Greatest Fear/Heart’s Desire

Many, many years ago, I used to read a comic book called, The New Mutants. It was an X-Men spin-off title, and consisted of teens leaning to control their super powers. At the time, in the comics world, the X-Men were believed to be dead, but mutants still came into powers, and the world moved on.

Rather than allowing the New Mutants to be replacements for the X-Men (and become super adventures), their founder, and leader, Professor X sought to train them to control their powers for the betterment of society. The Professor gave them codenames and a variation of the X-Men blue/gold (or black/gold) uniforms. The original members were Cannonball, Karma, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, and Psyche. Later members included Warlock, Magma, Cypher, and Magik. Also Pyshce changed her name to Mirage, and later simply Moonstar (her last name).

All of the team members were teens or early 20s (I think Karma was 20ish). The team resonated with me as I was a teen. It was a good read for me. I enjoyed it more than X-Men. The characters went through a lot of changes and adventures. They met all sorts of characters, and had adventures in spite of not being super heroes in the sense that they were extraordinary teens finding themselves in extraordinary situations. It was also a title written by Chris Claremont, who also wrote X-Men at the time. The work is chock-filled with Claremont-isms. There was a repetition in certain phrases, statements, and actions. It was fun, fun, fun. It was also a diverse comic as many of the characters were international, and featured prominent female characters. For the record Cannonball was from Kentucky. Moonstar was Cheyenne. Wolfsbane was from Scotland. Sunspot was from Brazil. Magik was Russian (complicated history). Karma was from Vietnam. Cypher’s origins escape me, but I believe he was from New York. Magma was from South America (extra complicated). Warlock was an alien.

The main reason for this trip down memory lane was that I ran across notes for writing characters and it pointed out focusing on the characters greatest desire or fear. It vaguely reminded the character of Moonstar, who once had the power to manifest someone’s heart’s desire or greatest fears in realistic illusions. It was a moment when I thought about how indirectly character motive has been imprinted on my brain. Moonstar was the sassy teammate, full of rebellion, attitude, and scared of her powers. Her role changed to a more confident, assertive leader. Her powers changed, she lost them, gained other powers. I got confused and left the book/character/stories a good while ago.

I like how the a character’s powers embodies how to initiate conflict in scripts and screenplays. I also love this stroll down memory lane. For the record, if the writer can identify the main character (MC) can identify a great fear or desire, well, then the writer has a basis for a story. It’s only a part of the process, but it’s an important part, as it goes to character motives, and help shapes the world.

Here’s to having fun reading comics. Here’s to fun to being a teen, once, and loving to read. Thanks to Chris Clarement, and company for making a fun comic to read, and remember. I’m older than all the characters I just wrote about now.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

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