As the Indie Superbundle Storybundle continues to demolish evil across the world, take a moment to get to know Matt Adams and why he wrote “I, Crimsonstreak”.
What made you decide to write in the superhero genre?
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved superheroes. I’m not the most dedicated comic book reader ever, but I’ve certainly read my fair share and watched a lot of movies inspired by comics. I wanted to put my own spin on the genre by playing with its conventions and adding a dose of humor.
The book itself started with a simple idea: what happens when a superhero gets thrown in prison? From there, I wondered how the character got there and decided I wanted to make it so the character’s own father put him there. The idea grew from there, giving me the chance to explore the character’s personality as well as the theme of family.
How does your superhero differ from the average fare?
My main character mentions in the book that it seems like all superheroes are based in New York. While that’s not 100% true, I wanted to create a superhero who operated in the sleepy Midwest where I grew up and still live. I thought it’d be fun to play with that idea.
Crimsonstreak himself is extremely hyperactive, and his thoughts mirror his powers in that way. Since his superpower is superspeed, he thinks at a mile a minute, and he never passes up the opportunity to equate a situation to something he’s experienced before in pop culture. Let’s just say Crimsonstreak has watched more than his fair share of movies.
While I certainly take comic book and superhero conventions seriously, I wanted the book to have a lot of humor. Some of it is situational while other parts lampoon the superhero genre. I wanted to make sure people got a few good laughs while reading the book.
Would you like to see your superhero in the hands of Hollywood? If so, what do you think they’d do with it to help sell it to consumers?
I think Marvel and DC have us covered for the next 100 years when it comes to comic book movies!
I’ve thought about it before and wondered how you’d pull off a movie featuring Crimsonstreak. The book itself tells a fairly simple, straightforward story and it’s relatively short in terms of source material. The narrative, however, is told from a first-person perspective, and that doesn’t work well for movies.
As far as an “off-brand” superhero movie goes, you’d have to land a big name in the starring role to get people interested or have a really good, offbeat ad campaign to attract the audience.
On the other hand, a Crimsonstreak film would be dynamic in terms of visuals. Think of Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avengers: Age of Ultron. You’d have to do that for the whole movie without making the audience sick (both physically and mentally).
Tell us something about your book that can’t be found in the blurb, the reviews, or any other description.
While the novel tells the main story, of course, the book also features a series of appendices that give readers more information about the world our heroes live in. The appendices are in no way mandatory reading; you can go through the main adventure without looking at them and not miss a thing.
I have a background in journalism, so the appendices include newspaper articles about previous adventures that may have gotten an offhand mention during the course of the book. Journal entries from Mortimer P. Willoughby, the butler for the superhero the Crusading Comet, give more detail about the superhero’s storied history.
Dossiers give readers a glimpse into the backstories of heroes and villains featured in the book. I’ve always liked these little extras (I loved the file cards that came with G.I. Joe action figures), and they provide a unique way to expand the world of the book without dragging down the main story.
Was there a superhero (or supervillain) that inspired you to write your book?
You can’t deny the influence of the Flash! My hero dresses in red and runs super-fast! I mean…come on, right? He’s definitely his own character, though.
We see a lot of “analogues” in comic books, so a supporting character named the Crusading Comet is heavily influenced by Batman. He’s the “professional” crimefighter with the butler, gadgets, and an unlimited budget. He’s also a legacy superhero that passes the mantle through several different generations. There have been a total of four Crusading Comets…an idea influenced by The Phantom.
And I couldn’t write about characters without mentioning the Crusading Comet’s butler, Mortimer P. Willoughby. In many ways, “Morty” (a nickname the butler detests) is the heart of the book and my favorite character to write. He’s definitely in the mold of Alfred Pennyworth, although he’s certainly much more sarcastic. Morty’s wit can cut you in half, and he doesn’t care that much for the main hero, setting up some uncomfortable situations. He’s the MVP of the book.
About I, Crimsonstreak
A hero surrounded by dastardly inmates and heartless guards, Chris struggles to keep his wits about him, until the arrival of some unexpected new “guests” at the facility provides him with a means for escape. Once out, though, he discovers that the world he knew is gone, replaced by a “utopian” state run by none other than Colonel Chaos himself.
With the heroes of the world locked away or fighting in a disorganized resistance, Crimsonstreak teams up with a snarky British butler and a teenage superhero-to-be. Together, the unlikely (and bickering) allies must take down Crimsonstreak’s dad and set the world right. Not easy when your only powers are super-speed and looking good in spandex. But hey, someone’s got to save the world.
I, Crimsonstreak is a first-person superhero novel brimming with parallel universes, stuffy British butlers, crafty supervillains, cloning, gadgets, and enough geeky pop culture references to stun a Wookie.
About Matt Adams
A resident of Indianapolis, Ind., Matt Adams writes superheroes, sci-fi, and a touch of the fantastic. Once, long ago, he planned to patrol the streets as Batman but ultimately decided writing was safer and more cost-effective. He was only half right.
When he isn’t working on his next book, Matt watches a lot of Indianapolis Colts football and eagerly awaits the next release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He fervently hopes DC will get it right one of these days.