And now...THE WHITE SUPERHEROES!!!!!
Since I first started writing Lucius Hammer,the ultimate comic book starring a superhero who just happens to be black,I have been looking forward to introducing a group of white superheroes that exist within his universe known as "The Powers That Be". The following excerpt is from the Lucius Hammer story bible and roughly details each hero...
The Powers that Be
American way- Imagine a mixture of Superman, Captain America, John Wayne and Charlton Heston. He is a sometimes good natured yet old school hero/politician who has volunteered on many different fronts to represent America. The only problem is things are changing too fast and he has become an anachronism…one that has allied himself with a vast and shadowy underworld of captains and kings who are playing with the earth as though it were their personal checker board. American Way is about changing ideals and how America has changed. For better or worse.
The Authoritarian- Batman meets Nick Fury, meets Weapon X. Imagine if Bat Man were a black ops agent who was asked to go into cities’ and surreptitiously apprehend serial killers, quell riots, or foment gang wars and plant evidence so dangerous people could be brought to justice by any means necessary. This guy is dirty, intelligent, and unconscionable in terms of what he’s ready to do to maintain order. He is definitely the dark side of the American Way; he has come to terms with what this country is and who the evil people are that run it. Very scary dude. Imagine if Batman’s costume was combined with Darth Vader’s.
The Living Dynamo- Doctor Manhattan, Green Lantern and the Flash. The Living Dynamo is a man who was a scientist hellbent on discovering neighboring universes and alternate dimensions. He creates a machine that is essentially a teleportation device. During his initial testing of the mechanism, he succeeds with all of his test subjects. When he attempts to teleport himself, something goes wrong and he is sucked into another science-reality where he is literally re-made. He returns to earth, but now he is a being of pure energy and can only be flesh and blood intermittently with great concentration. He soon discovers that he has knowledge of alien races and hidden earth energy sources. He can move at the speed of thought; manipulate strange energies; and see strange beings that are outside of our comprehension. Every country on the planet is afraid of what he will do. The army creates a special containment suit for him and he becomes America’s first space age superhero. Glowing energy based hero.
Adam Venture- Adventurous, liberal, star-gazing hippy, millionaire heir who's only true superpower is his trust fund, his amazing intellect, and penchant for extreme experimentation with variables. He is a self trained Olympic athlete, a vegetarian, yogi, amateur archaeologist and inventor. The rumor is he has acquired super powers thru strange religious practices and drug experimentation. He is very much into what he describes as super-science and flies around the world in experimental jump jets, searches for Bigfoot, aliens and Jimmy Hoffa, and never met a skirt he didn’t like. He’s Reed Richards with balls. He has a downtown laboratory in a town called Miracle Falls where he has experimented with creating his own ray gun, a hover stick, and an ectoplasm viewer. Miracle Falls has a love/hate relationship with him. Imagine John Lennon with a goatee, in a reed Richards like laboratory and in a funky scientific costume.
These are the key white superheroes that exist during the time Lucius is Powerhouse.
They don’t have an official group…they meet at various clandestine locations and discuss how to manage the world…the press and the American public have taken to calling them the Powers that Be.
American Way is generally recognized as the most influential member of the alliance. The Superhero with a heart of gold.
The Living Dynamo is considered to be the most powerful and is thought of as a weapon of mass destruction. Alien…a stranger on his own planet.
The Authoritarian is the old Man in Black conspiracy dressed up as a paranormal police agent. Government Boogeyman.
Adam Venture is the rich, socially adjusted, and worldly crusader who uses his money to unlock the secrets of the planet. Playboy adventurer.
They are the most influential men on Earth.
They are The Powers that Be.
Now, as you can probably see, I'm toying with a lot of established characters. American Way is Charlton Heston as Superman. The Living Dynamo is Bill Gates with a Green Lantern ring. The Authoritarian is Bat Man and the CIA rolled into one. And Adam Venture is a little John Lennon and Tony Stark (Reed Richards as well). These four men are very different heroes but together they represent the absolute pinnacle of super-heroism and power in Lucius Hammer's world. I am introducing them to you now because there are a lot of Hammer readers who are saying they feel alienated because this book is about black superheroes.Not true. My main character is a black superhero. Within the framework of his general story he is detailing the history, rise and comeuppance of the black superhero. Since this globe is a melting pot of races and I'm writing about the very planet that we live on...there will be many other races depicted as heroes as well as villains. Including prominent white characters such as The American Way. I always thought it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall when Captain America and Falcon were actually shooting the gip about race problems in America or perhaps The Black Pride Movement.Or how about Superman and Batman trying to handle drug and gang activity in an inner city locale populated mostly by minorities who don't necessarily see them as heroes who are interested in their neighborhood? These are thought provoking and compelling stories that people started writing back in the late sixties and seventies (Denny Oneill, Gerry Conway, Stan Lee, etc,etc)but stopped as we entered the early eighties. To me, these were excellent reasons to further explore the psyche of a superhero. The American Way is obviously going to be a fun character to write but also controversial. Most people assume because he has been sent to stop Lucius Hammer's Dream Team at the end of issue 1 by President Nixon that he is a racist. Not true. The American Way is all about traditions, values and systems established here in our country...underneath a cape. He enforces the American Dream. But when interacting with the black heroes of Lucius Hammer, particularly Lucius, American Way becomes frustrated because he realizes The American Dream is really not one that's uniform to all people. The Living Dynamo will be fun to look at and also his powers will be quirky and wild like only the best Steve Ditko creations. But The Dynamo is almost like Godzilla or Mothra in the sense that everyone knows that his powers are beyond reason and if he were to ever become mentally unstable...those abilities could destroy a large city. The Authoritarian is my dream version of Bat Man. Imagine a Bat Man fully sanctioned by the U.S Government...given a license to kill in an effort to keep cities in control and maintain law and order by any means necessary.American Way and Authoritarian are seemingly opposite sides of a coin, like Superman and Batman, but in the pages of Lucius Hammer you will see where the two actually need to work hand in hand. Last but not least is Adam Venture who is the dreamer superhero fighting for a utopia he knows will never exist. Adam will be very sympathetic to Lucius Hammer's struggles throughout the series and will form a friendship with him that will last until Venture dies. Adam Venture is the idealistic superhero who really believes he can change the world despite what logic suggests.
I really wish Christian had drawn these heroes so everyone reading could get an idea of how these heroes look and move but you will soon enough. For now just be content in knowing that there are going to be many white superheroes represented in this book. Superhero fantasy should be an equal opportunity employer and I plan to take full advantage of that principle by telling the stories you have never heard before because all of these colorful heroes have never been in the same room together...until now!