Welcome to my first ever guest blogger!
H.L. Burke joins us to discuss what led her to write her upcoming superhero novel “Reformed: Supervillain Rehabilitation Project #1.” (order links and whatnot at the end of the post.)
“Superhero” is among my favorite genres, so I’m thrilled to have the accomplished (and intrepid) Ms. Burke introduce the discussion.
Why I’m Writing Superheroes?
My favorite superhero is Goose the Cat from Captain Marvel. If you think she doesn’t count, you’re just wrong. A super-powered cat (or Flerken, but I’ve honestly never been convinced that all cats aren’t secretly an alien race who just chooses to live among us because we have nice furniture) is the best thing ever, and there really should be more cats in superhero movies/comics.
I think the fact that my favorite hero is an adorable feline says a lot about my approach to the genre. I’ve never really related to the broody or idealistic heroes. I mean, almost all heroes have their moments of despair and their idealistic stands, but my preference is for the ones who do that rarely and have a more buoyant or light touch overall.
I like the Justice League Unlimited version of the Flash–happy go lucky, smart and idealistic but not prone to lording his brains or his ethics over others, perfectly content to be the goofy jokester of the group for the sake of harmony, and you can just tell he LOVES being a superhero.
Or Doctor Strange. Sure he’s a little broody when his accident takes away his career as a surgeon, but once the guy finds out about the ancient arts, his intellectual curiosity takes over and he’s all about learning and discovering and thinking on his feet. Even when he realizes everything is heading towards a dark end, it’s a chess game to him. He’s going to fight for the side of good, but he’s doing it practically, glibbly, and without getting bogged down in angst.
Or (somewhat controversially, I’ve found, which to me is kind of silly) Captain Marvel who sure goes through some existential crisis over her stolen/rewritten memories, but throughout her motivation is to push herself (Higher, further, faster, baby) first as a pilot then as a Kree warrior hero and finally as a protector. She’s trying to do good, but it’s just as an extension of who she is. She doesn’t need to protect due to some wound. Similar to the Flash who is in it for the fun or Doctor Strange who is about intellectual curiosity, she does it for the rush, but uses it for good because she’s just not a jerk.
Because some superheroes are like, “with great power comes great responsibility” but I relate more to the ones who are like, “with great power comes AWESOMENESS!”
I think this is why I chose Prism, a heroine who is literally bright and shiny (light based powers), as my lead for my hero team. Prism’s had some tragedy in her past (loss of both her parents), but she was born with superabilities and has always known she was going to use them to be a hero, not because she’s driven by her dark past but because she is a beacon of optimism and resilience, and she just can’t help but shine. I did balance her out by adding her cynical, uber-practical brother, Aiden, and Fade, a former villain with a checkered past, to her team, but yeah, I wanted my hero team to be a force for AWESOME, like the heroes I enjoy.
Because sure, you can use superheroes to explore deep topics, psychological trauma, theories of power, responsibility, etc … but most of all, superheroes should be fun. Sometimes we need fun, and that’s what I wanted to share with my readers here (along with the occasional heartbreaking trauma, but … hopefully they’ll forgive me for that).
Follow H.L. Burke on …
And doesn’t “Reformed: Supervillain Rehabilitation Project” sound awesome? Order on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Reformed-Supervillain-Rehabilitation-H-Burke-ebook/dp/B085X8N8FL/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=reformed%3A+supervillain&qid=1587099357&sr=8-1