Archive for August 1st, 2012

Aug 01 2012

Scarecrow’s Review Forum

Published by under Review Forums

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Scarecrow is working on a book titled Harvest.


Plot Summary: During the height of human civilisation, a secret society, dedicated to the decoding of an ancient book, finally make a break through, and learn abilities that can only be described as magical. However, their virtually unlimited powers eventually corrupt them as they gain a lust for power and wealth, which turns them against one another. The inevitable magical war destroys human society, leaving a shattered world in its wake, governments broken, entire nations wiped off the face of the earth in the mages quest for power against each other, leading to the war being regarded by what remains of humanity as an apocalypse. A few million people are left scattered across the world, gathering together in order to survive in the ruins of the apocalyptic world. Many are normal human beings, but others have been affected by the magical fallout, gaining abilities that are superhuman, though not nearly as powerful as the mages who broke the world and led to their creation. In the midst of this post-apocalyptic world, Arc, a young man with the ability to generate and control electricity, struggles to survive….

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Aug 01 2012

Learning Writing Skills from Hancock

1. Hancock’s personality and interaction with other people made for some interesting conflict. The train scene with Hancock, Ray, and the other people at the intersection is a great example of Hancock’s alienation and anti-social nature. He’s one of the few superheroes that people generally hate, as opposed to, say, Superman.



2. The mechanics of Hancock’s superpowers were very fascinating. When he kicks off the ground to propel into flight, it yanks stuff up out of the ground. His invincibility could be cliche, but was used creatively (the shaving scene was a kickass example of that). The physics behind the powers was believable. In contrast, Superman has to use special Kryptonian razor blades when he has to shave (ugh!).


3. Superheroes can commit crimes, and they can get in trouble for it. Hancock went to prison because of the way he used his powers. He had several crimes hanging over his head: aggravated assault and battery, destruction of property, reckless endangerment, and even endangering the safety of a minor (the French bully he launched into the sky). This is very refreshing—in most superhero stories where the police are antagonists, they don’t actually add significant consequences to the characters’ actions. (For example, Batman might have a chase scene or two with the police, but it rarely actually costs Batman anything).


4. Hancock’s significant other was an interesting twist, but could be confusing and contradictory. During the major fight scene with Hancock and his “wife,” she keeps screaming that she hates him, and that she’d never forgive him for what he did. What did he do? They never explain what he did, and they gave no reason for why she’d hate him. Then, in the hospital scene towards the end, she explains how he always saved her over the centuries, and how he was meant to be humanity’s hero. But didn’t you say earlier that you were faster, stronger, and smarter than him? Lady, you’re confusing me!


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