his mother Rhea and when he came of age sought to liberate his siblings and start an all-out revolt against the Titans. Under his leadership, the Gods were able to overthrow the Titans and seized control of existence for themselves. As the King of Olympus, Zeus was the father of several Gods such as Ares, Athena, Hephaestus, Apollo, Artemis and so on. Apart from his divine children, Zeus was notorious for seducing mortal women and siring demigod children with them such as Hercules and Perseus. His sister/wife Hera, being the goddess of marriage, was equally infamous for being jealous of Zeus’s affairs with mortal women and would routinely lash out at them and their demigod children. Because my new superheroes will be naming themselves after the Gods of Olympus, I am thinking naming the strongest character after Zeus.
Easily the most famous of the old gods would be the Gods of Olympus. In documentaries I have watched regarding the history and evolution of the superhero genre, I discovered that the origin of the superhero tied in to Greek Mythology. Some scholars argued that Superman is the modern version of Zeus while Batman is the modern version of Hades. Wonder Woman was a product of the Greek Gods because she was made to be as beautiful and loving as Aphrodite, wise and intelligent as Athena, strong and durable as Hercules, and fast and agile as Mercury. I am thinking of keeping with this tradition in my new superhero series with the characters naming themselves after the Gods of Olympus and the Primordial Titans.
I discovered something interesting about the mythology of my Viking ancestors. On the eve of Ragnarök, there was a brutal winter that lasted three grueling years. This winter was called the Fimbulwinter, which means “Great Winter” in Norse. It caused a massive loss of life and was followed by countless wars. After these wars were finally over, the Twilight of the Gods began and the world was remade forever. I am thinking of including a similar winter in my spin-off fantasy trilogy that will set the stage for the beginning of the story.