Interview Part 1: How I Developed My Superpowers for Guardians

This post originated and grew from an online conversation I had with one of my European fans, Jay Wong.

Jay: If you could get one superpower, what would it be?

Damien: Oh wow, that’s a tough call. I’m torn between flight and telekinesis, but since I have to choose one, I’ll go with telekinesis. However, I will assume flight comes with telekinesis—just like Magneto in the X-Men.

Is that why you gave Blake telekinesis? To give him the temporary upper hand?

No, when I started planning the boys’ characters and their powers, I didn’t know which super powers they would get at first. Well before I set the pen to paper…or my fingers to the keys…and crafted the outline for book 1, I worked with my fellow geek, Ron St. Germain, to craft an original superpower structure for the Guardians Series.

That leads into the perfect origin question; how did create the super powers for Guardians?

Ron and I talked for months before the powers emerged. We wracked our brains and tried to find an original method for the origination of their super powers. It turns out everything we came up with had already been overused, such as:

  • getting zapped with lightning, electricity, or some kind of power source
  • aliens (artifacts, parents, visitation)
  • discovering an ancient device imbued with power

So, we turned out thoughts to New England lore and that’s when Ron and I discussed having the characters experience a traumatic zapping based in reality. From that discussion came a concept, that concept turned into the first drawing of the Rangeley Reactor Facility.

That leads to a plot question: Did Quinn, Blake and Ana Maria survive the energy transfusion because of their young age?

No, age has nothing to do with it.

Blake and Quinn developed a few common but several different powers. How did that come about?

Originally, I had all the powers mapped to specific emotions in a spreadsheet I created after doing a ton of research on the Internet. Ron and I talked about different characters in the comic universes and discussed a system that could create similar and different powers. After those discussions, I simplified what I created by moving away from the strict emotion origin and moved toward a focus-to-control method, but kept emotions as the trigger point for powers.

So, originally Quinn and Blake were going to develop identical powers, but I decided their super-battles would be boring. Since I kept the plan to tie emotions to power-origination, their very different temperaments and emotional dispositions automatically lent themselves to different powers.

So, if the boys’ emotional states changed, their powers would’ve been different too?

In Book Four, Ultimate Sacrifice, readers learn why Quinn and Blake’s powers developed differently, and that they could, with time and practice, develop the same power sets—but it’s highly unlikely.

Quinn is all about protecting and defending while Blake is all for being on the offensive. Do the burgeoning powers stem from their respective personas?

Yup. Blake is an angry, hurt, and lonely teen, so he gets powers associate with anger. Quinn is hopeful, emotional mature, and balanced, so he gets powers associated with positivity. Both boys, however, receive a common power set to different or similar degrees. These common powers include (but are not limited to) the typical superhuman set: strength, vision, speed, hearing, etc.

Given this path, if their emotional states changed, would their powers change?

No, because the assumption is they would have already learned how to control the power. however, If the Quinn became depressed, for example, he might develop a power tied to that initial feeling. However, he would have to focus to master it.
i.e.; being surprised triggers invisibility until they learn to control it.

To be continued…

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