Why We Love Superheroes

I have always loved superheroes and their stories. The kick-ass powers! The gadgets! The spandex costumes?

When I started writing The Dark Matter Chronicles, I couldn’t help but be influenced by the comic book heroes I grew up with it. When I imagined the abilities of the Arcana—the curators of knowledge in the known universe—I was aiming to write about something I love.

So what is it about superheroes that draws us to them?

They defy limits.

Nothing is impossible. Superheroes can defy everything from gravity to death, and that helps us believe that perhaps our limits can be conquered too.

Good triumphs over evil.

Life isn’t fair and sometimes the bad guys win, but not in a world that has a superhero. In that world justice is served. And I think all of us want to believe that evil won’t prevail, even if it’s not always true.

They give us something to aspire to.

Superheroes sacrifice themselves, their wants, and their needs for others. They are the pinnacle of morality and often remind us that good is a choice—a choice that we too can make.

There will be someone to help us.

Just when you think the victim is done for, the superhero swoops in saves the day. There is a little part in all of us that wants to believe that if we’re in trouble, someone will be there to break our fall. While we don’t have

The possibility of acquiring superpowers.

I would love to wake up tomorrow and discover that I have awesome faster than a speeding bullet, gravity-defying ninja powers. But until I figure out how to harness dark matter/get a bit by radioactive animal/find out I’m from Mars, I’m going to have to stick to writing. And knowing my luck, I’ll get bit by something lame.

Watch out! Here comes The Procrastinator! ADD Powers Activate!

OMG, squirrel!

Dark Matter Cont’d: It’s Stranger Than Fiction

Remember that weird particle I told you guys about last week: the one that nobody can directly see or find, but still manages to keep entire galaxies together?  The one called dark matter?  There was a new discovery made about it.  It turns out that the stuff might stick together in clumps instead of just passing through each other like we thought it did.

It might not seem like that big of a deal but it has a lot consequences and could change our understanding of the universe. Big discoveries often lead to things that have a significant impact on our daily lives down the road.  It was the work of physicists that gave us MRI machines, cellphones, and the world wide web.  All those inventions were discovered by accident.

For writers, new discoveries open up new fictional realms. When I learn more through science about our world, I realize that reality is actually far stranger than anything fiction can come up with, and that means the possibilities of thousands of undiscovered stories.

Here’s an article on the new dark matter discovery:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/03/dark-matter-blob-galaxies-space_n_1318101.html?ref=canada

Now I’m going to go check if I can somehow use this info in the upcoming books, although I’m secretly hoping I won’t end up making too many changes to the outlines.

“If You Only Knew the Power of the Dark Side” (of Matter)

The concept of dark matter plays a significant role in the novel, (although you could probably tell that from the title of my book).  For the sake of fiction, I interpreted dark matter as the particles that give the Arcana their abilities.  I got the idea from an article in Scientific American that said that dark matter could potentially allows us to harness warp speed.  And with that, the Arcana’s abilities to lapse, (move from one part of space to another using worm holes), was born.  *Cue evil genius laugh* Yes, I do laugh often and maniacally.

In reality, we know very little about what dark matter is.  Here’s what we do know:

  • It’s a type of particle
  • It’s invisible (it doesn’t emit or scatter light like the matter that makes up our world)
  • 80% of the matter in the universe is dark matter
  • We can detect the gravitational effects it has within galaxies, so we do know that it exists (those crazy scientists aren’t making it up)

If you’re looking for an interesting take on it, here’s a 2 minute video of theoretical physicist Michio Kaku talking about dark matter and parallel universes: