Superhero Corner

Behind the Mask, my story from the Pride Publishing MM superhero anthology I Need A Hero, is now available as an early download, with a full release on July 18th. So I thought I’d spotlight some of the stories about characters with superpowers that inspired me as I wrote.

The Incredibles

Ask me what’s my favourite of the Pixar films, and I’ll reply The Incredibles without hesitation. Mr Incredible, aka Bob Parr, and his family have been forced to give up their crimefighting ways because the damage they cause while repeatedly saving the city has got too expensive. They hate having to hide their real identities, but when a crisis forces them to put on their costumes once more (minus capes, because those things are dangerous…), they unite to save the world as they were always meant to. It has a great story that mixes superhero lore with the thrills of a James Bond story, is stunning to look at and, in supersuit designer Edna Mode, has one of the greatest animated characters ever.

Ben Macallan

Ben Macallan from Chaz Brenchley’s Dead of Light may not technically be a superhero, but to my mind he fits the definition. (And I really enjoy the book, so who’s counting?) He’s part of a family that hold sway over a Northern English city which bears more than a passing resemblance to Newcastle. They take their powers from moonlight, and use them to threaten, intimidate and punish, like a supernatural version of the Krays. Ben’s the odd one out, because he apparently has no powers at all, which makes him an easy target for his family’s wrath. But once he discovers his own source of power, he sees a chance to turn the tables and start fighting back…

Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl

Appearing in Desperately Seeking Xena, one of the Treehouse of Horror segments on The Simpsons, Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl are the superhero alter egos of Bart and Lisa Simpson. They acquire their powers when they’re zapped by a portable X-ray machine, and while Lisa, of course, wants to do good, Bart uses his newfound elasticity to play pranks. Eventually, they’re forced to face off against The Collector, better known as Comic Book Guy, who wants to add Xena the Warrior Princess to his collection of living action figures. Best line goes to Lucy Lawless, playing herself, whose response to the nerds who pick holes in Xena’s plot lines is to tell them ‘a wizard did it’. So if you’ve spotted any mistakes in this little round-up, a wizard did it…

So, what are your favourite superheroes, or characters with unusual powers? Leave me a comment as I’d love to know.