(reprinted with permission from ianthealy.com)
Let’s take a trip back in time to 2008. It was Democrat Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign and in spite of strong opposition from the Republicans, he won. He took office in January of 2009, ushering in the beginning of an era of hyper-partisanship. I know, it existed before then, but it really became front and center in the world of American politics. In 2010, Senator Mitch McConnell said in an interview:
The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.
(source: Washington Post)
That’s a very strong statement, and in one sentence it really encapsulates the root of the divide between Democrats and Republicans. It’s a highly-charged political environment, where sound bites and “gotcha” quotes rule the media, and it only takes one mistake to turn a huge wave of anger, distrust, and fear against you.
This is the time in which I set CASTLES. I wanted to explore the political ramifications of a superhero team. There is a long-standing trope in comics about superhero teams being at odds with governments, or members of the government. Look at how the X-Men are viewed in the Marvel Universe, or how the Justice League has bucked the authority of the US Government in DC. Heck, at one point Lex Luthor was even the President of the USA, and you know he was still trying to take down Superman all the while. As with other books in the Just Cause Universe, I wanted to take a common trope of superhero tales and really dig my teeth into it.
I’d done super-villains in previous books, with Destroyer in Just Cause, the Archmage in The Archmage, Misrule in Deep Six, and most recently, Champion in Champion. It was time to give the JCU heroes an opponent they couldn’t easily punch into submission, which is where I came up with Senator Christine Goodwin. For those of you who’ve been reading the JCU since the beginning, you might recall her first appearing in The Archmage as a ranking official in the Department of Homeland Security who took charge of Just Cause during the Archmage crisis. She was at odds with Juice, who went over her head to the President at the time, George W. Bush–a good friend of his–and her authority was overruled. Being embarrassed like that leaves a lasting bad taste in anyone’s mouth, and thus began Christine Goodwin’s rise to power…
Read the rest at ianthealy.com.
All characters and associated images in this post are Copyright 2015 Ian Thomas Healy. All Rights Reserved.