Friday, December 29, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Harley Quinn and Company

So we are three years away from 2018, so it seems like a great time for a special beginning of the year edition of Cosplay Friday. New Years Day is a modern rock band with an apt name for this time of the year. They recently appeared on Punk Goes Pop Volume 7, an album where punk and rock bands cover modern pop songs. They chose Kehlani's "Gangsta." Most famously used as a theme for Harley and the Joker in Suicide Squad, the members of New Years Day decided to go into full cosplay mode with Ash Costello in Harley Quinn regalia.


As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!

What's up for the end of 2017!

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)


This week ended up with far more reading than I expected as I was struck by diverticulitis, a disorder I highly recommend everyone avoid if possible. Here's what I worked my way through in the past week!



True Detective by Max Allen Collins | Earthbound by Ken Baumann | Ka-Zar Volume 2 |
Westworld Season 1 | Taylor Swift: Reputation

Check out the great showmen of Big Top Tales!

One of the most offbeat projects I ever worked on was Big Top Tales. Focused on six different talents from a shared circus as it makes its way across the country, the book featured some truly fascinating stories on the edge of the supernatural. I wrote the story of Lulabelle Rose Jensen, the acrobatic aerialist.

I quickly threw her into a dangerous fight for life as a crazed murderer sets her in his sights. It's a fast paced adventure tale and one of my personal favorite works.

I did a ton of research on acrobats and aerialists before I started work on the tale. Real life acrobat Lillian Leitzel played a major role in my development work. I quickly realized I couldn't write a tale about just a normal girl from the 30s. Rose would have to be a unique figure in the era which is why from the start of the tale I made it clear she was anything but a typical 30s pulp girl. She's got agency and she's not afraid to break societal norms to get what she wants.

As The Greatest Showman works its way through theaters, I encourage everyone to take a different look at the historical circus by picking up a copy of Big Top Tales. It was a fun ride and right deserves more readers.

Go give it a look on Amazon. If you like it, please give it a review as well to help others find it!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Top 10 wrestlers of the year kicks off today with Tetsuya Naito!

Over at the soon-to-be-renamed Wrestling Weekday, the annual countdown of the year's top 10 wrestlers has began. Go check it out today and follow it for the rest of this week and the next as we countdown the ten biggest stars of the year!


Head over to the site and check out the first profile of Japan's most ungovernable wrestler, Tetsuya Naito!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Dead rock star for the ages! (Kickstart the Week 62)

Great all ages books have flourished on the independents while "mainstream" comic publishing has fallen into a need to serve an ever shrinking, ever aging fanbase. That means for the first time in the history of comics, a lot of all ages books are coming from small presses.


Nicky Soh is an up and coming creator with one such comic. Rock Mary Rock is one such comic. Mary awakens the spirit of a dead rock star and in order to help him move on, she must live out his dream of becoming a mega star! It's a fun premise with beautiful art by Nicky.

It's always great to see sole creators really bringing their all to a great book and Rock Mary Rock looks like one of those works. Take a look at it on Kickstarter and help make it a reality.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Great Art: Spider-Man and Mary Jane by Steve Lightle

It is almost Christmas, so why not celebrate with a classic by the ever-underrated Steve Lightle featuring the formerly happy couple of Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson-Parker!

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


What's Up for December 22, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)


Christmas isn't here yet and I had a bit more reading and watching time than usual. So here's some interesting things I have been up to in the last week.



Mississippi Roll: A Wild Cards Novel | Dark Knight: The Master Race |
Ka-Zar by Waid & Kubert | Westworld Season 1 | Dick Tracy

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Star Wars, divisive pop culture and entitlement

So last Saturday, I was fortunate enough to enjoy a private screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with my wife and children. I enjoyed it thoroughly. We had a great experience at a fun movie.


Then I came home and read all the comments I avoided for the previous two days. And my heart sank.

The Last Jedi goes in directions no previous Star Wars film or story goes in. It questions the importance of the Jedi, the righteousness of the battle and the meaning of sacrifice for the greater good. It challenges preconceptions and hate rolled out because of it.

I by no means think everyone should love the film. But it is a well made (if a bit long) film. Rian Johnson knows Star Wars, he loves Star Wars and he wants to make Star Wars something that can last for decades to come. The Last Jedi is very much that movie, even as it re-writes the questions fans were left asking from The Force Awakens.

The sense of entitlement among the haters of the film may have reached peak insanity however. As I write this the petition to remove The Last Jedi from canon is at almost 50,000 supporters. 50,000 people are angry enough to make up and sign this because they didn't like what path the film puts Luke Skywalker on or how it differentiates from the Expanded Universe or how porgs are literally too cute to exist or whatever. They fell betrayed somehow by a piece of cinema, even while demanding a new one from the creators.

Star Wars isn't ours. We can love it. We can hate it. But it is not ours. Much like George R. R. Martin, Lucasfilm is not our bitch. You are welcome to dislike it. You are welcome to give up on the universe you've treasured or return to the Expanded Universe you loved beforehand. But it is not my place, your place or anyone's place outside Kathleen Kennedy and her bosses at Disney to determine the future of Star Wars. Lucasfilm backed Rian Johnson's vision of where Star Wars needs to go and like it or not, that is where it went.

Talk to your friends or find like-minded folks that agree with your dislike. But don't try to rain on the parade of fans that did love it. It's time, much like Elsa, to let it go.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Princess Leia and Han Solo

The big news this weekend is the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so I thought what better way than to celebrate it with some cosplay. I don't know the names of these great models bringing Leia Organa and Han Solo to life, but they've done a stupendous job all around!

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's up for December 15, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)


This list probably looks pretty familiar from last week as I have spent a lot of time writing (outside a day of horrifying pain and sickness.)



Lazgood's Boys by Jim Starlin | Batman/Flash: The Button |
Sanctuary | Preacher Season 1 | Reputation

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A few thoughts on a good Fantastic Four movie

As I write this, the announcement was just made a few minutes ago. Disney is buying Fox and the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties will soon return to Marvel Studios. While a few folks are talking about what this means for the X-Men franchise, I'm personally far more interested in how it would effect the one property Marvel Studios desperately needs to handle, just to save it from the mediocrity it has suffered in three films so far.
It is time for a great Fantastic Four film. 

All they need is some matching spandex.
Let's keep the premise simple and as close to the classic origin as possible. They fly into space, get exposed to some kind of galactic space goo / Negative Zone force / Dormammu spit / whatever and get super powers. They crash back on Earth and learn they have gained freakish abilities. Reed decides to use this in the best way his capitalist mind can think: by turning them into a business. 

As they reach their first levels of success and fame, Reed's old rival Victor Von Doom resurfaces. The Eastern European aristocrat (hell, make him overlord of the remains Sokovia instead of Latveria now) has used his genius to replicate the technology of Tony Stark, but his time training under the Ancient One gives him a different perspective on the world of tech. He's still got a major hate on for Reed, who seems to have lucked into all the success Doom struggled to get. So he sets up to fight the heroes. He brings in one big MCU guest star as a dupe to ground and pound the team before the final battle between the heroes and him. 

An end credit scene shows the impending arrival of the Silver Surfer and quite frankly set up a whole new phase of Marvel films. 

It's far more simple a story than any other attempt to modernize the team for modern movies while delivering some room for laughs and character development. 

Let's take a look at my cast, in the order I would expect to see them in the credits: 


Eddie Redmayne as Victor Von Doom: Eddie may be swamped under by the next four Fantastic Beasts films, but he is spot on the guy that can play Doom to a tee. He can play down to earth, pathos and isn't unwilling to transform himself for a role. And if Jupiter Ascending proved anything, it is that he can go over the top as a villain with ease. 


Saoirse Ronan as Susan Storm: Ronan is young, blonde and an infinitely better actress than the two women she replaces. While she's avoided blockbusters for the most part, she would be a spot on choice to build a more full fledged Invisible Woman than we've been given in the past. She's easily the most powerful member of the FF and it's time we're giving an actor and a movie that can show it.


Armie Hammer as Ben Grimm: I'm not sure if Armie has given up on the "I need to be a thing" thing yet, but he'll probably never make it as a major leading man. But Hammer is a great player in his previous blockbuster attempts. He could make a great giant rock monster, whether or not the movie wants to go full CGI or use makeup effects. 


Ross Lynch as Johnny Storm: The hothead of the Fantastic Four goes to a man most famous now for playing a serial killer in My Friend Dahmer. But as a veteran to the Disney Channel, Lynch is pretty much built to play a slightly smarmy but great looking guy that loves the spotlight. Kids love him and with about twenty pounds of muscle packed on, he could be Marvel's next hot young thing. 


Zac Oyama as Reed Richards: The most unknown of the actors in my list, but the College Humor regular has acting chops plus the comedy talent to make the inherent silliness of stretching powers really work. Zac has played super smart and socially inept before during shorts, and that makes me think he's got what it takes to make a young Reed come to life. And if Kelly Marie Tran can make the leap from CH to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Zac could do the same for the Marvel Universe.


Matt Smith as the Silver Surfer: The only former Doctor (at the moment) not yet cast in a Marvel movie or show would be the perfect man to bring a quirky alien fascinated by humanity to life. While Surfer in many ways is an ultra-powerful version of the good Doctor, I suspect Smith could bring some interesting differences between the two and hopefully set himself up for an eventual spinoff film. 


Introducing: ? as Alicia Masters: I have to cast an unknown as Alicia Masters, as I think it might be a great time for Disney/Fox/Marvel to show off their diversity creds by hiring an actually blind actress for the role. It might add a few headaches to the filming process, but would be worth it just for authenticity's sake. 


Featuring: Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk: Oh, come on! We all want to see The Thing fight The Hulk on the silver screen. Doom could easily use the big guy as a tool in his plot setting up a big fight between the two while the rest of the FF have to deal with Doom himself. It could make for a great climax and set up another "puny god" style moment. 

What do you think of this cast and plot? Who do you want to see in a MCU Fantastic Four? Let me know in the comments! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Annual Top Ten voting is now on at The Wrestling Weekday!

I ran the The Wrestling Weekday concurrently with this blog for a couple years. While it has mostly been shuttered for the second half of 2017, I will do a full re-launch next year under a new name with less frequent, but more engaged thought pieces. But one tradition that won't be going away is the year end Top 10.

Full details on voting can be found in the re-post below!
I am over here dusting the Wrestling Weekday homepage off. This site will get something of a face lift over the next year as it will feature some long form works and almost certainly, a name change. But none of that matters, the relaunch starts in the last week of the year. That means it is once again time for the year end Top 10.

And I need your help to determine the ten best wrestlers of 2017.

Who will join 2015 winner Sasha Banks and 2016 winner Broken Matt Hardy
as the best wrestler of 2017? 
As in previous years, the process is simple. All you have to do to vote is to send me your list of the top wrestlers from anywhere in the world. Your list can be as short as one or as long as 25, but it needs to be ranked in order of worst to best. Send your choices to wwfmegs{at}yahoo{dot}com (or leave them in the comments below) and I will tally the fan choices as well as my own top ten to give a full list of the top stars of 2017.

The only requirement for a wrestler to be eligible for the list is if they were active in the calendar year 2015 as an in ring worker. Promotions, gender and age are not limited, just as long as they wrestled a match at some point in the year 2017. Wrestlers should be rated on quality of match rather than out of match promos or shenanigans, all though those can be taken into account as an overall reason for your choice. Tag teams and units must be listed separately on this list. If you feel they had equal levels of performance in your list of twenty, please put them one after another.

Though it is not required, any commentary on the wrestlers you chose and why you chose them would be appreciated, as it will be included as thoughts on the wrestler in the final Top Ten list.

All votes must be received by December 24, 2017, at midnight Central time. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Detectives, dark magic and quarterly fiction (Kickstart the Week 61)

After a nasty stomach bug, I'm getting off to my week a bit late, but I feel this project is worth a mention even if it is already Tuesday.

The occult and detective fiction have been linked pretty much since the origins of detectives in fiction. (Thanks, Edgar Allan Poe!) But it isn't as often that the concept of the occult detective gets played up in fiction the way it once was. Sure, Harry Dresden and Anita Blake technically fit the bill, but they never come with the sense of impending dread one usually thinks about when the two come together.


Occult Detective Quarterly Presents is a new outlet for the detectives of the supernatural. With several creators already lined up for the first issue, the book looks to clock in at a pretty decent page count as well. Plus, it will carry full illustrations for each story, always a fun way to raise the sense of foreboding horror!

Check it out on Kickstarter and help make this new series a reality!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Great art: Hobgoblin vs. Green Goblin by Ryan Stegman

Ryan Stegman is one of the reasons Marvel keeps ahead of DC in the art department, but like so many Marvel artists, it really feels like they don't know how to use him. He's a great talent however, so when I found his image of a personal favorite of mine, the Hobgoblin, against the original Green Goblin, I had to share it here.

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


What's Up for December 8, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)




Lazgood's Boys by Jim Starlin | Secret Empire
| Strain | Preacher Season 1 | Reputation

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The playlist of a Templar

Model Winnie Harlow as Sia in Eminem's "Guts Over Fear",
one of the main anthems for Graymalkin. 
When I started the first book in the tentatively titled Graymalkin Chronicles I designed, as I'm apt to do, a Spotify playlist. I already shared one for my succubus co-lead, but I also created one for my Templar hero. He's a lost soul in a lot of ways, so I chose songs that have themes of alienation, redemption and overcoming obstacles. Of course, I've also included a few songs with obvious religious themes as well. Together, it's a very odd hodgepodge but really does help me fully realize the character on screen. Check out the full list below:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Post-NaNoWrimo, pre-2018 shenanigans! (WIP Wednesday)

It was a crazy November. I wrote the first two-thirds of my new urban fantasy novel, the first book in a series I plan to call The Graymalkin Chronicles. It's been interesting to drop traditional super-heroics for this one, even if my character does have a decidedly superhero origin. Like many characters, Xander Graymalkin's origins were from short stories and comic pitches I wrote back in the 90s while still in high school. And like Lightweight before him, he's vastly changed since that origin. I'm still very excited for this tale to see the light of the day, but my plans are to hold off on publication of most of my work until the second half of next year. I will likely also shop the series around to a few publishers as well.

That move has been a long time coming, but with the closure of Metahuman Press, it feels like the right time to find others to publish most of my works. My hope is to start moving away from self-publishing on all my writing outside two core series.

Those series are Quadrant, which I will talk about more down the line and Lightweight. As I showed off yesterday across social media and on this blog, the next chapters of Lightweight have started as my new short story project. I'll be writing each chapter as a standalone, just as I did with previous volumes. I will likely alternate those stories with other shorts as I go along, but I am hoping to prep a new Lightweight by that aforementioned second half of next year.

I also quietly completed the third story in The Second Life of D.B. Cooper series. This one takes place way later in the continuity of Coop than the previous stories, but does build upon the first story as published in the Pen & Cape Society project, The Good Fight 2: Villains. I'll have more information on the project once I've confirmed a home for it, but I loved coming back to Coop after a couple years away.

Today's image is taken from the Graymalkin board on my Pinterest. It features one of the creatures that will make their presence known in that upcoming book, as drawn by a talented artist named Abigail L. Dela Cruz. Check out her great Tumblr.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Martial art comics done right! (Kickstart the Week 60)

Mike Baron has written some amazing comics over the decades from Nexus to Badger to the first days of the Wally West Flash to odder fair like his mid-90s Hawk & Dove reboot and his epic (yes, really) run on Mr. T and the T-Force. But he's always been an avid martial artist, a fact well known to Badger readers or those that read his little read Kato and Bruce Lee limited series. Now Baron is teaming with artist Barry McClain to introduce a new generation of martial arts hero and his name is Q-Ball.


The story revolves around a guy named Curtis Ball, an expert martial artist that happens to really like fighting with a stick. He's on the run and has to kick a whole lot of ass in the process, all expertly delineated by another martial artist in the form of penciller/inker Barry McClain.

This one looks like a wild ride but still needs some extra push to get it over the hump. Check it out on Kickstarter and lend your support!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Great Art: Catwoman by Jaime Hernandez.

Jaime Hernandez's Maggie and Hopey are in my head as I work on my current project, so I thought I'd pull out one of his somewhat rare super-images for this week's art. Jaime is an amazing artist and he shows it with one of the best Catwoman images around.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great art there, feel free to check out my progress at my NaNoWriMo page.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Calypso

We celebrate the Halloween weekend with one of my favorite magical villains today. It's rare to see a character as rare as Spider-Man villain and voodoo priestess Calypso brought to vivid life through cosplay, but I would find it amazing to ever see it done as well as Jazs Lavonne does here.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's Up for October 27, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)





Succubus Blues | Sheriff of Babylon | Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin |
Meet the Robinsons | Lana Del Rey: Lust for Life

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Best Character Ever Redux: Leonardo Da Vinci

Da Vinci has been on my mind a lot lately. His legacy plays a part in my current project in development and with that, I decided it was high time to share my old Best Character Ever post about the mythical figure around the man. 



Leonardo Da Vinci’s impact on history is legendary. The quintessential Renaissance Man, Da Vinci did things hundreds of years ahead of his time. But as great as he was as a historical figure, I often think he offers many more possibilities as a figure in literature and pop culture. He’s certainly one I am always fascinated to see in fictional endeavors.

I think I first came across fictional Da Vinci in the film Hudson Hawk. I would have been about twelve when I first saw the legendary box office bomb starring Bruce Willis. But its backstory focused on Da Vinci and the quest to unlock the three pieces of the Philosopher’s Stone the legendary engineer inadvertently made. While Hudson Hawk certainly isn’t a masterpiece of cinematic history, it did instill me with a love for the fictional Da Vinci that has survived for over two decades.

Of course, the influence of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on my young life at the same time probably didn’t hurt. While Da Vinci never really played a role outside lending his name to the Turtles’ leader, he did get a great role on an episode of The Tick. “Leonardo Da Vinci and his Fightin’ Genius Time Commandos!” is a classic episode of an already great show where Da Vinci forms a team out of a bunch of time-lost inventors.

Image by Dustin Weaver.
More recently Da Vinci came back into the public eye in a major way thanks to some novel by some guy named Dan Brown. While The Da Vinci Code is a lackluster piece of fiction, it has done much to bring the esoteric view of Leonardo Da Vinci to light. This has played out with great pieces for him in the Assassin’s Creed novels and games as well as Marvel’s most recent SHIELD series. Though that book is sadly unfinished, it presented Da Vinci as a time traveling superhero fighting a secret battle behind the scenes of the Marvel Universe.


But most prominently, it leads to his appearance in the Starz television series Da Vinci’s Demons. The David Goyer-created drama focuses on a young Da Vinci (played by Tom Riley) as he seeks to uncover the secrets of the universe while also protecting the city of Florence. It creates a fascinating Renaissance world both compelling and entertaining, albeit one not for young or squeamish viewers.

Da Vinci will play a role in future Quadrant Universe stories as I start to unravel the history of the setting in upcoming books and stories. The universe has a long and storied history that might never all be revealed, but Da Vinci is one of many vastly important characters to that story. While I doubt I will ever make him a central character of any piece of fiction, his place in history and in fiction makes him a key figure I wouldn’t want to ignore even if I didn’t find him absolutely fascinating.

Da Vinci is a massively influential figure in history. Why not share your thoughts on the genius, esoteric icon and genre fiction superstar? 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I just made the list!

One thing I always do as I set out to write a new project, especially a novel length one, is a playlist of music to serve as inspiration for my writing. I usually frame this around the feeling of the novel, but with this new project, I'm specifically tailoring two playlists around each of the lead characters.

Soul singer Kehlani is not just a feature on the playlist, but
another source picture in my succubus image folder. 
I've kept no secret about my succubus co-lead of the new novel, so it will be her playlist I share with you here first. It's all conveniently framed up on Spotify for your enjoyment if you have your own succubus-based novel to write (which I'm sure you all do.) Alternately, give it a listen and maybe you'll find a few clues about the character of Aisha as she slowly takes shape in my head.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Succubi and sucky jobs

This image of Suicide Girl Ginary is currently
the placeholder image in my head for one of
the two leads in my November project.
Image copyright Suicide Girls.
It's been a strange couple of weeks. I've in the midst of my final days at my job of the last three years. It's one I have never been totally passionate about, but in recent months I have come to realize the culture of that employer was nothing but poisonous. Thankfully I had a second job in place that could easily become a full time job. Next week, I'll leave behind overnight shifts and the back and issues given me by concrete floors and move into a comfortable job at a local bookstore. While entering the retail field full time in November isn't the best idea ever, I look forward to the free time it will open as I start to rebuild my writing schedule.

As I mentioned previously, I'm setting up for NaNoWriMo right now. With the new job starting on Halloween, I'll have free time open just in time to get working on fifty thousand words for the month of November.

But the move to one job with far more satisfaction in it than two jobs with one being a soul-sucking miasma should free up a lot more time for everything. I hope to use the next month's novel as the springboard for regular writing projects. I have a few ideas already percolating for the days after the novel, but I'm taking baby steps right now.

Anyone interested in joining me for some novel writing in November, can become my writing buddy at the site. My screen name might even be a clue to an upcoming project I have in mind.

In the mean time, I'll be continuing to develop my female lead for the new book, a reluctant succubus in a world far too easy for her to find prey.

What are you currently doing to develop your novel before November? Let me know in the comments or on social media?




Friday, October 20, 2017

Great Art: Ramona Flowers by Bryan Lee O'Malley

We close the week with new-ish art by Scott Pilgrim and Seconds artist Bryan Lee O'Malley as he gives the world a new illustration of the always great Ramona Flowers.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great art here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's Up for October 20, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)




Second Nature | Wonder Woman by George Perez | Star Wars: Kanan vol. 2 |
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Twenty One Pilots: Blurryface

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

That's My Jam 2: Guts Over Fear

That's My Jam is a simple concept. It's where I share the song most stuck in my head currently. It might be new, it might be old, it might be popular, it might be completely obscure. All are presented without commentary, but I invite everyone to share their opinions on the tracks in the comments.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Morrigan

As I talked a bit about an upcoming project with succubus lore in play it made sense to me to share a great cosplay of Darkstalkers' Morrigan, probably the world's most famous succubus character. Cosplayer Kassandra Leigh brings her to life amazingly well with a spot on costume here.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's Up for October 13, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)




Chris Jericho: No is a Four Letter Word | All-Star Batman: Ends of the Earth | Karnak | Guardians | Twenty One Pilots: Blurryface

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Influential: The strange and important saga of the New Warriors

I just picked up a huge stack of New Warriors back issues and reading them I thought it was more than necessary to revise my original Influential column about the characters from last year.

Image credit: Marvel
New Teen Titans in the early 80s was definitely an attempt by Marv Wolfman, George Perez and DC Comics to transform the young heroes of the DC Universe into the company’s own version of Uncanny X-Men. But while the motivation was obvious, the book became something far greater than what was initially planned. To this day, it is one of the best superhero books in the history of comics.

New Warriors had a similar origin. It came out of Marvel’s desire to have its own team of young superheroes. While the company already had the New Mutants, that team was already well on its way to becoming something very different: the paramilitary unit that became X-Force.

Rage is not only a favorite of mine,
he's also one of the few New Warriors
with an action figure.
Initially formed in the pages of Mighty Thor to battle Thor and the Juggernaut during the “Acts of Vengeance” crossover event, the team consisted of the majority of Marvel’s non-mutant teen heroes (as well as the little used mutant heroes Vance Astrovik and Firestar). Only one member, the mysterious Night Thrasher, was new. (Some rumors say he was originally meant to be Rocket Racer before a last minute change to tie in with the new series.)

Fabian Nicieza, Mark Bagley and later Darick Robertson were stars on the rise when they jumped on the ongoing series that spun out of Thor. Night Thrasher proved to be the linking force of the new team as he brought the young heroes together to fight the evils of the world. But Nicieza and company never forgot that these were disparate young people coming together. And they set out to do great things with the kids.

Nova (don’t call him “Kid”), Speedball, Namorita, Thrash, Marvel Boy/Justice, Firestar, Silhouette, Rage and the ever expanding cast always remained fascinating people even when they were fighting threats large and small.

Ultimately New Warriors succeeded best at being fun and compelling at the same time. The book spent most of its run never forgetting that comics were entertainment. It was always just plain fun.

They’ve tried to bring the concept back a dozen times, but it never quite works, probably because of the horrible damage done to the team at the beginning of Civil War. But as one of my first looks at a teen team in work, I will always look back to New Warriors every time I write about young heroes. Ultimately, the may be a moment in time never to return to the grandeur of their 90s heyday, but for team dynamics, young heroes in a topical setting and all around fun per page, I learned a lot from the great work Nicieza and company did on the book. 

Now Hasbro needs to get on making me a Speedball action figure...

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

That's My Jam 1: Feel It Still

That's My Jam is a simple concept. It's where I share the song most stuck in my head currently. It might be new, it might be old, it might be popular, it might be completely obscure. All are presented without commentary, but I invite everyone to share their opinions on the tracks in the comments.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Prep in my step

As I wrap up edits on one project, I am also deep into preparation mode for my next personal writing project. National Novel Writing Month begins on November 1st and I plan on using it as motivation to start my next full length writing project.

While I have done a little bit of short story work in the last few weeks, I haven't taken the time to write anything of significant length since summer. But Nanowrimo offers me a chance to fix that and I will be hard at work on a new project, one that takes me out of my usual super wheel house. 

I'm sure I will speak about this project more as I start actually put word to screen, but this new work will be my first foray into urban fantasy, a genre with its own traits but one at the edge of super powered fiction already. It should come as no surprise that I have a supernatural tinted character created decades ago that I think would be a perfect fit for the genre, but the transition from aged super-concept to another genre offers a few challenges.

Setting has proved the easiest. I made the decision to set the first novel in my own neck of the woods. Eastern Iowa has a few weird bits of supernatural history. Coupled with a location most people outside the state don't realize is a city of a quarter million and I have a fascinating place to drop my leads. 

This is a great piece by Genzoman, but I blame Darkstalkers for the sudden
need to give every succubus wings.
From there I've been working on lore built around various secret societies and ancient fears. Succubi, incubi, Lilith, Leonardo Da Vinci and the Knights Templar are a few of the touchstones that will be featured in the upcoming work. While I plan to make the story my own, I also don't want to trounce all over standing legend. As a writer, I often get annoyed when someone uses a concept in name only. My goal is to introduce these concepts in a way both true to their "history" and interesting to new readers. That means research though, so I'm deep into that as I write this. 

Prep can become its own evil however, so I specifically opened a window of time for myself to do it in. I want to have a good idea where I'm going with the new novel ahead of November and what it will feature, though not enough that I cannot let the characters surprise me as they go. That is the joy of writing for me and I don't like the research to get in the way when I'm barreling through 50,000 words in thirty days. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Great Art: Matt Wagner's Demon

Matt Wagner was a big name on the indies due to his work on Mage and Grendel, but his first mainstream work was on a four issue limited series for DC Comics starring the Demon Etrigan. It's a great work that virtually reinvents the character and sets up a years long run in an ongoing series about a year later. (Wagner sadly only worked on one issue of the later series.)

But Wagner created some fascinating art for the book, such as this fun splash page focused on the sudden split of Etrigan from his human host Jason Blood.

Image via the Daily Splash Page.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Missed the Boat 1: Red Wolf

Missed the Boat is a new series where I focus on criminally under-appreciated works, series canceled too soon or subjects otherwise outside the normal grain of typical superheroes.

I have a tendency when it comes to big two super-books to seek out the smaller books. Sometimes this means I get a trade of a complete "ongoing" series that only lasted six issues. And sometimes these are some of the best books Marvel or DC can offer.

Red Wolf by Nathan Edmondson and Dalibor Talijic is just such a book. Featuring a time (and dimension) lost Native American sheriff first introduced in Marvel 1872 (himself a reboot of both an old western character and a modern hero dating back to the 70s.) But this new Red Wolf is dropped into a modern city of Santa Rosa.

This great Dale Keown cover probably shouldn't
have been a variant. Regular cover artist Jeffrey
Veregge probably did little to help the book's chances.
The story could have been a traditional fish-out-of-water time travel tale, but the creators do an excellent job of building a mythology around the town and the character in the six issues they have. Edmondson clearly hoped for a much longer run with the character, but the swift cancellation of several post-Secret Wars titles took Red Wolf with it.

It's a shame too, as for the first time Marvel seemed to have a credible Native American hero.

Red Wolf: Man Out of Time comes cheap on Amazon, so don't pass up a chance to read this strange single trade of a great series and wonder with me what could have been.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

An assignment of monstrous proportions

I don't get the stubby upturned arms, but otherwise
the new design is pretty darn cool.
For me super powered fiction is far wider than just stories based on costumed superheroes. Any super powered being doing anything super powered fits the category and I often find that one supernatural element can turn even the most normal character into a larger than life hero. I caught a couple films over the last few days that fit that category.

Shin Godzilla was a fascinating reboot of the giant monster by original creative studio Toho. Produced by the same director as Neon Genesis Evangelion, the movie certainly has more depth than either American Godzilla film and most of the previous Japanese films. Using a ton of jump cuts, it chronicles the Japanese government at war with the invading menace of Godzilla. But they also are at odds with the governments of the world, ready to react violently. The movie manages to be terribly critical of the current Japanese government's slow response in the face of the disaster as well as its willingness to roll over for the United States and United Nations. It makes an interesting dichotomy, even as the film also develops a very very different take on Godzilla as an ultimate evolutionary force. If you like monster movies, this one definitely offers something different.

A bit odder yet is The Assignment, a Michelle Rodriguez film by action movie impresario Walter Hill. The movie casts Rodriguez as a male hitman forced into a female body by gender reassignment surgery. It creates a very strange film with Rodriguez dressed as a bearded man for the first third of the film until a crazed mob doctor takes out her vengeance for the hitman's murder of her brother. The plot gets hairier and deeper as the movie continues, but it manages to both be a very strange character piece and a pretty decent actioner, even if it relies a bit too much on narrative exposition to move the plot along. But it's still a unique film worth a look, especially if you're a fan of 48 Hours or The Warriors.

Overall, the films are pretty fun, so give them a look if you enjoy strange cinema as much as me.

I am shameless enough to also use this as an excuse to post
a hot picture of Michelle Rodriguez as well. 



Friday, September 8, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Mortal Kombat's Kitana

Mortal Kombat has long been a favorite series of mine, but it isn't always I get to share a cosplay as good as this one by Russian cosplayer Evgeniya.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's Up for September 8, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)




Indigo | Red Wolf | Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning
Shin Godzilla | DJ Khaled: Grateful