News from Central Casting
Tyler Spang wants to be a superhero. Okay. Given the congealing of his characterization over the past few weeks, I agree that he works better as a superhero. I can make this work.
The problem is that while the definition of superhero is broader and deeper than the costumed adventurers who grace Marvel and DC, I still don’t think Bright Light, Deep Shadow (the work that originally featured Tyler as protagonist) works well with a superhero in the leading role.
Bright Light, Deep Shadow is a portal quest fantasy that will feature protagonists from Earth crossing over into a fantastical realm. Given this core idea, I think a coming of age story compliments the direction I want to go with this project.
Yes, I know that John Carter, the protagonist of the Barsoom series, is a superhero. But I just don’t think that works well with what I want to do. I want explore how an ensemble cast adapts to the challenges imposed by a (possibly) hostile magical realm. And I want to challenge the perception that heroes have to be a certain way.
In the end, Bright Light, Deep Shadow will be a young adult portal quest fantasy with an ensemble cast.
Now back to the still troublesome Tyler Spang.
He will be the protagonist of the eponymous Red Wind. The Earth setting will be the usual science fiction and fantasy kitchen sink that makes so many superhero universes great. And I’m already working on making a richer alternate history for the setting.
I’m incredibly excited to be creating my own superhero universe. But I can’t also help but be wary.
Superhero fiction, especially in comic books, have explored every possible avenue of story and trope countless times. Creating something new and my own will be a challenge. But it will be a fun one.
I’m also leery of writing superheroes because the genre is so big right now. Or is it? Yes, superhero movies are huge right now and comic books are seeing a resurgence of interest, but is the same true of prose fiction? I don’t think so.
In the end I need to write what appeals to me. And, honestly, superhero fiction appeals to me. I want to write it, despite the challenges.