LINCOLN's Thoughts: CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY? is a very personal project for me. It met a couple of needs that I had as both a creator and a reader—a need for superhero fiction I can invest in emotionally, and for good superhero prose. I’ve always been a fan of superheroes, and comic books in general. All the mainstream stuff I read in my childhood through late teens, though…well, the most satisfying stuff for me was done in the 80s and 90s, and most of what’s being done nowadays in those titles seems stale or lackluster in comparison. I still read comic books, but not many of them have to do with heroes.
Superhero comics don’t take enough chances, or deviate far from expectations, and I think that’s mostly because of the commercial aspect—we need to keep the series going, if we kill off this character for good, the book will fall apart, etc. If Batman was real, and I’ve said this before in a recent interview, he would have killed the crap out of the Joker the first time he murdered an innocent. He’d have killed Two-Face, and the Riddler—you get the point. And I understand the impracticality of not killing off the bad guy all the time. You’d run out of bad guys, the writer wouldn’t have time (or feel like putting forth the effort) to invest in making the bad guy a real character you can feel for. I get all that. But at the same time, it’s not realistic, and after a while, there’s nothing at stake for the reader.
Superhero prose fixes those problems. A comic writer needs to produce an issue a month, some of which will be self-contained and others will comprise a multi-issue arc. That’s another reason why the villain gets away, or the hero cheats death in an unrealistic manner—you’re going to need that villain again in a year or so, if not sooner! A novel, though, leaves enough room to grow your characters in the reader’s heart and mind no matter what you’re going to do to the characters at the end of the book. Even a short story is as good as a three-issue arc of some comics, in terms of depth and plot, and unless the writer really wants to do more, there’s no pressure to make sure you can continue the series. You can have things happen the way they really would.
So I started with a concept –what would real people do if they had comic-book powers? The obvious answer is that most of them wouldn’t be black-and-white heroes and villains, because most real people aren’t. I then made a list of different comic book tropes that I wanted to see—the Armored Hero, the Sidekick, the Team, the Superpowered Family, etc. and solicited submissions and pulled from the slushpile those stories that best represented the full spectrum of superhero comic ideas.
EDITOR INFORMATION - Lincoln Crisler was introduced to the occult as a child and learnt about the Tarot in his childhood years. He then joined the United States Army and is a combat veteran who has done atleast three tours and currently is a non-commissioned officer. He is also the author of two short story collections (Despairs & Delights, 2008 and Magick & Misery, 2009) and one novella (WILD, 2011). His work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, to include HUB Magazine, Shroud Publishing’s Abominations anthology and IDW‘s forthcoming Robots vs. Zombies anthology. He is also a member of the Horror Writers Association. He lives in Augusta, Georgia with his family. His interests include spending time with his family, listening to music, cooking, web design and politics.
Read Meta-Morality Panel discussion between Authors (W. Ochse, W. Ligon, J. Tucker, E. Erdelac)
Read Meta-Misses Panel discussion between Authors (J. Strand, T. Wooldridge, A. Spencer)
Read the forthcoming schedule of Panel discussions
TIM's Thoughts: Retribution is my contribution to Corrupts Absolutely? When Lincoln approached me with the idea of a metahuman prose anthology, I was instantly interested. I’ve had the idea of the character that would star in Retribution bouncing around inside my head for years, but I didn’t have a clue as to the premise of a story for him.
Given the nature of the character and his powers, it only took me a moment to base the story around the events of 9/11. The story grew from there, easily conforming to the premise of Corrupts, which questions what real people would do with superhuman power. Would they use them for the good of mankind or for their own selfish desires? I believe both are likely.
In Retribution, the character (Nicknamed Nuke, though it isn’t mentioned in the story) is placed in a position where he is suddenly capable of revenging the family he lost in a fashion just as sudden and brutal. What would you do?
AUTHOR INFORMATION - Tim Marquitz is the author of the Demon Squad series, and the Sepulchral Earth serial stories. He is also an editor, a heavy metal aficionado, a Mixed Martial Arts fan, and is also a member of the Live Action Role Playing organization. When he’s not busy writing dark stories which catch his imagination he also manages to go about his day job. Tim lives in El Paso, Texas with his wonderful family.
Read FBC's Review of Armageddon Bound
Read FBC's Review of Resurrection
Read FBC's Review of At The Gates W/ bonus review of Betrayal
Read FBC's Review of Sepulchral Earth: The Long Road
Read FBC's Review of Sepulchral Earth: The Temple of The Dead
Read FBC's Review of SkullsRead FBC interview with Tim Marquitz