It’s been a minute! Both for blogging and for new story news. But hey, today we change both. I’m up for the third time over at Cast of Wonders. Does this make me a triple threat?
Oh hey: spoilers. Go read or listen at the link if you’re averse to those, then come back here. I’m not going anywhere.
You back? Good. Let’s take a trip.
The Hammer-Royal Ten Step Model for Making the Superhero A List is a short list with a long title. And a long-ish history. Believe it or not, the first spark of this came after I subjected myself to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I walked out of the film thinking two things: first, I couldn’t wait for a Wonder Woman movie where we could watch Gal Gadot for more than the ten minutes she stole the show in this one (spoilers: I was not wrong in that enthusiasm).
Second: I debated the list of characteristics for “super-hero” in the world of that movie. As far as I could tell, the most important factor was … all the boy heroes had to have a Mom with the same first name?
I won’t spend too much time shooting the fish in the BvS barrel. You get the point. At around the same time, and independent of super-hero flicks, Daniel José Older tweeted, wondering why white / privileged authors so rarely wrote stories about their privilege. I realized a lot of the hero model I was building for my theoretical BvS hero wannabe was rooted in privilege.
And thus we get Hank. It’s not a mistake that Hank’s power is to erase the obstacles in the way of his ambitions. It’s also not a mistake that using his power causes literally irreparable harm to anyone against which he deploys it. Even — especially — when he tries to pretend the erasure never occurred. Hank is a young man surrounded by heroes, but whose never-examined privilege keeps him from recognizing what separates a hero from yet another Empowered Bully.