This is a fun story, playfully told by the author. With the right artist, think this would make for an excellent series of graphic novels. A very different way of viewing the world of Superheroes. – Amazon review of Into The Dark.
I love this review because it zeroes in on exactly what I want to achieve with the Infinite Crossover Crisis: a new take on a genre that’s been covered by a legion of writers, each one far more talented than yours truly. The first modern comic book, Famous Funnies, was released in the United States in 1933 and since then everything there is to say about the superhero genre has been said, apparently.
Except it hasn’t.
There’s always room for a different interpretation of any subject, at least in my humble opinion. In my case, I want to showcase people with extraordinary abilities who use them to do more than just punch Lex Luthor or the Joker in the face. You see, as far as I’m concerned, Superman has never realized his full potential.
In other words, what good is a Superman if he doesn’t actually do anything truly super?
He could divert the course of rivers and end drought in places like Ethiopia.
But he doesn’t.
He could fly into nations under the thumb of ruthless dictators and bend those thumbs back without even breaking a seat.
But he never does.
He could change the entire world in a week – or less.
But he… well, you get it by now.
Granted, I realize that changing the world and interfering with a nation’s political structure isn’t as simple as it sounds. The Man of Steel is, for all intents and purposes, a US citizen, and as such, would be responsible for any repercussions/blowback resulting from his world-changing actions. So, while a few writers have had Superman tackle real-world issues like the ones I’ve just mentioned, most prefer to keep him in the same old “punch Luthor in the face” lane. DC Comics is currently using Superman and Lois’ son Jon to tackle this topic, with the Super Son questioning his father’s lack of world-changing agendas.
But my point remains the same; Superman just refuses to ruffle any world leader’s collective feathers, and so he sticks to natural disasters and super villains.
That’s not what my superheroes are all about.
My characters are living in a world under the collective thumb of ancient beings who embody mankind’s most vile impulses. The Dark are just as evil as the name implies. Imagine the Joker on crack made from pure evil.
(In retrospect, maybe I should have called them something ironic, like “The Happy, Fluffy Bunny Squad?) After God disappears and they win a war with their siblings, The Light and The Grey, The Dark seize control of every significant aspect of humanity’s existence. Now the thirteen members of The Dark have one agenda…
Create as much chaos as possible; it’s the perfect chaser for all those delicious superpowered energies they extract from their victims. Superheroes in costumes were virtually wiped out in the aforementioned war, but human beings with extraordinary abilities still exist – though they often find themselves abducted by The Dark’s minions and taken to a facility where their power is harvested and fed to the world’s puppet masters.
As you can imagine, punching supervillains isn’t enough to win this fight. (Though it is a big part of what my heroes, the Infinite Syndicate, have to do to see their agenda through.) My heroes will have to change the world in order to free it from The Dark’s control.
But how does one change the world, exactly?
If you have superpowers, you… well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it?
Trust me though, I have a plan. They may not wear spandex or go by fancy code-names, but the Infinite Syndicate is made up of members who can:
- Stop time dead in its tracks.
- Bring inanimate objects to a form of life.
- Turn night into day.
- Grant wishes by ingesting a single drop of genie blood. (It’s gross, but it gets the job done.)
- Harness electrical energy.
- Create energy shields.
- Interface with any electronic form of communication.
And that’s just scratching the surface. Of course, superpowers can’t cure disease or purge people of their capacity for evil. I briefly considered writing a chapter where a character cures his mother of her bone cancer and flesh-eating disease, but suffering, no matter how horrific it is to witness, is a part of life. And besides, I indulge my wish fulfillment bucket list in many other ways, trust me. And free will is God’s greatest gift to humanity; we need our inner light and darkness in order to truly be human.
So, as you can see, my creations have their work cut out for them – but their mission isn’t impossible.
Or is it?
You’ll just have to read Into The Dark, Into The Grey, and Into The Light to see what sort of impact superheroes can have on the world when they shatter social convention and push the limits of their abilities.
See you in the lobby and the virtual bookshelves, my friends…
“Bat-Hook” logo by Jorge O’Neill of Twitter.