Contributed By David Neth
Okay, so call me simple, but the comic that most inspired me for the Fuse series was Batman: Year One. Especially when I was writing Fuse’s origin story in (you guessed it), Origin.
Batman is such an iconic character in not only the DC Comics universe, but in the world of all comic books. And the coolest thing about him? He doesn’t have any supernatural powers! He’s just that badass to be able to fight (and win) against people who do.
Batman: Year One shows Batman at the beginning of his vigilante career, meaning it shows him messing up and making mistakes that would never happen to the seasoned Batman we all know and love. It’s what inspired me to give my character Fuse flaws, especially in the beginning. Just because someone suddenly becomes a superhero doesn’t mean they have it all together.
As authors, we’re supposed to be challenging our characters. In the beginning, these heroes are basically just like us: inexperienced in the world of combat. And therein lies the conflict necessary for the story: how will a new superhero survive when he’s just starting out? When their enemy has the upper hand physically? The origin story is a part of a superhero’s career that doesn’t always take prominence (unless you’re Spider-Man and they keep remaking the same movie over and over again).
What’s funny is, I didn’t read comics growing up. (Gasp!) However, I did watch the superhero animated series, like Batman and Spider-Man. I haven’t read any Spider-Man comics (Gasp!), but the Batman comics and the animated series are pretty much identical. I guess, in a way, I was getting my superhero education without even realizing it.
After reading Batman: Year One, I followed the story arc with Batman: The Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory. All three of these comics inspired my Fuse series, especially the mafia’s influence over the grim city of Gotham. I love it how they tell Bruce Wayne’s story in the real world and then Batman’s influence in it. That balance is what I tried to create throughout the Fuse series because I didn’t want to get too caught up in the “super” part of “superhero.”
The only reason I picked up a Batman comic was to do research to write the Fuse series. I thought it’d be better to start with the basics, and I’m so glad I did.
David Neth is the author of the Fuse series, the Small Town Christmas series, and the Under the Moon series. He lives in Batavia, NY, where he dreams of a successful publishing career and opening his own bookstore.