Vulnerabilities

I’ve added a few people on Goodreads lately, and gotten a fair bit of interaction, which is very nice. One is a romance writer with a PhD who wants to read more about characters with wounds and physical disabilities. There isn’t really all that much out there in mainstream fiction, in any medium, that deals with realistic injuries and disabilities. There’s definitely a push from editors for more writing that deals with disability, I hear.

This person in particular likes wounded male heroes, but not the Alpha Male kind. And as we’ve talked, it’s been validating to feel like our decisions to have characters suffer from debilitating conditions is a good one.

Now, her focus is men who have scars, and not just manly, handsome ones across their nose or little flesh wound stuff. We’re talking grievous harm. We’re talking injuries that have an effect on the character. You know, like real injuries. Not that Hero Wound to the shoulder that doesn’t prevent shit, or the lines of blood that shock, but not so much that the character can’t do stuff.

My characters are going to have psychological issues fighting stuff for so long, in a dangerous world where their confidence and joking about erodes over time. They cope by talking like badasses. But that can’t go on forever. Their fears and insecurities are tested over time. Especially with the zombies. We like to think the zombie apocalypse will result in The Walking Dead. It’ll be more like Shaun of the Dead.

My characters age. They develop issues. Mental health is one thing that they will have to address, physical trauma is the least of their worries (especially with Sarah’s healing powers, troll blood, and other white mages and the like).

Sexuality is also brought into stark contrast. One character is bi. One is a gay male. One is a mistress. One can’t have sex. One resents being ignored. A LOT. One deals with the apocalypse in computer game terms, assigning Levels and Experience and Ability Scores. He also hero-worships the MC. The MC gets tired of that quickly and the running gag will be him hiding whenever he sees the guy. Confidence erodes. Stress mounts. Insanity is a thing they have to deal with. To say nothing of how I plan to end it…. yes, I’ve found an idea for how to end it.

The protagonist of another book is a bigot. The strengths can become flaws when let get out of control or in situations where that is the wrong thinking.

It’s all about tormenting your characters. And not all of them are Heroic. They’re just people. Badass people, but also weak in areas, more vulnerable than they let on. Wrinkles are the least of their worries, though they start to get them early, considering their lives.

Also I figured out another story idea, and I’m liking it.

On Copyright

As a writer of creative, particularly geek or nerdy material, there is a LOT of potential to land in hot water, by using elements that resemble existing elements. Tropes, such as character types, powers (obviously more prevalent in superhero or fantasy or sci fi works), gadgets, names, scenarios (sitcoms are notorious for reusing the same ones over and over). The characters may be different,  the names changed to avoid outright plagiarism, the scenarios filtered through context, but the idea is that it’s a tribute, a satire, a parody, or some other statement of imitation. They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, of course. But when the law gets involved, and emotions run high, people get upset. Stakeholders, mainly, from everything I know about it (as much as anyone really does, I’d say).

Marvel and DC have been competitors since the start. I don’t know the whole story, but in broad strokes, they “answer” one another’s ideas, sometimes creating superheroes that are their personal version of a popular super. In other words, there’s a Justice League equivalent of an Avenger and vice-versa.

Deadpool is big because of what he represents – the geek we all like to think we are. Comics are very silly. Deadpool is an acknowledgement of that.

Stargate is basically Star Trek with different characters, and facilitation of space travel through wormhole devices (something that you can use, it’s been around a while, apparently, but obviously you have to make the details your own).

Superman is the archetype superhero, the one whom so many other works go to for default powers – you know, strength, flying, invulnerability, that sort of thing. Hancock is drunk black Superman. Will Stronghold is Superman at Superman School. St George in Ex-Heroes is fairly Superman-ish in concept: bulletproof, fire-breathing (Superman has laser eyes), flying. Okay, his theme is a dragon. But he’s a protector, a humble hero type of pretty pure heart. Zzzap is the nerd in all of us, he’s a cripple who can turn into a being of electricity and light and radio waves. I have a sort of similar character, in power concept. He was going to be fire, then the sun, now I’m not sure. He’s serious, though. His personality is anything but the hot-head or the passionately nerdy. That would be his boy, Warlock (I think that’s what I named him, anyway). Worth making sure you know what the original is all about, of course, lest you be accused of outright plagiarism, intended or not.

D&D is made of Tolkien tropes. If you’re playing a Drow, you’re playing Drizzt. (Or the dark elf wizard in OotS that totally isn’t infringing upon certain popular fantasy author’s intellectual copyright. Totally.) They use Pokeballs to summon monsters. “Significant portion”, though. Parody and satire is like that.

Mecha, robots, crazy powers, crazier hair, and all the usual facial effects (sweat drops, cross-shaped veins, the streaked shading) are ubiquitous to anime and manga. Monster hunting and/or collecting is a genre in Japan, as is mecha. Gundam MADE mecha, pretty much. All other mecha are an imitation of Gundam, really.

The show Community is all about non-trademark-infringing parody, satire, and referencial humour. That’s it’s thing. I don’t know about the legals, but in the modern culture? That kind of thing is COOL. So I don’t think it’s the boogeyman that it was always made out to be, not any more. Hell, fans often see it as a nostalgic reminder of the halcyon days of their youths.

The Simpsons and Family Guy are all about that. Every episode has some kind of homage or the like involved, as does the better seasons of South Park (once the creators stepped in and stopped their staff writers doing poop and dick jokes for two seasons straight).

There are defences, though, from what I’ve read. It has to be proven that it’s malicious, it has to be a significant portion of the work copied (ie not just a percentage of the work, but it has to be the core concept, etc), it has to actually offend the slighted party, and it has to be proven to hurt their profits. But with geeks, nerds and all that culture? We love these references and rivalries and we get that originality is hard, man. Hell, a lot of fantasy owes its existence to the works of Tolkien; as long as you don’t call the world Middle Earth, it’s fine to have elves, dwarves, men, orcs, halflings (Hobbits are probably out), dragons, artifacts of doom, talking trees, whatever. Most of that is already myth and legend already, of course, going back to antiquity. That’s the safest approach – use what’s definitely in the public domain. Avoid lawsuits. Cover your ass. Play it safe. Take no risks, no chances.

No guts no glory, though. Just be sure that it isn’t a bold-faced attempt to cash in on a craze, but a tribute. You can still get sued either way. But things like those mentioned above, honesty, declaration of intent, and abiding by the ruling, those can definitely help. It’s not like the fans hate it, anyway. And that’s who should really have a majority say, I feel. They’re the ones voting with their wallets.

It’s all just stories, of course. You can’t really claim stories, can you? Yes and no. It’s very murky at the best of times.

Zombies as metaphor in 2016

It’s no secret that zombies are usually scarier when they represent a societal fear. If they don’t represent anything, it’s harder to create the tension that there needs to be.

In the early days, they were the fear of unlife, of the dead brought back to a parody of life by a practitioner of a forbidden art.

In the 90s, it was rampant consumerism.

In World War Z the movie, they were… nothing, really. They were kinda just there, and hungry for blood/brains/whatever. Yeah, if you got bitten, you’d turn into one. And that was it. That movie failed on so many levels, least of which is that they basically didn’t have any of the material of the book it was based on, in the film. In fact, the only two things I picked up on were actually from The Zombie Survival Guide, which was billed as a handbook, not a narrative.

There’s a picture going around, comparing what you think the zombie apocalypse survivors would look like (ie Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon and Rick Grimes loaded up with guns and looking badass as hell) vs… Shaun of the Dead. Maybe the modern zombie = the fear that you’re NOT as badass as you make yourself out to be in the theoretical scenario that zombies happen?

Except that, just this week, I’ve seen headlines about a biotech company being given permission to try stem cells on the brains of dead bodies. Now, from what I have read about it, it seems like that’s to resurrect the dead, not to create zombies as such. But the FEAR is that that will be an outcome. That’s kind of how Ex-Heroes happened (cool book, btw, maybe not always an amazingly written series, but it’s a pioneer in the field of superheroes-vs-zombies, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be amazing to offer something new, or at least fresh).

So here’s the thing: what are society’s fears in the modern age? I really want to write zombies, but I have to know what society fears most in 2016 (the Western world, primarily, and specifically Australia).

I’ve got some ideas, but I want to know what YOU think. Please comment! I want INTERACTION!:)

Me, I think it’s the fear of being honest with a date. That any authenticity, any actual show of *interest* makes you look weak and needy. Not sure how to work that into my existing scenario, though… authenticity is, however, this elemental force in the modern day…

Also, offending the censors who one imagines control the content of books, movies, games, etc. For instance, YA fiction must NOT contain sex, language, or anything else considered taboo by… I guess the Christian Moms groups? That you have to hold back and tone it down because you think kids aren’t able to handle adult themes?

What about fearing being original? Taking a risk on a new idea?

In other words, intimacy and honesty. That’s what I think.

That and being unfriended on Facebook. Or criticism of your thoughts.

Or the Youtube comments section. Okay, that one’s valid….

Let’s talk female characters

I have them. At current count, I have 5 named ones. With LINES. AND they affect the plot in some way – in fact one, Rachel, the youngest, is the catalyst of the plot.

Here’s the thing about female characters these days – they’re not people. Okay, that’s a blanket statement, but… it’s kind of true. Authors do certainly make their female characters people, it does happen. But more often, according to discussion in my last writer’s group discussion (heh), female characters are just tickboxes. They’re an amalgam of traits that are there just to include all the elements that the publishers say readers/viewers/gamers demand. And it’s hollow. It doesn’t mean anything. Sometimes, the traits – such as weaknesses and flaws – are actually just informed.

I’m not saying there isn’t good modern fiction that paints genuine female characters for what they are – PEOPLE. But there’s also an overwhelmingly large portion of all fiction, books, games, movies, and so on, where it’s paint-by-numbers writing. Now I’m all for an outline – I do them, and I don’t get why so many writers break out into a nervous sweat at the thought of anything professional-sounding, except yes, I do. “Creatives” are wusses when it comes to professionalism. This is a fact.

But then there’s writing by committee. Writing a story to appease the masses, designed to offend the least amount of people. Publishing is a team effort, but writing? Solo act, baby. You can ask people how certain elements work – you will have to. You can test an idea on a group, see what they say. You probably should. But it’s up to you, in the end. Your choice, not anyone else’s.

Here’s the thing, though. The internet seems to be a no-place-for-girls kind of place. The way women are treated online is just toxic. Can you blame female readers/viewers/gamers for wanting female characters to identify with? Can you blame them for also wanting *strong* female characters? I can’t. It may shock some people to hear this, but women are people too.

*Goes to the Winchester, has a nice cold pint, and waits for [the fallout of that statement] to all blow over*

In Idiocracy, Joe is trying to convince the brainwashed heads of state that plants need water. After two hours of going around in circles (“Plants want Electrolytes! It’s what they crave!”) he declares that he can talk to plants, and that he’s pretty sure they want water.

Women may not be plants (if they are, they’re very convincing disguises) but I’m pretty sure, like plants, they have some very basic wants. And the talk seems to indicate they want female characters in their books. Characters who are *people*. Not untouchable badass godesses who can do no wrong and who’s flaws are actually strengths (or cute flaws, like ‘clumsy’) but just LIVING people (insomuch as s ink on dead trees or pixels on a screen can be considered living, anyway).

Too often you get stock character types to fulfill some imaginary demand for that kind of thing. Sitcoms and slasher flicks are this, condensed into pure awful.

I have, at present, five female characters in my story. Two more that are also going to show up, in book 3, and I’ll get to book 2 in a sec.

Sarah used to be shy, nice, plain, boring, sweet, uninteresting. There’s still some of that in her, but mostly, I got sick of her being the Purity Sue Cliche Healer Girl (Cliche Healer Girl is the title of her origin story, and she breaks away from that in a big fuck-you to the stereotype). She’s now a warrior type with a love of history and nerdy stuff too. As the main character’s girlfriend, she has to be something that he’s attracted to. As the main character started out as me, but changed, so too I felt that she had to. Plus, I was bored of her as she used to be. She does get into a damsel situation… but she also gets herself out of it (though she contacts Jarred and co to let them know) and then she proceeds to kick her captor’s ass. She leaves him lying on the ground, bloody and beaten. When I told a room about that, they responded awesomely, so I knew I was onto something. (this was at a writer’s masterclass I attended once, one of the best ever)

Jess was always awesome and badass and foul-mouthed. She’s a fierce, loyal fighter type, but her rough passion does get her into trouble sometimes. She pretty much hasn’t changed since her inception.

Rachel, well, she used to be a terrible person. But I hated her. More than Sarah, she had to change. This was after the big shake-up of society when it was revealed to the world that girls did in fact play video games and watch geek movies. Before that, well, Rachel was scum.

Tiffany is kinda messed up, because she has a power craving. She has it. She wields in unwisely. She’s a dominator type. Yes, THAT kind. But she does it wrong. She manipulates and doesn’t care who she hurts. I’ve read some articles about the backlash of 50 Shades from people in the BDSM community. For research. And they’re pretty strict about consent and trust. Safe words and all that. Rape is rape. Consent is required. More people need to know this. Tiffany doesn’t, or at least she’s forgotten because she’s powerful and flawed.

Anna is the one I definitely need to work on most. She’s Adam’s girlfriend in Crystal City, and she doesn’t have powers. She’s been hospitalised by her jealous ex boyfriend. Jarred and Sarah need to go to Crystal City to be there, Sarah for her healing powers, Jarred because A) he and she are a couple, and B) Adam’s his brother. David is part of the dude-trio, they have a sort of Bromance as a team, a three amigo’s setup that Jess wasn’t part of in the beginning (she also has an origin story that I like, but has some issues I need to attend to). Jarred, David and Adam are a team. Tesla Squad are an extension of that.

I wanted to kill Anna off. However, that would be Fridging her for the plot, and second, there’s not that many female characters at present. So for now, she should stay. I just have to work on her a bit more, figure her out more fully. I have a basic idea, and it’s not like she’s a blank slate, but I still don’t really *know* her yet.

But at least there’s five. (going to be 7 at least when book 3 rolls around) From what I heard in the discussion, that’s better than a LOT of today’s fiction.

Furiosa rocks because she’s a bold defiance of the tired old formula and appeasement-attitude most film studios take. If it wasn’t George Miller making the movie, the idea of an awesome female character would never work (in their minds). That the menimists got pissed off about the more-than-one female character was pretty awesome to behold. That it came to that is pretty sad.

Next step is to put more non-white, non-straight characters in. Dimitri is about all there is, at the moment. He’s a gay bodybuilding massage therapist. With a rocket launcher. (You’re welcome.) But there’ll be way more diversity in the next book. That’s a promise.

A Little Less Empty (and teaser)

I’m feeling better. Much, much better. Not really amazing, but pretty good.

My dad came over and we finished the digging part of a project, and that felt good.

I’ve lost 16kg walking from this place to the shops and back, about 3 times a week. That was a pleasant surprise.

I went back home to mind my parents’ dogs on Saturday night. I saw Civil War that day, went to the family home, let the dogs out and kept them company and fed them, then went to the local pub for old times’ sake and got to catch up with a really smart, funny, cool friend I haven’t seen in forever.

I just sipped the first drop of a bottle of ‘Monty Python’s Holy Grail (‘tempered over burning witches’)’ which, I believe, is made in the UK. Not bad so far, I’ll have to see.

I have contacted a crowdfunding platform for Australian arts, that should be an interesting deal. This is for paying my cover artist and editor for Crystal City. I can certainly make the standard merch (mugs, posters, mouse pads, whatever) available, though that would probably entail production costs… and everyone gets a mention, plus a copy of the ebook (and I will probably include other works I’ve done previously) but the real juicy part? Parts in the book for generous contributors. I hadn’t even thought of that, but it would definitely be something that some would go for, I feel.

I’ve gotten a couple of copies of Children of Fire into my local library, as well as sent a couple to the city library, hoping to hear back from them soon.

I’ve updated the policy for the Facebook group I run for the students in my course at my Uni, and made up a spreadsheet to share publications. I’ll also be doing one for opportunities and events.

And, at long last, I’m going to be in another anthology! This one is called Darkest Depths, my story is Dark Haven, and this time… it’s apocalyptic! I can’t give an exact date, as we ran into some snags in trying to get it published, but it looks like that will be out this week, most likely. We hope, anyway.

Still single and lonely, but things are picking WAY up.

 

Empty

I’ve really taken a liking to Nihilism memes. Guess I’m dead inside. And with the way people have been ignoring me lately, or at least never noticing I even exist, well… it’s no wonder.

Here’s how I’m treated, lately at least.

Guys sometimes try and get me to dance with them. Considering that it’s always the grinding kind of dancing, and that annoys me, it gets annoying. I get what they’re going for – it’s solidarity in guys being displaced from what was common for our side of the species. The ideas of masculinity have changed, and drunk guys being drunk guys, I think they like to joke around and pretend to be gay with one another.

It’s when they invade my personal space that I get annoyed. And I don’t handle annoyed very well. Which drunk, 18-25 year old guys tend to take as an insult. Because straight white males in pubs around that age are just paragons of self-control.

Which would be fine… if women talked to me.

If they even noticed me.

I’ve never been popular. And especially not with the ladies. And if I’ve ever wanted to meet one, through a friend? It’s not people outright forbidding me from talking to someone of the female persuasion… but the warning is always there. You better not hurt her, she’s my friend. Fair, when it’s other women looking after one another. When it’s guys, I think it’s an unspoken sense of “dibs”. I don’t know. I can’t get straight answers out of people.

I have a bit of a tendency to unsettle people. It goes with my condition, Asperger’s Syndrome. I kinda have to explain it to everyone I meet. They may have HEARD of it, but they rarely have any experience with it. It’s this subject that people without it kind of find unsettling, no matter how well-adjusted we, the people with it, might be. It’s Different. Most people do come around once you explain it, maybe even accept you for who you are, not for their perception of you. You lay it out there, you disclose it. You help them understand. It’s not like it’s so alien there’s no hope. But the representations of it in popular media are often far from the reality. We’re painted out to be emotionless and quirky and obsessive… but the truth? We feel things INTENSELY. So much so that we get attached easily to anyone who shows us kindness. That said, it’s different for everyone on the spectrum. No two people are the same, and the fact that the movies always paint us as identical is insulting. Like what I’m told women feel about the latest attempts to shoehorn female characters into movies… with zero guts to make them PEOPLE. If you dare to have a woman kick ass, it upsets the menimists. If you dare to have more than one woman, if you dare to make them NOT romantic interests, if you dare to make them more than just a stray figure… you’re afraid of offending the masses. Of taking risks. You’re averse to losing box office numbers to some perceived backlash from… what? Censors? Feminists? Well here’s the thing – Hollywood studio executives are still dominated by straight white males in suits. And as a straight while male, looking in on the industry of straight while males (in suits) who determine what I see in the movies… I’m tired of it. I’m worried for these guys’ sanity. But mostly, I’m bored. I want people who have flaws and weaknesses that aren’t just these things on paper, these tick boxes that satisfy some kind of criteria (apparently) because no one wants to lose money on a movie. Especially a big budget one.

Mad Max: Fury Road is my favourite action movie of the last decade, bar none. The writer has balls, not just because he’s male, but because he’s Australian, because he had paramedic history (he’s seen some shit, man) and he’s passionate about awesome movies. We fucking need that. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been to an action movie of the last decade and been BORED. It’s an action movie. You’re supposed to be entertained. You’re supposed to be thrilled. You’re supposed to feel something. You’re supposed to distract me from my personal woes.

You knew this was coming back to my personal life. Asperger’s Syndrome is a condition that has a lot of problems… and one of those, while it is a strength in some ways, is also a really powerful weakness.

Now, I don’t know what your understanding of AS is. But I can bet, with like, 90% certainty, that you don’t know AS, as in Asperger’s Syndrome (not Autism per se) that you aren’t as familiar with the word, or the difference to Autism. I was going to go off on a tangent (we do that, nerds do that, I’m both a person with AS and a nerd, it’s really not something I can stop, just write it and delete it if it’s really a tangential rant. I have volumes to say on this, anyway.)

Asperger’s Syndrome is essentially high-functioning autism, though. We have a lot more control over ourselves, we don’t stim as much (hand flapping or other repetitive, kind of annoying tics that help us cope with nerves) and we don’t have full-blown public meltdowns that paint us out as handicapped… as much. I can’t speak for everyone on the spectrum, but in general? I’d say we’re more grown-up than most people with pure autism will ever be.

Which means controlling emotions. Not ignoring them completely, not pushing them down until they explode. But we’re generally better at handling the severity of them.

But we still get frustrated. I am NOT saying that other people don’t get stressed, and have moments that they’d rather take back.I don’t for a moment pretend I’m a special little snowflake, okay? So if you’re going to comment to the effect “But other people DO feel stressed! It’s part of the human condition!”, then maybe check your facts. Okay? Some people don’t actually READ what’s on the page. That annoys me. That annoys me a lot.

But that pales compared to what annoys me the most. And that’s public displays of affection. Not because it’s gross or anything like that (it kinda is, but I’m not bothered by it for that reason.) I’m annoyed… because it reminds me of what I can’t have. Not never, but… well, as someone with AS, it’s very hard to find love. We get frustrated more, because it takes so much bravery to even go up and talk to a person, whether we’re Interested or not. We’re naturally shy, and reclusive. When we finally get up the guts to approach a stranger, and they leave… that hurts. When we see public displays of affection, that thing that eludes us for so much of our lives… that hurts. When we like someone, in a romantic sense, and they reject us… that huts. I think it’s the loneliness that gets us every time. It does me, anyway. I haven’t had a girlfriend in ten years. I won’t get into how seriously awful she was, but that was a GOOD year for me, in terms of dating. I never really get more than one date. Apart from the two occasions in my life where I got more than one a year? One a year is GOOD. One. A year. IF that.

Maybe ladies would ask me out if I looked good. Or when I get famous. (It’ll happen, totally). But mostly? Except for the party girls at bars, being like “Holy shit, you look like the guy from the Hangover!”, there’s rarely more than a smile or a hi. Okay, some make… well, propositions. Maybe four in my adult life. Total. Straight up, no games, which is nice at least. But here’s the thing – I’m shy. I’m not emotionally able, yet, to overcome the unease of approaching people, let alone a woman I find attractive, not in real life. Not even with a few drinks in me. Doesn’t happen. Tried it once, discouraged me. I don’t generally get many chances to try, and if I do, I’m usually too shy, too worried, too nervous, too pissed off, too indecisive… or too depressed.

Then there’s two notable instances that were downright anger-inducing. I finally summoned up ALL of my courage to ask someone out, and the person, or a colleague, casually mentioned a boyfriend… and I lost it. When you have AS, you OBSESS. I don’t really do that any more. I don’t have any feelings left. That’s not true, not entirely, but generally, I can’t summon the passion to care any more. Nihilism wins.

The lack of success in that part of life is frustrating. That’s true of anyone who’s #foreveralone, but I have read that it’s worse when your confidence is on the line, and so easily ruined. And you’re affected so strongly by your failures, and mistakes. And lonely. And thus depressed.

And lately? I definitely need friends. I need people to talk to. But when it comes to the opposite sex, no one is replying. Messages and comments go unanswered, friends or not. And in real life? Four women I have known well have all managed to walk right past me in real life and it’s like I’m not even there. I don’t exist. It doesn’t feel like being ignored. Being ignored implies being noticed, and pretending that I’m not. But lately, it’s been people who I actually know, not seeing me there despite being right there.

THAT hurts.

But at least my writing’s getting traction I guess.

Calamity

[Edited to remove spoilers (sorry!)]

I’ve finally finished reading Brandon Sanderson’s Calamity, the final book in the Reckoners trilogy. There could be more, later on. But this trilogy, at least, is wrapped up.

What started with Steelheart has come full circle. And I finally managed to find the time to finish reading it the other week. I’d been focused on moving house, writing Writing the Wasteland, and trying to edit Crystal City.

Steelheart poses one hell of a what-if scenario: what if those gifted with super powers… were the BAD guys? Superman is the villain, essentially, and he rules over the populace with fear and power.

There are twists aplenty in all three Reckoners novels (and Mitosis, a short piece packaged with the first few chapters of Firefight). David’s metaphors are the stuff of goofy, what-the-fuck legend… but they make sense, when he explains the relation (he’s not a nerd, though. He wants you to know that.)

The powers aren’t just powers… they’re a drug. They make their users… users. Powerful, godlike, egotistic psychopaths… but users. The more they use their powers, the darker they get. Good and evil are a key conceit, but there’s so many shades, so many personalities, that play off of the powers in a fascinatingly complex, believable way (for fiction that has superheroes, anyway). The characters are PEOPLE, with PERSONALITIES, with strengths… and harsh drawbacks and weaknesses. But an epic is also proud, and will never disclose their secret weaknesses to anyone. Ever. They are supreme, and any challenger will be put in their place, even if that means a grave.

Holy crap is this series satisfying. It has cool power use up the wazoo. It also has complex, troubled people, and the effects of power on the weak, human psyche. Most superhero fiction has good people gifted with the power to do what’s necessary. This series reverses that, and asks the question: what would actual people, with their actual insecurities and egos, do with world-shattering power? They’d abuse it, and abuse it hard, that’s what.

But there’s always those that don’t like that. David has seen a god bleed. And he will get his revenge.

God, what a good series. I feel… inspired. Godlike, even. That can’t possibly go bad, can it?

No. Not it can’t.