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.

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Cover Reveal – Behind The Mask

As promised, here’s the dark and brooding cover for Behind The Mask, my story from the Pride Publishing anthology, I Need A Hero.

Here’s the blurb for the story, to give you a flavour of what to expect:

Twenty years ago, superheroes were outlawed by the mayor of Mokum City. Christopher Chase has grown up knowing that he has all the strength and speed of Sprint, his superhero father, who died attempting to save the mayor’s niece from being kidnapped. But, unlike his father, he is unable to fulfil his destiny and become a masked crimefighter. Even Christopher’s boyfriend, bar owner Johnny Brennan, doesn’t know Christopher’s true identity.

A chance encounter with a purse snatcher in the city cemetery gives Christopher a taste of what it’s like to use his powers for good. And when Johnny becomes caught up in a hostage situation, Christopher can no longer stand by. Even if it means losing his own life, he must pull on the costume of Sprint to save the man he loves.

And if you want to know more, I’ll be sharing an extract from the story and filling in a little of the background behind it nearer the time – so watch this space!

Cover Reveal – I Need A Hero anthology

I’m thrilled to announce I have a story in the upcoming gay superhero anthology from Pride Publishing, I Need A Hero. The story, Behind The Mask, imagines what might happen if a man born with superpowers has been prevented from using them, and is then faced with a situation where saving the life of the man he loves will mean revealing his true identity.

Here’s the fabulous cover for the anthology, which also features stories by Helena Maeve, Jambrea Jo Jones, Sarah Masters, Lucy Felthouse, and Catherine Curzon.

I Need A Hero will be available to pre-order from Pride Publishing from May 2nd.

Behind The Mask will also be released as a standalone story, and as soon as I have the cover for, I’ll be sharing that, too.