Say What, Superhero Trend?

Adam Christopher over at has just posted about his thoughts on how the next Big Thing could be superhero prose. Now some of you might be opposed to this idea, and I for one should be whole-heartedly embracing this concept - given the topic of my novel.

Soon I Will Become Invincible was released in 2007, and has always been something I've wanted to peruse. Apparently, it was pretty huge at the time when it came out - but recently the author, Arthur Grossman, updated his blog with the announcement that he had further books coming, sequels. Christopher's post makes the comment that that's pretty well four years after his first book was released; he then mentions Minister Faust's From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain, which has a cult following, but may have been released too early.

Next year's overwhelming wave of superhero film adaptations (Green Lantern, The Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man 3, The Dark Knight Rises, Thor...etc), Christopher predicts, may well inspire publishing to look that way for fiction. The visual need for superheroes will be satiated, but what about the written, the paper?

Now as a reader, I love the idea of costumed superheroes in fiction - but, hopefully, in good fiction. Any of that SMeyer prose and I can see a dive-bomb (film sound effects and all). But, at the same time, my own novel concepts deals with the grittier themes of vigilantism - young, uncostumed veterans, dealing with the hairsbreadth between heroism and villainess. But then you speculate, if action/adventure novels about superheroes were to surface, their romantic counterparts would as well. Lois and Clark from Lois' perspective? Personally, if superheroes became a trend, I'd like to see an emphasis put on really good, well-developed villains. Antagonists, particularly in YA, have been flat of late.

I wouldn't be talking about this unless it would benefit me, right? Yeah, right. That or it disadvantaged me so significantly...But it doesn't. Now, I'm not saying that superheroes are the Next Big Thing. I'm hoping, just a little. Christopher mentions that original concepts aren't so common, Megamind, The Incredibles and Hancock being the only films he could mention. I can't think of any others either. He then goes on to say that original superhero television has recently exploded. There's Heroes, Misfits, No Ordinary Family and the forthcoming The Cape, Three Inches and Alphas.

So back to books, right? It's all well and nice to talk about movies and television, but fiction is the main point here. There are a number of anthologies of late, such as Masked. There are a lot of sites and online magazines that are penned for superhero fiction - though that's the same for everything, isn't it? I don't know, Christopher makes a good attempt at trying to predict the trend, but it's kind of futile, isn't it?

You can't really foresee the market.


Michelle at: December 22, 2010 at 4:05 PM said...

You can't foresee the market, and this is an awesome post!

I think Christopher is on to something, but I think the way he's using the word 'superhero' might misconstrue his actual meaning - I think he means (and I think the market always enjoys) a person with great power who has to make choices. Who knows what he's doing isn't always right, or wrong. The Dark Knight is perhaps the blockbuster that epitomized this, really, and in a tasteful way that YA would do well to attempt to recreate/capture the essence of.

I'm just babbling. But awesome, awesome post!

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) at: December 23, 2010 at 3:44 AM said...

i'm a bit confused by his post because as far as i was aware, superhero fiction was already a rising trend. I was certainly aware of it as a trend when i wrote a short story about a super hero a few years ago. And one of my CPs has been aware of the trend for quite a few years as well.
Were we just ahead of the times?

nindogs at: December 23, 2010 at 10:31 AM said...

Perhaps you were. (:
I think that maybe he meant more internationally, as there has never been a superhero trend over here in Australia. I don't know a whole lot about American and elsewhere trends, but superheroes would definitely be something new around here.

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