"Castle has no superpowers. The Punisher wears no mask. Men with his skills and physique walk the earth today. His costume consists of a T-shirt. The weapons he uses are real and readily available. Two generations have grown up with his stories, but no one has ever taken up his mantle. Castle's plausibility is unique among comic book heroes. We know why there's no Superman. We don't know why there's no Punisher."
They're not just for comic books anymore.
"The Immortal Iron Fist is the product of an inspired collaboration between crime-pulp godhead Ed Brubaker and comics' new golden boy, Matt Fraction. Co-writing, while not commonplace, has a long history in comics. In fact, even when working on a title by themselves, writers often talk about picking up the phone and calling a friend to hammer out the tricky narrative problem of who's going to be punching who in whose face this month. Collaboration over the phone is how a previous generation of writers got tasks like The Immortal Iron Fist done.
"While Fraction and Brubaker have been known to get on the ringer, it wasn't how they broke down narratives like 'The Last Iron Fist Story' and 'The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven.' They did it over Xbox Live."
"From their comic book origins, superheroes have migrated to novels, movies, cartoons, toys, TV shows and especially videogames. Throughout the history of gaming, the number of characters we've been able to control with powers that far surpass the human norm is almost beyond counting. Yet only a fraction of these characters are considered superheroes. If Iron Man is a superhero, but Metroid's Samus Aran is not, it begs the question: What makes a superhero?"
"Steve Long has a reputation in the pen-and-paper RPG business. When I first met him, I was told he was a writing machine. Maybe it's more apt to say that Steve Long, the mild-mannered game designer, is the secret identity for a super-powered writer capable of producing a book's worth of text in a single bound.
"Today, he's the creative shot-caller behind the dice-powered superhero RPG, Champions, which Cryptic Studios is currently adapting into an MMORPG. ... Long has been living with the game for close to 30 years now, and is helping to guide it from its tabletop roots into a new era where the RPG and the MMORPG can (hopefully) live side by side."
"In 1987, a freak accident as a child left me with the strange ability to predict thunderstorms. Scientifically speaking, I have a crack in my skull the length of a dollar bill. Changes in barometric pressure give me headaches. Spidey-sense? Perhaps. 'Fascinating,' you may say, 'but what good is this superpower?' What good, indeed. See: the Flash, and sit back down, pipsqueak. I can do something you can't. I'm a superhero."