Ever since I was in middle school, I was aware that there were other ways a superhuman could wield fire. Normally, a superhuman could either manipulate fire like Pyro or generate fire like the Human Torch. However, there is one form of pyrokinesis that I find fascinating: psychic fire manipulation. The most famous wielder of psychic fire manipulation was Jean Grey from the X-Men. This form of fire manipulation does not use actual fire. Instead, it uses psychic energy that is so potent that it becomes visible in the form of flame-like energy. Unlike real fire, psychic fire does not actually burn its target. Like a really powerful telekinetic blast, psychic fire disintegrates its target atom by atom. In addition, because it is psychic in nature, the flames attack a living target’s mind to provide the sensation of being burned alive only it is more extreme since the mind is being torn asunder while the body is being ripped apart on an atomic level. While real fire only inflicts physical pain, psychic fire inflicts both physical and mental pain simultaneously. For my new superhero story, I am thinking of giving this power to one of my main characters.
When I first read Watchmen, I was introduced to the concept of morally ambiguous superheroes who were just as crazy and twisted as the villains they fight. No character embodied this concept more than the Comedian AKA Edward Blake. When the Comedian started his superhero career, he was 16 years old and was more of a thug than a hero. He spent time with the Minutemen for a while before being kicked out of the team after he attempted to rape the first Silk Spectre. The Comedian then went solo as a vigilante and started attacking sleeper agents of the Japanese government. In 1942 when Blake was 18, his activities caught the attention and interest of the United States government and he was recruited to be the enforcer of the United States. Throughout his time working for the government, the Comedian fought in World War II, the Vietnam War, and the proxy wars of the Cold War. Compared to his fellow superheroes, the Comedian was well aware of just how high the stakes were to saving the world and believed it could not be saved by the likes of them. Despite his attempt to rape her, the first Silk Spectre AKA Sally Jupiter fell in love with Blake and they had a daughter, Laurie, together who would succeed her mother as the Silk Spectre. In his own twisted way, the Comedian was being a protective father watching over Laurie. He played a role in convincing Laurie to return to her mother after she ran away from home to join the Hippies and afterwards tried to bond with her after the Crimebuster meeting. The Comedian’s superhero career came to a violent end when he was 61 years old. After discovering a conspiracy that shattered his cynical worldview, the Comedian was brutally beaten and murdered in his own apartment before being thrown out his own window. It was Blake’s death that set the story of Watchmen in motion. I like the Comedian because he demonstrated that even a superhero can be as flawed and human.
In my new superhero book, I will be featuring a character with a mutated arm. This arm will be a grotesque mixture of bare muscle, sharp bone claws, and dozens of tentacles that are tipped with sharp barbs. This arm is going to be a deadly weapon when used in hand to hand combat and the damage it inflicts will be frightening.
It looks like we will finally see Jeremiah Valeska complete his transformation into the Joker in the Gotham Series Finale. I have noticed a few things about this version of the Joker. After he fell in the vat of chemicals, he supposedly became brain dead. However, ten years later, he wakes up when Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City. We know that Jeremiah developed a twisted obsession with Bruce Wayne and only woke up when Bruce returned. It could be that the vat of chemicals were only part of the reason Jeremiah was catatonic until now. It could be he lost all sense of fun and purpose when Bruce left Gotham, but when Bruce came back he saw a golden opportunity to have another play date with his favorite victim. However, he clearly runs into someone who is far more fun than Bruce Wayne ever was: BATMAN!!! Thus the feud between superhero and supervillain begins!
This reminds of me of what happened to the Joker in The Dark Knight Returns. After Batman was forced into retirement for ten years, the Joker became catatonic and lost all sense of fun and purpose. But when Batman returned, the Joker was back to his old homicidal self. I think this is the approach the showrunners are going with Jeremiah’s character arc as the Joker. I can’t wait to find out if I am right.
Allow me to give you a little preview of the new superheroes in my latest superhero story. I will not mention their names (which will remain classified until publication), but I will give you an idea of their respective personalities.
The male lead will be an artful individual who loves being theatrical. His interests include acting, reading manga and superhero comics, practicing martial arts, and music. Before becoming a superhero, he dreamed of being an actor. At the start of the story, he is aware of the flaws of the world around him, but does not give them much thought. When his powers manifest, he is initially unaware that he even has powers. When he becomes aware of his powers, he can barely control them and one of his main challenges throughout the series is learning to control his growing powers and achieve even greater heights to do good.
The female lead has two distinct personalities. One personality is shy, kind, and gentle while the other is sadistic, cruel, and bloodthirsty. Her gentle personality is a deeply religious girl while the cruel personality is a cynical atheist. The development of these two personalities is due to psychological trauma as well as the manifestation of her powers. When her gentle personality is in control, her powers are hardly significant, but when her dark personality is in control, she is virtually unstoppable. Her main struggle is learning to reconcile the two halves of her personality.
The third main character is the brains of the group. He is an eccentric, quirky, and borderline insane genius who is more connected with technology than people. He views everything in the world to be a test subject for his experiments including himself. He becomes a superhero not out of some moral obligation, but because he wanted every opportunity he could get to test his inventions. His main struggle will be learning how to connect with other people and develop a form of empathy.
Overall, these characters are among the most complex and morally ambiguous I have ever created. I look forward to deepening their respective character arcs.
While watching futuristic documentaries on Curiosity Stream, I discovered ways in which people can be made superhuman through artificial means. Experiments were done to increase the muscle mass of cows and mice through genetic engineering. These animals were injected with the IGF1 Gene, which stimulates muscle growth on a cellular level. Unlike steroids, the IGF1 Gene is a natural protein that does not break the body down. The muscles of these cows and mice were increased in size by 400 percent. Imagine if the Running of the Bulls involved unleashing bulls that were as large and powerful as these super cows. Also, the super sized mouse in the picture above would be a real life Mighty Mouse and it reminds me of something from a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Both of these animals could be test subjects for a real life super soldier program like Captain America! Based on these test results, I wonder what these muscle enhancers will do to humans. We can have a real life Hulk on our hands! I will toy with this concept of genetic engineering in my new superhero story and it will serve as a potential countermeasure for humans against real Superhumans.
I had an idea I would like to try for my new superhero story. I have always been a fan and admirer of Stan Lee, the founder of the modern superhero genre. I kept track of all his cameos, attended some of his conventions, and watched a number of his shows. Now, however, a bright light has gone out in the universe when Stan Lee died. He was two years older than my sainted grandmother. Thanks to his decades of creating superheroes, Stan Lee has left an overwhelmingly fruitful legacy. He gave us superheroes such as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and the X-Men. To honor and pay tribute to Stan’s memory and legacy, I am thinking of basing a major supporting character in my new superhero story after him. The character will not share his name, but he will share some aspects of Stan’s physical appearance and personality. This character will serve as a homage and salute to this great man!
When Marvel Studios did a montage of all of Stan Lee’s cameos over the years in the opening of Captain Marvel, the only words that crossed my mind were, “We love you, Stan!”