Over the weekend I watched “The Darkest Minds”. A movie of the YA novel of the same name about some kids who gain superpowers (there are very few kids around as the ones who don’t gain superpowers tend to die). So it has shades of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a little Wild Cards (edited by George R. R. Martin) and a little J. Michael Straczynski’s “Rising Stars”. Yeah, there’s a passing similarity to “The 23rd Letter” too – especially as we use a psi symbol on our cover too. But I digress.
It bothered me about the glowing eyes. A lot of stuff about superhero fiction and radiation emission bothers me. To have glowing eyes, you have to have actual light emitters inside the eyes. And that’s weird to me. Weirder than psychic powers anyway.
A few years ago I wrote a superhero background where every superpower had a basis in biology. Some people had poisonous touch or acidic spittle. Some people had enhanced strength or reactions, others had increased resistance to harm. But there was always a trade off. A reason for their power. We had flyers, don’t get me wrong, but these were people with enhanced nervous systems who could control the flight surfaces on experimental jet packs. Every super power had to have some sort of sensible grounding. After a fact. And it was a lot of fun.
No glowing eyes.