Thursday, March 22, 2018

Quadrant Handbook 1: Lightweight


Art by Brent Sprecher.
Real Name: Kevin Mathis

Occupation: Wanderer

Marital Status: Single

Known Relatives: Mary (mother), David (father), Andrew Case (distant cousin)

Group Affiliation: none

Base of Operations: Nill

History: Kevin Mathis never saw himself as superhero material.

Born and raised in southern Minnesota, he moved after his father’s business brought him down to the massive Midwest city of Federation. He joined his class in the ninth grade and immediately became friends with two people, Andy Case and Millie Bryant. They formed a strange group in the ever-bustling world of Reagan High.

Each had their own diverse interests. Andy loved cars and weed. Millie focused on computers. Kevin loved video games and wanted nothing more than to play them. An average student, he certainly could score much higher with just a little bit of applying himself.

Then came the dreams. Every night, he received another vision of floating high above the city. And those dreams set him on a path that could make him the world’s greatest hero. Or maybe the world’s greatest villain.

He quickly donned the costumed identity of Lightweight, driven to be a hero despite his once laid-back ways. Over the course of the next several months, he fought threats such as Titan, Ronin, Carolyn Bates and Hellfire, he started to learn the secrets of his origins. With new allies like the Gray Man and Howl, he continued to fight crime as he sought answers about what the two factions wanted from him. He soon realized the ancient orders of the Eloi and the Morlocks wouldn't let him go without a fight. In a deciding battle with the villainous Black Death, both the hero and villain apparently perished under a destroyed skyscraper.

Instead, Kevin found himself transported to the strange world of Nill. A desert wasteland separated into a strict caste system, it was cut off from the rest of the galaxy due to an ancient interdict. Seen as a savior to the people of the world, he came into battle with the Grand Magister of the Trangalactic Congregation of the Brethren. The nefarious religious leader wanted the planet's savior dead, but a huge battle only left the planet more ravaged in its aftermath.

Kevin continues to live on Nill as he seeks a way back to his home planet and the life he lost.

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: 183 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Dark Brown

Strength level: Lightweight possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height and build that engages in moderate exercise.

Known superhuman abilities: Kevin Mathis possesses the ability to manipulate the personal gravimetric field of any non-living object. He can use this ability to make things lighter or heavier. He can also use it to move objects through the air by manipulating their relationship to both other objects and the planet.

When Kevin exerts his powers, his body begins to expel light. At greater levels, this light actually becomes almost blinding.

With power over an essential force in the universe, Kevin’s abilities seem to have only brushed the most infinitesimal of their potential as he first dons the costume of Lightweight.

Other abilities: Kevin also has basic hand to hand combat training as well as a vast knowledge of video games with special expertise in obscure independent games.

Equipment: Kevin earned the Sword of the Light Bringer upon his arrival on Nill. The weapon serves as a focus to his powers. Made of alloys not understood even in the most technologically advanced corners of the alien world, it is seemingly indestructible.

Read the stories in: 

Lightweight: Senior Year | Lightweight: Black Death | Lightweight: Beyond

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tomorrow: Introducing the Quadrant Handbook!

I promised a couple weeks ago to introduce a new feature here at Super Powered Fiction. It makes its first appearance tomorrow as I introduce the world to the first entry in the Quadrant Handbook. 

Like many children of the nineteen eighties, I grew up on the likes of Who's Who in the DC Universe and the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Before I read many superheroes adventures I read summations of their adventures in these great books designed by talented folks like Peter Sanderson, Bob Greenberger and Mark Gruenwald. Over the years I learned a ton of information about characters well-known and obscure. 

I quickly gained interest in characters like Doctor Fate and The Demon or thought far more obscure books like Amethyst and Atari Force are far more important than they were.

While I preferred the comprehensiveness of DC's entry in the style, I really loved OHOTMU's layout inside far better. Characters were given as many pages as needed even if obscure players were left by the wayside.

Starting tomorrow, the Quadrant Handbook will introduce the world to the heroes of the Quadrant Universe in the same way these great books did years ago. The weekly feature will come out every Thursday and feature a new profile of each character as it continues. It will cover the spectrum of the characters I've created while also maybe even introducing a few in the process...

Stay tuned tomorrow for the first installment of our new feature! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Shape of... Horror?

The Shape of Water won four Oscars and a slew of other awards over the last few months. It deserved them; it's easily one of the best films of 2017. But it's far from the first piece of fiction to tell of the love between woman and fish-man.

Separated at birth? Left: The creature from Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water.
Right: John Davie's illustration of the One from the Deep for Horror Heroes 2.
Two years before it even previewed, I released my own take on the love of a man from the depths of the ocean and a modern woman in a short story simply titled "The Beach House." As part of the anthology Horror Heroes 2, it told the story of a young woman named Lynda. Out on her own for the first time after a pampered childhood, she quickly finds herself in trouble when she moves into a beach house with several other students seeking freedom. But the strange boy that saves her one night on the sand quickly sends her life in a direction she could never imagine...

Perhaps it's nothing Oscar worthy, but "The Beach House" is a compelling entry in my writing history. It's well worth a check for anyone that wants to see more creatures from beneath the sea, or just want to see me write something a bit more romantic.

Horror Heroes 2 is an anthology of monsters turned heroes. It also features "Frankenstein & The Rejects" by Travis Hiltz and Darrin Albert's "Steamed,"  which features Bigfoot. It is now available in print and Kindle editions.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Great Art: Black Panther by Larry Stroman

My wife, children and I all greatly enjoyed Marvel's Black Panther greatly, as the MCU continues a streak of films that have seriously upped their game a decade into their shared universe. With that in mind, I chose this great piece of Black Panther art by a classic favorite of yours truly, the always unique Larry Stroman.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art over on the Tumblr. And after you're done admiring some great art here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on the site this week!

A new home for What's Up!

I have long used Friday mornings as a drop point for my What's Up column where I feature some of the novels, comics, movies, music or games I'm enjoying. I have officially ended that column as a regular blog post.

Now, it can be found on the main homepage as part of the continued blog presence. To the right of the screen on computers and at the bottom of the main page on tablets and phones, you can find all the links in a new What's Up widget just below the newsletter sign up form (which you should use if you haven't already!)

I have a new replacement weekly column in the works for the near future however, so stay tuned for news about that one!