Can A Good Pun Become A Great Book?
I no longer recall where or when this idea originated, just that it came from not paying attention. I probably misheard “psychic power” as “sidekick powers” and thought, “Hey, what about a series starring sidekicks with lesser superpowers?”
So, I started kicking the idea around.
Who are these sidekicks?
Why are we interested in them and not their heroes?
What kind of powers do they have?
How can I make this look like anything other than a Mystery Men ripoff?
Oof, that last one. Because, you see, as I rolled the idea around inside my skull, it followed what I can only assume to be a similar thought process to what eventually resulted in a script for Mystery Men. Real heroes are out of commission. Ridiculous ones need to step in and save the day. Low self-esteem abounds.
One guy’s superpower was even that his presence enabled or enhanced his hero’s powers. So his superpower WAS being a sidekick. Literally ‘sidekick’ powers. How’s that for meta?
Not gonna lie, this idea clung with me a good long while in that nebulous “I gotta write this someday” space that rarely delivers on the promise. I tried coming up with different heroes and motivations, but I just couldn’t escape that Mystery Men gravity well once I identified it.
That doesn’t mean the project was a total waste, however. At least one idea has survived to make it into the debut Black Ocean: Passage of Time novel. Be on the lookout for a dance scene and know that it was once going to be the superpower of a hero named Safety Man.