Through The Mail Slot

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So, where were we? What, mail to answer? Okay, mail to answer.
First up, from CALVIN:

Hey, Kurt, we met at the Portland show and I bought SUPERSTAR and thought it was great. Any more of this coming out? Thanks and I am looking for more of Superstar.
Not soon, at least. But more Superstar is definitely something I want to get to—if nothing else, I came up with a big sprawling epic story for the character and haven’t been able to tell even that one, much less all the others. So someday, I really want to get to that one, at least.
And, uh, sorry for taking over a year (!) to respond…
Who’s next? Ah, DEAN:

I really hope this isn’t the end of Superstar! What can we do to revive his career? He has so much potential, not only to fight evil, but really change to world for the better by inspiring his fans to volunteerism and activism.
Captain Amazing, at one point in the movie, violently rips the Pepsi logo off his costume from among the many others festooning it. Does he wear the pink ribbon of breast cancer, the multi-colored one of autism awareness, the black one in memory of MIAs and POWs? Does he go on talk shows to defend against drinking and driving, teen pregnancy, racism, or illiteracy?
If it’s revealed that he can only take the life force of willing givers, that goes a long way to alleviating my former apprehension of his soul vampirism. Superstar is the first hero I know of who has the responsibility to use his power to support itself. Remembering that he uses life force, he has to use it in a way that his fans feel is appropriate or he will lose his fans. With great power comes great responsibility and that is no more true for any superhero than it is for Superstar.
Captain Amazing?
Yes, Superstar’s energy donors are all volunteers. And Superstar’s not devouring their souls, just absorbing some sort of bio-chemical energy, or something along those lines. It’s science, not spiritualism, and he doesn’t take it by force, like a vampire.
But that big epic story I mentioned above? It’s very much about the idea that if he doesn’t do what his supporters feel is appropriate, he loses his support—and thus, his power. What happens when his supporters feel he’s unworthy? Similarly, what happens if he doesn’t want to kowtow to popular prejudices? He’s something of a politician-hero, or needs to be, and that’s very much a two-edged sword.

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H.I.T. Squad

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The Liberty Project was my earliest take on super-crooks redeeming themselves as heroes, inspired by the era of Avengers that featured Captain America and the what-us-villains-that-was-yesterday lineup of Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. The Thunderbolts were the third try.
This was the second, an unsuccessful series pitch I did with Karl Kesel. The “H.I.T.” stood for “Heroes In Training,” and the picture explains the concept about as well as I ever could. Art by Karl, from a rough and inadequate sketch by me; click on it for a closer look. The guy at the top had nothing to do with the Shi’Ar, but was an Amerind mutant (I think), who had such natural talent that he was cocky and didn’t feel he needed to train, which would have been an ongoing source of irritation for Hawkeye.
There was another never-sold series I cooked up about a criminal trying to go straight, Sirocco. But that was inspired by the TV show Alias Smith & Jones more than anything from comics. What can I say? I like redemption stories.