Friday, July 6, 2018

Great Art: Warrior Nun Areala and Glory by Ben Dunn

We close out the week with art by the supremely talented Ben Dunn, founder of Antarctic Comics and creator of Ninja High School and... Warrior Nun Areala! Here's a great patriotic picture from the cover of Areala's crossover with Rob Liefeld's Glory! Can't think of a better way to close off this Independence Day week.

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!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Quadrant Handbook 5: The American Arsenal

Art by John Davies.

Real Name: Simon Carter

Occupation: Crime Destroyer

Marital Status: Unknown

Known Relatives: None

Group Affiliation: None

Base of Operations: Mobile in the continental United States

History: Simon Carter was a young American that always dreamed of being a patriot. His parents assisted he finish high school before enlisting in the United States Army. Unfortunately, just weeks before his enlistment he came down with a meningitis infection. After nearly dying from the disease, he was left with long term muscle damage in his arm. The Army refused his enlistment on medical grounds. 

He felt like his dream was dead. He worked one dead end job after another, but found some solace in body-building. By his twentieth birthday, he put over fifty pounds of muscle onto his frame. While many of his fellow body builders in the late seventies used anabolic steroids, he avoided the drugs out of fear it could do more damage to his body.

A CIA black box operation took notice of his renewed strength and his patriotic fervor. They recruited Carter out of the gym he regularly worked and offered him a chance to become the military man he always wished to be.

What followed remains cloaked in shadows. It is known Carter received intensive military training as well as an experimental medical procedure to activate his latent metagene. It also involved hundreds of hours of psychological work, as the military programmed him into a focused war machine. This included a backdoor into his mind, his handlers called a reboot, which would wipe much of his short term memory to restore him to a battle ready state.

How he became known as the American Arsenal remains unknown. He worked across much of the United States during the 1980s, frequently battling gunrunners, drug dealers and domestic terrorists. As he continued into the last few years of the decade, he faced far more superhuman threats. These threats tested his abilities to the limits. His government handlers kept close tabs on him, often using the reboot function in stressful situations.

The handlers didn't take into account the stress the reboot put on the Arsenal's brain. Over time he became more and more detached from reality, often shouting incoherent statements as he fought. During an encounter with the druglord known as The Second Coming, his mind finally fractured completely. The Second Coming had connections inside the CIA and used them to uncover the true identity of The American Arsenal. When he confronted Arsenal with his true identity, he hoped it would cripple the government agent once and for all. Instead it focused him even more on his mission to destroy the corruption inside the United States. He killed Second Coming before disappearing into the Memphis night. His mental connection with his handlers gone, he added the men that used him for their own purpose to his list and promised they would soon feel his wrath.

The whereabouts of American Arsenal post-1989 remain unknown.

Height: 6' 3"

Weight: 247 lbs.

Eyes: Hazel

Hair: Blonde

Strength level: His enhanced physique allows the American Arsenal to life well above any normal man. His super-dense musculature allows him to lift (bench) up to two tons.

Known superhuman abilities: The American Arsenal possesses the ability to transform his limbs into multiple forms. While the full extent of this ability has never been revealed, he has never used this ability to form anything but offensive weapons or defensive shields.

A regular configuration is a rifle like weapon. He hurls projectiles made from his own hardened bones. While his body naturally regenerates the bullets, frequent use of the weapon can leave him feeling weakened and depleted.

His ability extends far enough to develop a working flamethrower as well, transmuting his blood into propellant for the weapon.

His entire body possesses some natural level of malleability as well. He can absorb far more damage than a baseline human. His body also rapidly heals. Major flesh wounds will seal in a matter of minutes. It is unknown whether this enhanced regeneration can restore limbs should they be destroyed.

Other abilities: The American Arsenal possesses advanced military personal combat training. He is trained to fight and kill in close combat as well as with ranged weapons.

Read the stories in: 

American Arsenal

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day from the King of Comics!

I'm not sure when Jack Kirby drew this great picture (I assume it's somewhere in his 70s Cap run), but it seems a fitting way to ring in the Fourth of July this year.

Speaking of the King, remember to check out his creations over at the Newer Gods blog, as this week we conclude our look at Secret Society of Super-Villains! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Getting ready for the 4th with American Arsenal!

Cover art by John Davies.
One of the characters I might talk about the least on this blog is American Arsenal. I have created a few different patriotic heroes over my time, most notably Freedom Patton, but the American Arsenal is easily the most explosive of them!

He's a character that had his origins in the early 2000s, fostered by a re-watch of old WWE tapes. I saw the Ultimate Warrior run to the ring and rant and rave. And my mind went to, "what if a superhero was this crazy?"

The idea existed as a couple paragraphs about mixing the lost sense of Rambo in First Blood with the ranting, manic energy of Warrior. When Warrior passed in April of 2014, my mind returned to the American Arsenal. I knew I had to bring the character to life and form.

The short story was published late in 2014 and I immediately dedicated half of its profits to Connor's Cure, a charity created by WWE and supported by the Warrior's widow Dana. Connor's Cure is named after the late wrestling fan Connor Michalek who died of pediatric cancer. The charity continues to raise money to help treat pediatric cancer, a cause no right minded human could ever be against.

As Independence Day looms, I wanted to remind everyone of the existence of American Arsenal. The story is still only 99 cents on Amazon and Smashwords, a steal by any stretch of the imagination. I want to get more readers to check it out and more people to raise money for Connor's Cure. To make this happen I pledge 100% of all profits for the book in the month of July to the charity, foregoing any profit I might make for this push. For every person that adds a review after reading it in the next two months, I'll also match their contribution.

If you feel like giving directly to the charity, that's cool too. Email me a copy of your receipt to nick{at}superpoweredfiction{dot}com and I'll make sure you get a copy of the book.

So let's all have a great Fourth of July tomorrow, and let's celebrate by reading a fun story and supporting a great cause!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Cosplay Friday: Morrigan and Lilith

I've featured Kassandra Leigh's Morrigan before on Cosplay Friday, but she does some equally impressive work here with Nana Valtiel as her little sister Lilith! Double the Darkstalkers delights for everyone!

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 Super Powered Fiction this week!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The 10 authors Super Powered Fiction writers should read

Everyone loves Top 10 lists, right? And as I slowly reveal the Top 10 Wrestlers of 2015 over at The Wrestling Weekday, I thought it would be fun to pull out an old list I wrote. It was over a year ago that I spent some time brainstorming the ten authors I thought writers of super powered fiction should read, but the list still holds strong for me as 2016 dawns.

Not everyone on the list regularly writes super powered beings, but don’t let that scare you away from some great fiction. Some are just great at simple things like dialogue or the combination of amazing wonder with a real world setting. All of them can be great inspirations for any writer of super powered fiction and come with the highest recommendation from this author. Here they are presented in no particular order.

  1. Madeline L’Engle – L’Engle had an amazing ability to ground the most insane idea in reality. A Wrinkle in Time is built around crazy ideas presented with an air of the normal.
  2. Adam Troy Castro – His Sinister Six novels that came at the end of the 90s Marvel novels showed how to juggle a ton of characters in super powered prose, a trait shared by…
  3. Van Allen Plexico – Van’s Sentinels series juggles a huge cast in compelling tales about a unit somewhere between the Avengers and the Defenders. One of the first true independent creators of super powered fiction, Van in many ways built the archetype for how to create a super powered prose universe and I learn from his work every time I read it. 
  4. Stephen King – Several of King’s earliest works very much fall into the super powered fiction category: Carrie, Firestarter, The Dead Zone, etc.
  5. Robert Parker – No one does dialogue as well as Parker. Anyone can learn from reading his stories.
  6. Orson Scott Card – Card has an ability to build big ideas around human stories, both in his solid Ender series and his far stronger Alvin Maker fantasy tales.. I argue it is a tact he learned from…
  7. Robert Heinlein – Heinlein is a master of the art of interweaving his ideas into a human narrative, even if it is one of the future. He’s also great for challenging social contracts decades before the present day.
  8. Diane Duane – Duane’s Spider-Man and Venom trilogy taught me that a superhero like Spider-Man could be a compelling lead in prose at a time when such things weren’t really done. Her trilogy also shows exactly how to use Mary Jane as Peter’s wife and make her compelling, something Marvel Comics writers and editors found so hard they used a demon to end their marriage.
  9. George R. R. Martin & the Wild Card Trust – For obvious reasons, the creatives behind the Wild Cards series all deserve every ounce of praise they receive. Some of the best minds in super powered prose ever.
  10. Octavia Butler – Butler deserves to be on the top of this list for Wild Seed alone, but every novel she wrote is a master class on short, tight narrative. Wild Seed is a major inspiration for the historical metahuman stories still developing in the Quadrant Universe while its sequels build an interesting narrative of secret super powered beings among us.

I still routinely pull out books by all these writers when I need a bit of inspiration. I highly recommend any lovers of great fiction to do the same. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Disruption is the key! (Kickstart the Week 65)

I usually try to keep the Kickstart the Week feature at least tangentially related to superheroes in some way, but this time I'm moving off into a more meta-aspect of things. For years, Glenn Fleischman presented a hugely influential podcast to yours truly called the New Disruptors. On it, he interviewed people that somehow disrupted the "natural order" of whatever field they were in. He covered everything from tech to music to comics to video games to pretty much every field you can imagine. It's the only show I can think of that featured everyone from Roman Mars to Greg Pak to Sir Mix-a-Lot. Anthony Conte talked about Patreon on the show when it was still just a fledgling few people ever heard of before. It was widely listened to and ultimately influential to a number of great creators over the years, myself included.

Now Glenn is funding a new season of the show on Kickstarter. And with just days to go, it still needs a lot of help. So go out and listen to the archives and realize what you've missed. Or just trust me that you're supporting a truly great piece of podcasting history. Whatever the case, go back the return of The New Disruptors already!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Great art: Amethyst by Jill Thompson & P. Craig Russell

The fine purveyors of the Fire & Water Podcast Network have long focused their attention on previous iterations of Who's Who. But this feature is most excited about their current project: the 1990-1992 super-pin up-friendly loose leaf edition. Today's art comes from the first issue. Jill Thompson and P. Craig Russell make a stupendous team as they bring the Princess of Gemworld to life. By this time, her history was probably too complicated for her to ever truly be a great character again (at least in that continuity) but the young Thompson and the always skilled Russell really knocked it out of the park on this piece.

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!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

How I suddenly realized I'm really dang deep in this self publishing game

A couple weeks back I was invited to sit down and talk self-publishing with a group of writers at a local venue for that sort of thing, The Cottage. It's a superb little venue ran by a writing friend of some years, Robyn Groth. She and I have talked writing quite a bit over the years, albeit it in a general sense. My interests turn to superheroes and self-publishing, while she's on a far more literary track than yours truly. But with her regular writing groups, she frequently received tons of questions about self-publishing, ones she couldn't answer. That's where I came in. Turns out that over the last seven or eight years I've picked up a bunch of knowledge on publishing with my delve into the Quadrant Universe and Metahuman Press over nearly a decade now.

The Cottage looks absolutely nothing like this, but I needed a good comic
house to feature here. DC Comics' House of Mystery by Bernie Wrightson.
You can read the entire notes on the event at the Cottage's website.

I realized after the invite and even more so in the experience that all the time I spent teaching myself design, enough to call myself talented enough. I've mastered the art of the self-proofread, an important tool even with the help of hired proofreaders or editors. I can format a document like the best of them and my knowledge of my far out of date Adobe suite is pretty solid.

I maybe won't ever be the best writer in my field or the greatest editor or the greatest publisher or any of those things. But I damn well have the knowledge to talk about these things.

And on the hardest days I have, it feels good to know that I will always have at least that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A comic villain come to life: Vader

Image from Marvel's WCW: The Comic.
Big Van Vader died today. If you're not a wrestling fan, you may not know about the alter ego of Leon White. But he was basically the Juggernaut in early 90s professional wrestling. He was a big mean villain of superhuman proportions, the kind of guy that literally plowed through the competition. He appealed to the comic fan in me.

I wrote a lot more about him over at the Wrestling Deep End for anyone interested.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Great art: Mister Miracle and Big Barda by Ian Gibson

Before the critically acclaimed current Tom King / Mitch Gerads Mister Miracle series, another series came out in the late 80s that received its own acclaim. Written by J.M. DeMatteis and drawn by Ian Gibson, the piece here by Gibson was the ad for the series. Nothing seemed quite so fitting for art here this week than a parody of American Gothic (originally by Cedar Rapids own Grant Wood) featuring New Gods.

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!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The late report with WIP Wednesday

Image by Paul Pope. Characters owned by
Glen Brunswick & Dan McDaid.
It seems like the only time I find to get these WIP posts up is late in the evening on Wednesdays. It's been a busy couple of months at the day job and that's really eaten up my time for blogging on top of the regular writing.

Of course, I did get the next installment of Newer Gods up earlier to day. It's yet another strange journey into the Earth-Haney and Brave and the Bold.

I've got two projects floating right now, both still under codenames: INDEPENDENCE and JUGGERNAUT. INDEPENDENCE was previously mentioned by yours truly as a superhero tale for the fine folks at Pro Se Press based on an existing comic property.

This is the first time I've mentioned JUGGERNAUT on the blog (though newsletter subscribers already heard about it.) My plan for next year is a relaunch of Lightweight, Quadrant and this new project as alternating month-by-month narratives. The new book will be my first work heavily set in a real world city, my own city of Cedar Rapids. I wanted to play around with the idea of cosmic forces converging on a smaller scale city in Iowa and what that might mean as a new hero emerges. I think this should prove an interesting experiment for the months ahead.

The new project will again take the shared Quadrant Universe in a different direction than the other books, one I hope will be both familiar and unique. But that's one to talk more about in the future!

Today's image is a Paul Pope cover to the gone far too soon Image book Jersey Gods, created by Glen Brunswick and Dan McDaid. That book was in my research list for JUGGERNAUT, and I rarely seem to have an excuse to share Pope's art here on the blog. If you like it, I highly recommend checking out the series in trade paperback.

And if you're interested in more tidbits from my world of writing, be sure to subscribe to the aforementioned newsletter. A new edition will be shipping out in the next 48 hours or so!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Cosplay Friday: Big Barda

This week has been all about the debut of Newer Gods, so why not celebrate it here with a cosplay of Big Barda herself, specifically the DC Bombshells version of the character. Golden Lasso Girl outdid herself with this one, folks!

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 Super Powered Fiction this week!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The war with the Fraud Police never ends (Superior Writing)

A lot of people think a lot of different things about the creative process and the lives of writers. What I think most people don't realize is the often crippling doubt and insecurity that also comes with each new sentence. I've spoken with many writers over the years about that feeling, the worry that you're just not good enough and someday someone will make it clear to you.

In her book The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer calls this feeling the FRAUD POLICE (always in caps.) It is a perfect summation of the way self-doubt can work on your thoughts and actions in the writing process.

The Time Variance Authority
(based on Mark Gruenwald)
by Walter Simonson.
In his continuing Overword series, Michel Fiffe spent a lot of time breaking down the writings of Mark Gruenwald, the late great Marvel editor and writer. He shared a link to an old Marvel Age column by Gruenwald, one that touches on this very subject.

When I was young and I first realized that one guy -Stan Lee- was writing seven or eight comic books every month, I was staggered. Who in the world could think up that many stories so quickly and regularly-- two a week! I'd been writing and drawing my own comics since I could hold a crayon, and I was hard-put to come up with even one story every two months. For practice, I'd sometimes try to think up two stories a week, even if I didn't have a chance to work them all out, and whew! did they stink. I know now some of the "secrets" behind Stan's productivity, but I'm not about to reveal it here -Stan has his own column on page 15- ask him. And I myself am more prolific than some of my writing compatriots, doing two books a month in addition to my "day job". (I sometimes wonder if I'd have the ability to write four books a month if I gave up my day job as executive editor- I'm not anxious to find out.) Anyway, for me, ideas for stories came into my head as they are needed, and they are needed to the tune of two a month (actually three since I'm doing a back-up feature in one of the books I write).

Every once in a while, usually when it's late and I'm up against a deadline and can't afford any "down time", I start questioning the value and meaning of my work. Are my ideas really any good or am I fooling myself? What are my stories saying? Anything? Is writing comics truly a worthwhile pursuit for a grown man? Am I ever going to write anything groundbreaking or am I doomed to tread water in the mainstream till the end of my career? Heavy stuff to lay on one's self, huh? But if one doesn't examine one's own lifework now and then, why should anyone else ever bother to?

Whenever I sit down to write a story, it is my foremost intent that the story I'm about to write will be different from any other story I've written and any other comic story I've read. I've only written some 200 comics but I must have read 200,000 by now (someone please check my calculations- I could be off by a 0). While it's been said that there are maybe only seven different plots in all of literature (someone again check my calculations), there are probably fewer than that in comics literature. I mean, aren't they all some variation on "Hero meets villain, hero fights villain, hero beats villain"? So what I mean by a "different" story is one where there's something novel about it, something that's never been seen in the context of the book I'm writing. Just as an example, I recently had Captain America's long time sparring partner Batroc the Leaper, risk his own neck to help Cap out of a predicament with a hungry shark. That bit made the story for me; I prided myself on that little tidbit of originality. But how original is it? In all the annals of comic literature, has a villain ever helped a hero before? Well, yes. Has any villain ever helped Cap before? Probably, though I can't recall who. Has Batroc ever shown his admiration for his old enemy like this? Nope and that's why I consider this bit and the story woven around it "different" from every other comic I've read. You can see by this example that when striving for something new and different in every story, one must settle for small newnesses and differences.

I try to do other things in my stories besides just making them different. I'm something of a structuralist. I try as much as possible to make all the parts of a given story have some connection to the whole. This, as you know, is not a concern of most comic writers, who have no compunctions about inserting sub-plot sequences that have absolutely no connection to the story in which they're embedded. A structuralist has a hard time putting in these foreshadowings of future storylines that have no payoff in the present. So whenever I construct a story with no structural defects, I feel like I've accomplished something. It's something I do just for me and my sense of craftsmanship. To judge by the fact that I've never received a single fan letter complimenting me on my story structure, I'd say that it's something my readers are not in the least concerned with.

There are other things I try for every time I set out to do a story that I do hope my readers notice and respond to. Namely, I hope that every story I do will have something in it to make the reader laugh, cry, become excited, pique his/her curiosity, be a positive human experience, or affect him/her in some way or another. I believe that much of what passes for entertainment is just contentless, emotionless, souless pablum. I don't think all entertainment has to be profound (I know my stories aren't), but I expect my entertainment to have something in it so it's something more than a complete waste of time.

Writers (and artists) who don't care about the content and quality of their work are called hacks. I desperately do not want to be thought of as a hack, but in my darker hours I wonder if it's possible to become a hack without even knowing it. You think you care about your work either as much as you used to or as much as the job warrants it, but you're only deluing yourself! Here's my rationale: I must care about my work because if I didn't care I'd find a way to make producing it less painful, less stressful, less work. But what if the pain, stress, and hard work of coming up with a story is simply just the only way I know how to go about it? What if these are not idicators of my striving for "quality", but are just plain old ineptitudes? Or what if the pain, stress, and hard work I go through for every story is just not enough and I only think it is? What if the great writers go through a whole lot more of that than I do, and I'm actually just doing the amount that average hacks go through?

I have never set out to write a bad story but if you produce stories on a regular basis, some fall way short of one's personal standards. Was it that the initial idea was less than great? Sometimes. You think you've got a good kernel of an idea to construct a story around, but when you actually work it out, it turns out not to be all that hot. Frequently there's no time to scrap it altogether- particuarly if the meagerness of your initial idea doesn't strike you until say part three of a three-part story. Other times, the initial idea is sound, but you just lack of the time or ability or insight to work it out as well as it could have been worked out.

So here I am toiling away for over ten years now producing comic book tales, trying to make well structured, impactful stories with original flourishes, and telling myself I'm not a hack. So are my efforts worthwhile? Am I producing anything of lasting value? I sure hope so. I get a letter now and then from someone who's been hit where they live by something I've done, but I don't get them that often. Have I ever written something classic, a masterpiece of the medium? No, not yet. Have I at least done some stories that have come closer to expressing what I wanted to say about life, heroism, the human condition? At times I feel I have (write me for a free list). Sometimes I wonder if I'm capable of greatness as greatness is defined in terms of our humble medium, the illustrated sequential image with minimal prose storyform. I fear I'm not. But if I ever became dead certain that I'm incapable of greatness, I'd have to quit writing comics then and there. I make myself go on because I think somewhere in me is something good, maybe great, trying to get itself expressed.

So, he said, trying to end this depressing diatribe on an upbeat note, I'm going to keep on writing comics until I finally get it right, and maybe even a little after, to make sure that the first time I got it right wasn't just a fluke. Thanks for letting me share this dark look into one writer's soul with you. I guess writing comics is not all fun and games, huh?
-- Mark Gruenwald

At this point, Gruenwald had been a successful comic writer for over a decade. He already published what many consider his masterwork Squadron Supreme. But what it most effectively illustrates to me is how hard it is for literally anyone to overcome those self-doubts.

All writers fight it to some degree or another. It's a way of life. But the true greats, whether it's Gruenwald or Palmer or whoever fight back. They don't let the FRAUD POLICE win no matter how easy it is to succumb to their power.

That's why I write. And that's why I keep writing, even when I doubt any of my own writing's worth. So if you take away one thing from this, let it be this: no matter how small your market may be, even if it is just you, find what you want and create art. Because really, it's one of the greatest things we can do to better ourselves and all mankind.

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Newer Gods have arrived!

I promised it a few weeks back. Now my newest blog endeavor has arrived!

Newer Gods covers the history of the New Gods after the 18th issue of Mister Miracle, Jack Kirby's final comic in his original run with the characters. It will cover every appearance by the characters from random team-ups to all the many revival attempts over the years!

Things kick off with the characters above as they crossover into Batman's side of the DCU in Brave and the Bold 112 by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo! Check it out and make sure you bookmark Newer Gods as it brings two more entries this week and a new weekly entry after that!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Great Art: Justice League by Michel Fiffe

Michel Fiffe is one of the most talented creators currently working in comics bar none. Creator of Copra and the upcoming Bloodstrike: Brutalists, he's not just an incredibly skilled writer / artist, but an unrepentant fan of 80s and 90s comics. After not getting in an answer to a Fire & Water Podcast question about dream Justice League Detroit line-ups, he penciled, inked and colored it instead. This is an impressive oddball Justice League assortment. (Stalker!) Be sure to check out his website for more on his work!

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!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Best Character Ever: Darth Maul

As Lucasfilm revives a bevy of old characters with new actors in Solo, it seems an apt time to look back at a character I'd love to see more about. 

I have heard every complaint I think I can hear about the Star Wars prequel trilogy. They are far from perfect films. We all know that. But at the same time, I think they were also films faced with far too much anticipation to ever truly impress many viewers. The original Star Wars trilogy was mythologized so hard by so many people that George Lucas could never produce something that would truly impress most people.

That being said, the prequel movies have their share of great moments and great characters. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace had one figure that stood out beyond the rest. That was Darth Maul. Going into that film in 1999, so many fans only had the great visuals to go on. While Jar Jar or Queen Amidala both presented intriguing images, it was Darth Maul that captured my interest. Here was a bad ass with black skin and a tattooed face. Best of all, he carried the awesome double bladed lightsaber from Tales of the Jedi.

Ultimately, Darth Maul’s role in the film would be little more than cannon fodder. He is a means to an end to remove one jedi from play and start Obi-Wan Kenobi’s journey through the following films. It was clear even going into the film that his chance of survival was slim. After all, if only two Sith ever existed, he would have to make way for Darth Vader in another decade.

But Maul’s awesomeness has less to do with his characterization as it did with his visuals. Maul is the prime example of just how good George Lucas was with visual shorthand. His appearance marks him both as evil and as deadly. His build wasn’t imposing, but every movement he makes in the film marks how centered he is in his pursuit of his master’s wishes. He clearly is a man that knows how good he is.

So much of this is due to the visuals of actor Ray Park, the man behind the makeup of Darth Maul. His martial arts prowess and great facial work set the character apart. Coupled with amazing makeup work by Lucasfilm, Maul became the face of villainy that year. His action figure and apparel sold like hotcakes. And while many fans nitpicked The Phantom Menace to pieces, most folks can agree on one thing: Darth Maul is awesome.

He's also one of the best Star Wars Black toys.
Of course, the fine folks at Lucasfilm also learned it's hard to keep a great character down. Darth Maul made his return, cybernetic legs and all, on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. I suspect we still have a lot to come from one of the coolest looking villains of all time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Phantom Hawk Rises (Kickstart the Week 64)

It's been a great Memorial Day weekend, but it's Tuesday now, and late or not, it's time to Kickstart the Week.

I have to admit there's something about a caped, low-powered vigilante that just seems awesome. From The Shadow to Batman to Night Man to Moon Knight, they all tend to work very well in the comic form. Now upstart publisher Apogee Comics is out to debut their own such character and he looks to offer some new ideas to the archetype.

Phantom Hawk focuses on Max Malone, a man accused of treason and injected with experimental nanites. He fights to clear his name while also scouring his home city for evil. The book features stunning artwork by Dino Agor, a name I've never seen up until this point, but I suspect will start to gain some recognition after this is complete.

The book has some really great pledge levels, but what drew my interest was an excellent $5 digital level. In addition to the first issue of Phantom Hawk it also includes two previous Apogee Comics Universe titles, Crimson Guardians #1 and Bengali #1. That's a truly great way to drum up interest in a new super-universe and it certainly got me on board.

The campaign has just under two weeks left as I write this and has just barely passed its goal. Support is always important to projects like this, so be sure to go take a look and throw it a few dollars.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Cosplay Friday: Crystal

With a deep dive into Kirby's characters at DC on the horizon, it seemed fitting to feature one of his characters for this Cosplay Friday. We turn once again to the always talented Florencia Sofen as she brings Crystal of the Inhumans to life!

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 Super Powered Fiction this week!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Newer Gods are coming!

Inspired by far too many listens of various shows on the Fire & Water Podcast Network, I came to the realization that the world does not have nearly enough coverage of the Fourth World. And while Kirby's work has been covered in various amounts of detail, I thought it would be a worthy endeavor to look at the works featuring the stars of New Gods, Mister Miracle and The Forever People after their initial runs by Kirby himself came to an end.

The blog kicks off on June 4th with its first three updates! From there, it will continue on with a new comic every week! In the meantime, be sure to bookmark so you don't miss a single update!

Superior Writing: superhero slobberknockers and point of view

Over in a thread on Facebook, the topic fell on how to best portray action in super powered fiction. Without the bombastic visuals of film or comics, superheroes in prose must have every action detailed. But when it comes to a big battle with multiple moving pieces all at once, this can create issues.

George Perez makes big superhero fights seem easy, but prose offers different challenges than comics.
Image credit: Marvel & DC Comics.
The inexperienced writer might want to try to emulate comics, movies and games they've read and bounce around the scene to make sure every beat of the battle is covered. I'm here to tell you that's not the way to handle things.

When you write fiction, the point of view in narration is key. Most readers are familiar with two kinds of POV in fiction. First person, where a character is also the storyteller, has grown less common over the years but is still used with great results. But the focal point most commonly used isn't simply third person, as inexperienced storytellers might think, but rather third person limited.

Third person is divided into two forms: limited and omniscient. Omniscient means the narrator is basically a god, able to view everything happening around him. This narrative form would encourage showing every scene of a fight bit by bit. But this form is incredibly uncommon in most genre fiction. (Neil Gaiman is the prime example I can give of an author using this form to great effect, but you and I are not Neil Gaiman.) The reason is that it doesn't fit the narrative structure most readers want to see, a focus on a character that they can grow to love (or hate.)

Third person limited perspective focuses on one character. That one figure is the only person whose thoughts we are connected to when they are the focus of the story. Even in a prolonged superhero fight with multiple heroes and villains, their perspective is the only one that matters.

Here's an example. Imagine the Justice League is fighting the Legion of Doom. Batman is our narrative force. He's busy in a fight with Joker and Riddler in Gotham City. He might see Flash speed buy now and then, but if Superman is fighting Sinestro in the upper stratosphere, he won't see that so it isn't important to Batman's narrative perspective.

Now, what do you do if you want to show more of the battle? The simplest example is to start a narrative with more than one focal character. Lightweight: Senior Year has Lightweight as an obvious focus character. But Millie also has her own narrative throughout the tales as well. Chapter or section breaks always split those narrative details, always clearly delineating to the reader where one narrator stops and another begins.

Back to our example, Batman could be our focal point character on the ground while Green Lantern is the focal point of the sky battle. But it is key with two focal point characters to treat them as such in more than just the big fights. If Batman is the focus of all the novel outside the big throwdown, don't suddenly make Green Lantern a focal point just to show off the super-fight. Both characters will need to have a narrative through-line in the story if both are focal points.

Ultimately, point of view is key to writing any big fight in super powered prose. You want to be able to show the grandiose excitement of heroes and villains at war, but you don't want to break the rules of great genre fiction. With your focal points in place, you can tell a great tale while also keeping your story readable.

What are your thoughts on super powered fights in prose? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Great Art: Invaders by Tom Grummett

Tom Grummett is one of the greatest talents in comics, a criminally under-rated talent in modern comics. The fact he's not regularly drawing a book for either of the book two is sheer insanity to me. It does mean he's working on Section Zero however, a graphic novel I cannot wait to see.

His rendition of the core three Invaders seems like an apt choice this week, with Memorial Day only days away.

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!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Unsung Greats - Superman: Panic in the Sky

Much going on at SPF Central right now, so here's a classic look at a classic comic. 

Maybe I am in the minority for thinking this, but the world needs more comics like Superman: Panic in the Sky.

The trade paperback cover by Dan Jurgens & Brett Breeding.
This six part story arc from late 1991 and early 1992 came only months before Superman’s much ballyhooed death storyline and by most of the same creators. It focuses on the return of War World, Mongul’s evil battle world from the Superman in space stories from a few years previous. Now the planet is ruled by Braniac who uses it to amplify his own psychic powers. He has an army of alien soldiers at his disposal as well as his allies Maxima, Draaga, and a mind-controlled Matrix/Supergirl.

The cover that drew me in.
With War World on its way to Earth, Superman gathers a group of heroes together to battle against the coming threat. DC mainstays like Wonder Woman, Batman, Captain Marvel and Aquaman join forces with the New Titans, Metal Men, New Gods, and a few former members of the Giffen-era Justice League to take on the threat. For the first time in the post-Crisis DC Universe, Superman shows his leadership abilities, aided and abetted by his chosen second-in-command… Deathstroke.

Most importantly, the fight between Brainiac’s forces and Earth’s heroes comes off as a heck of a lot of fun.

I was twelve when these issues originally hit stands and they were my second Superman story arc to purchase, right after the Supergirl Saga of a couple years before. The return of Supergirl on the cover to the prologue chapter drew me in, and my young mind was fascinated by a bunch of characters I only knew from some Batman issues, a couple Who’s Who magazines, assorted Justice League comics, and a few random annuals from 1989.

I was most intrigued by Deathstroke, a character whose costume I loved but I only knew as a villain from a Secret Origins Annual. It served to make the young me want to learn more about these heroes, even while I learned about them over the course of the story.

I’ll be honest: the tale isn’t anything ground-breaking to the comics world. Instead it is a great team-up multipart story that doesn’t involve the purchase of more than four comics a month. And those comics were only a buck a pop.

Sadly, most modern comic readers would probably take a look at a huge chunk of the gathered heroes and villains and be really confused. This version of Superman and Braniac have pretty much been retconned out of existence, Deathstroke is suddenly a psycho killer, and about a third of the cast is dead.

Still it does nothing to take away from the enjoyment of this series for me personally. I think any long time comic fan could read it with the same level of enjoyment. This right here is just plain good superhero comics.

The book is currently out of print (though not hard to find in the secondary market), but a new edition is currently available for preorder at Amazon.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A game of Cat & Mouse (Kickstart the Week 63)

Art by Dean Zachary. 
It's been a very long time since I last posted a Kickstart the Week on this column. It's been a year since I last ran a Kickstarter and almost as long since I last backed one as I have worked hard to pull myself out of the hole I buried myself in in 2017. But that has changed as of now, with the first comic I couldn't resist backing upon its return.

Flashback to the early 90s. As a twelve or thirteen year old, I first learned about the wild world of indie comics and I really wanted in. Unfortunately, I couldn't get to a comic shop regularly in those days. Fortunately, I was able to find the early issues of Malibu's Protectors as the publisher made in-roads into newstand publishing. I quickly became a fan of a bunch of stuff from that line, but didn't learn of the precursors to it until years later.

One of those precursors was a series called Cat & Mouse, which was something of a crime and martial arts comic mixed with superhero tropes. It wasn't quite as all out superheroic as Protectors would be, but it certainly had similar traits. And the editor of Protectors happened to be the writer of Cat & Mouse.

Roland Mann proved to be a great writer in the early 90s, even if the death of Malibu cost him most of his avenues for comic writing work. Thankfully, the power of Kickstarter has changed that for him as he's launched a new version of Cat & Mouse right now on the site.

As a bonus to yours truly, one of my favorite artists of that Malibu era is back working in comics to draw Cat & Mouse. Dean Zachary has worked on books from The Ferret to Stargods to Hawk & Dove, but hasn't done a lot in the last few years. It's great to see his line work back as the artist to the new edition of Cat & Mouse.

Go check out the new series over at Kickstarter now. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Cosplay Friday: Two Mummies for the price of one!

Ancient Egypt has been on my mind as I continue my work on the next few chapters of Quadrant. I can't really say why without a bunch of spoilers, but it seemed like an apt time to show off some mummy cosplay. Of course, I couldn't find just one great one so everyone gets two great pieces. First up is legendary cosplayer Yaya Han as Anck-su-naman of Mummy Returns fame. Then I've got an Ahmanet from the otherwise lackluster 2017 The Mummy as portrayed by It's The Fa. Enjoy!

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 Super Powered Fiction this week!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

WIP Wednesday Late Edition

It's been a hectic week so far, hence this post hitting as the midnight hour nears.

I'm hard at work on the second draft of Project FOXHUNT as I type this. I hope to wrap it in the next day or two and get it submitted to the fine folks at Pro Se Press. From there, it will be up to them to see it come full circle for publication.

Quadrant falls by the wayside for a bit as I focus now on edits for a couple long gestated projects and the prep stages for my next mystery project for Pro Se. This one is going under the code name INDEPENDENCE. This tale is much closer to my usual super powered fiction wheel house than FOXHUNT. It's honestly the anthology project I'm most looking forward to working on this year as it features a character I'd like to write a lot more about.

Once I finish the edits on the three outstanding projects and the final draft of FOXHUNT, I hope to bounce between INDEPENDENCE and the next chapter of Lightweight. My current hope is to start a full fledged publication schedule for Quadrant and Lightweight early next year, but I need to get at least a half dozen tales for each in place before I start to look for new avenues for delivery of the tales as serialized content.

Today's image is the Marvel Comics character Free Spirit, created by Mark Gruenwald and Dave Hoover. This is a recolored version by original artist Hoover, and sticks quite in my mind as All American heroes are definitely brewing in this twisted head of mine.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Saying goodbye to old friends...

The original Lightweight tale.
When I first started to publish Lightweight, my original plans were to be individual chapters every one to two months. They would each tell their own story, but at the same time build to a greater old, not unlike many comic books of the past several decades. I published ten chapters this way, all of which were collected in the books Lightweight: Senior Year and Lightweight: Black Death.

As I published them and looked at the history for both the single stories and the collections, I quickly realized that Amazon's setup isn't really made to sell short fiction in such a way. So when I wrote the next five chapters of Lightweight's tale, they were only released in a full book format as Lightweight: Beyond.

Now as I work to streamline my work, I realize the individual stories really just clutter up my Amazon Author page. Few sell by themselves anymore. So it seems obvious that it is time to remove them from circulation.

However, in fairness to folks that might have been reading the series in individual chapters, I will leave all the current stories up in their old form until May 31, 2018. After that, they will be removed from Amazon and Lightweight will continue their as only a novel series.

That is not to say I do not have plans to serialize Lightweight in the days and months ahead. I have a new plan in place to do just that, but that is for another time and another place as it is still a few months down the road.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Get the first Quadrant Universe book free!

The Super Powered Newsletter needs new subscribers. So I've decided to up the ante!

Starting today, anyone that subscribes to the Super Powered Newsletter will get my first novel, A Dangerous Place to Live, free of charge! Once subscribed and confirmed, the email link with how to get your copy will whisk your way. After that, you will start to get biweekly news from yours truly and all around the world of super powered fiction!

A Dangerous Place to Live introduces the world to Freedom Patton, my unique take on the patriotic hero trope. It focuses intently on a small corner of southern Iowa as a super-powered separatist foments rage across several small towns. Freedom and a ragtag bunch of friends and rivals must do everything in their power to stop the villainous Atlas!

Head over to the newsletter and subscribe already! There's never been a better time to read than right now!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Adventures on the Homefront now available!

The fourth installment of the Pen & Cape Society's The Good Front series is now officially available!

Head over to Amazon or Smashwords for your copy of The Good Front 4: Homefront. This new volume turns the focus towards the supporting cast of the heroes of thirteen different writers.

My tale returns us to the world of D. B. Cooper, where an aging Coop comes face to face with his daughter for the first time. She's not quite what he expected though and that quickly makes complications in Coop's life!

Check it and the other twelve tales out in print or digital format.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Great art: Venom by Mark Yoon.

Mark Yoon is a name that's popped up on radar lately after a successful Kickstarter for his series Squirt (with writer Mark Poulton). He's got a certain nineties vibe, but has all the chops to be a big comic artist someday. With the most recent Venom trailer online, I thought it would be a great time to share this piece of his, featuring Venom (with some Spawn and Supergirl in the backdrop.)

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!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

NaNo my whatMo? (WIP Wednesday)

As April comes to a close, I am deep into my Camp NaNoWriMo project for the month. I kept it relatively simple this time around, aiming for 15,000 words over two short stories, just a bit higher than my average writing rate for the last few months. So far I've moved things along quite nicely with both tales.

I just wrapped a new Quadrant story. This one will start the second cycle of stories in that corner of the universe, and send the Brothers Morgan on a new set of adventures in more far-flung locales. It really did feel like visiting old friends again to create this one and I cannot wait as I start to cycle again between their tales and those of Lightweight over the next several weeks.

My other project remains un-talk-about-able, but it will hopefully appear in an upcoming Pro Se Productions book. Right now, I'm referring to it by its fancy codename (because who doesn't love fancy codenames?) FOXHUNT.

I have a couple other stories proposals in the works, but it looks like May will be spent with a lot of prep work on other projects.

Today's image, inspired by Quadrant member Kodiak's looking for love, is a classic internet meme very apt for our mutated bear hero! Image copyright, TheMetaPicture.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

It's almost time to fight the Good Fight again!

The latest entry from the fine folks at the Pen & Cape Society is now up for preorder! The Good Fight 4: Homefront brings 13 new stories by folks like T. Mike McCurley, Ian Thomas Healy, Jim Zoetewey, Christofer Nigro and a whole heck of a lot of other talented writers!

My personal contribution will be my third tale in the Second Life of D.B. Cooper. (Coop made his first appearance in The Good Fight 2: Villains.) As the focus on this book is on the family and homes of our heroes, this new story skips ahead twenty years from Coop's last appearance. Set in the early 2000s, it introduces his daughter, a young woman that inherited some of his own psychic abilities!

I think this will be a great addition to the Coop's developing life, even if it does skip past some of his other upcoming adventures. And of course, it is only one of thirteen stories. The full line-up also features Stephen T. Brophy, Samantha Bryant, Frank Byrns, Shielding Cournoyer, Adrienne Dellwo, Warren Hately, Palladian and Scott A. Story. For more on the upcoming book, please check out the Facebook event page.

Head over to Amazon and make sure to preorder the book before it launches on May 1st!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Cosplay Friday: Typhoid Mary

I've been very slowly working my way through the Ann Nocenti / John Romita Jr classic A Touch of Typhoid, the original appearances of Nocenti's greatest creation, Typhoid Mary. There's a decent amount of cosplays of the character out there these days, but so few of them focus on the classic Romita-designed costume which I still absolutely love. I don't know the identity of this cosplayer, but she nails the costume perfectly.

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 Super Powered Fiction this week!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quadrant Handbook 4: The Claw

Art by Kent Archer.

Real Name: Zhou

Occupation: Dictator

Marital Status: Unknown

Known Relatives: None

Group Affiliation: none

Base of Operations: Riccapoor

History: The man that became known as The Claw was born as Zhou in a small monastery in the hidden city of Shambhala. Banished from the city for his unyielding rage and endless ambition, he was lost in the hills of Tibet when he was trapped in the impact zone of a meteor.

He awoke four years later inside the crater as something no longer human. Yellow-skinned and with large ear ridges and a gaping maw filled with fangs, he found his fingers ended with deadly claws. He would eventually travel back to his homeland, the tiny island nation of Riccapoor, where he carved out a place as the ruler of the southeast Asian city-state. 

In the earliest days of the second World War, his evil came to the attention of several costumed heroes. He would battle the likes of Silver Streak and Daredevil as he set out to conquer the world or just wreak vengeance upon his enemies. At some point during the war, he captured Lady Fairplay and worked out a way to siphon off her powers. He used this means to create the villainous figure he dubbed Lady Foulplay. 

As the war blossomed across the world, he apparently left for space and the origin of his powers. But sometime after the war he returned to Earth and secretly conquered Riccapoor. He allowed the reigning prince to serve as a figurehead, so as not to attract the attention of the heroes he once fought. Daredevil didn't fall for the ruse. Unfortunately, Daredevil surrounded himself with "wives" all with the Lady Foulplay abilities. Together, they were able to capture him. He would stay a prisoner beneath Riccapoor for decades, unaging. The Claw would frequently torture him just for entertainment, but as the years passed and Daredevil gave up hope of freedom, he lost interest.

His rule may have never been challenged if not for the arrival of the time-lost heroes dubbed the Living Legends. London, Atoman and Black Owl all found themselves on Riccapoor at the same time. They teamed with a new female Silver Streak and the freed Daredevil, now calling himself The Coward, in a final battle with the insane dictator. Ultimately Atoman lit himself up and seeming erased the villain in a concentrated atomic blast.

In the aftermath, The Coward swore his arch-enemy still lived and it would just be a matter time until his evil returned.

Height: Variable

Weight: Variable

Eyes: Green

Hair: None. The Claw's entire mutated body is hairless.

Strength level: At human size, The Claw possesses enhanced strength that allows him to lift approximately ten tons. As he grows, his strength levels also rise. The limits of his strength as he grows remains unknown.

Known superhuman abilities: The Claw's greatest ability is his size-changing. He can grow from a normal human size to thousands of feet in height, the upper limit of which is still unknown.

The claws responsible for his namesake are exceedingly sharp. They thicken as he grows and by the time his height reaches 25 feet are as hard as pressed steel.

The Claw possesses an unknown level of training in sorcery. He has used magic to various effect in multiple encounters, but often in combat will revert to his height, strength and claws to battle his enemies.

Other abilities: The Claw was a highly trained martial artist as a human. He still possesses excellent combat prowess, though he rarely uses it, depending on brute force instead.

Read the stories in: 

Monday, April 16, 2018

My number is up!

I'm still deep into Camp NaNoWriMo right now, but that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about the products I am working on and have already produced. As part of the focus on a more coherent Quadrant Universe, I have officially started the numbering of the novels in the Quadrant Universe series. Now anyone on Amazon will quickly know which novels are full-fledged releases.

Now just because the series is numbered does not mean the novels have to be read in a specific order. In fact, at least one upcoming novel will be set significantly before the other novels so far. But I wanted to make sure everyone could easily see the novels in order and pick them up as they see fit.

Check out the complete list in numerical order below:

  1. A Dangerous Place to Live
  2. Living Legends: Old Soldiers
  3. Lightweight: Senior Year
  4. Epsilon
  5. Walking Shadows Book One
  6. Walking Shadows Book Two
  7. Lightweight: Black Death
  8. Lightweight: Beyond
Eight full length novels, all of which are of course supported by several dozen short stories you can read about more in the annals of this blog. But those eight titles are the core of the Quadrant Universe so far and they are far from everything I have to come! 

Stay tuned for more news in the coming days!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Great art: Nightwing by John Romita Jr

It's rare that the great art feature covers any art that is super-recent, but this Nightwing variant cover by John Romita Jr is way too good not to share!

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!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Best Character Ever: Speedball

Busy times with Camp Nanowrimo and a few side projects, so the Quadrant Handbook will return next week. For now check out this classic post about a favorite teenage hero... that might have been some inspiration for other young heroes I've created.

A 2008 commission by Darick Robertson.

I think every long time comic reader has one: the character or series you read from the beginning and became fiercely loyal too. I’ve talked to others about it before, with books like Darkhawk, Suicide Squad or Aztek getting nods. But for me it will always be Speedball.

Created by legendary Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko with assistance from Roger Stern, the book was originally supposed to be the first expansion to the New Universe line. But when it became quickly clear that the New Universe didn’t have the sales to justify new books, Marvel decided to make the character part of the regular Marvel U. You wouldn’t know it from his ongoing series which was set outside New York and never featured another Marvel character, but his first appearance did come as a team-up with Spider-Man and Daredevil during “The Evolutionary War”. (Which is a series that deserves its own entry here at some point.)

Speedball was Robbie Baldwin, a mild mannered kid living in Springdale, Connecticut. His mother was a soap star (in the same series Mary Jane Watson-Parker worked on) and his father was a lawyer. He possessed a kinetic force field that could absorb and reflect all force directed against him. Early on, this amounted to him bouncing around like a pinball a lot, but later he would develop plenty of tricks to redirect it effectively. The field came with a transformation into his Speedball form, complete with a vocal change that allowed him to hide his identity from his parents.

I followed Robbie through all ten issues of his ongoing series, but halfway through it was clear no one was buying into Ditko’s classic hero tales. When the series was canceled, the character could have easily fallen into limbo, but Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz saved him for a heroic teen team in the pages of Thor, the New Warriors. When the Warriors spun off into their own book, Speedball became a charter member, remaining one of only a few members to continue through multiple incarnations of the team.

Skottie Young's take on the classic team/
Robbie’s influence on Lightweight is obvious in the search to find a unique set of powers to give my young hero. Gravity manipulation might not be quite as off the wall (literally) as Speedball’s powers, but it certainly was out of the ordinary.

Speedball continues to lurk in the corners of the Marvel Universe, even after a terrible darker turn as Penance. He recently starred in a year long New Warriors series and it seems likely that he and his brethren will pop up in some way in the post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe. But for me, he will always be a young man struggling to find his place in the world and eventually finding it in a group of his peers.

Now if someone will finally get around to making the Speedball action figure happen...

Friday, April 6, 2018

Cosplay Friday: Valkyrie

I wrote the profile for Airboy this week, which made me look for Valkyrie cosplay. I didn't quite find the Valkyrie I was looking for however. But this great cosplay of Marvel's Valkyrie by the Maid of Might and photographer Manny Llanura certainly makes an amazing end to the week!

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 Super Powered Fiction this week!