Super Powereds: Afterword
Believe it or not, I’m somewhat at a loss for words. Don’t worry, it’s a temporary condition I assure you, and through the magic of publishing the next sentence will be waiting for you as always, the next paragraph ready to go, no matter how long it takes me to get there. But after eight years, four core books, one spin-off (so far), and over 1.25 million words, I have reached the end of a huge part of my writing career, and this marks the closing of a big chapter in my life. What does one even say about something like that?
Guess I’d better figure it out.
First off, I suppose I should get to the heart of the matter, the reason I imagine many of you are reading this section in the first place. Super Powereds is over, make no mistake about that, but obviously the end leaves us with a sizable question lingering: what comes next? Well, that will most likely be another book series down the road. Not right away, mind you. I’ve got a lot of projects already going, and a new series like that is going to require loads of planning and forethought before I’m ready to take it on, but in a few years, I hope to be there. As for spin-offs from the current generation (such as the planned Blades & Barriers rework), I’ve got a few ideas for those too, so don’t fear that we’re fully done with this time in the SP world. Even though the main series is finished, this is a world I plan to keep popping in and out of for as long as I can think of good stories to tell in it.
On a more personal level, I have to say this is a strange experience, I started Super Powereds when I was fairly fresh out of college, and still not at all ready to let go of that time in my life. Super Powereds was, in many ways, a method by which I could keep that world and the feelings of it alive. Now, here I am in my thirties, more than past letting go of college, only to find myself saying a hard goodbye once more. I’m going to miss writing this series, having a serial, visiting the characters regularly. But like college before it, all things have to come to an end. I won’t lie, there were times I was tempted to stretch things out, to delay plot points and work in some extra years. In the end, however, I’m happy I stuck to the plan. Hard a goodbye as it is to all of this, I think we ended on a high note. I hope you as a reader feel the same.
So much has changed since this series began, for me, and for the publishing industry as a whole. When I put the first words of this up online, indie publishing was still a new, untested option for writers, far from the Amazon powerhouse it’s become in the years since. Serials themselves have flourished as well, getting sites dedicated specifically to them. More stories are being told by more people all over the world, and I think that’s incredible. It also makes me wildly thankful that I’ve stayed afloat even as the waters have swollen, and I am well aware I owe that to the support of my fans. Thank you all so much for reading this series, it’s been an incredible journey to get here, and crossing the finish line with so many people around makes it exponentially better. Without you all, I’m just a man telling stories to myself.
In the end, writing this Afterword has been a reflection moment for me, looking back to where I was when Super Powereds first began. Living in an almost half-decent apartment I could barely afford, working a dead-end job I could barely stand, unsure of what my future held, or even what I wanted it to hold. It’s no surprise I turned my eyes to a different world, where the people were capable and the possibilities endless. And in that time, perhaps some of their optimism and a dash of courage rubbed off, enough for me to start taking swings at what I really wanted.
But of course, none of that would be possible without you, my amazing readers. It’s not the story or the books that changed my life. It was you, each and every one of you who bought a book, left a review, told a friend about this new serial author, or even simply wrote a few words of encouragement. All of it helped. All of it mattered. If you’re reading this, then you, yes you, helped make these books happen. And I will never stop being grateful for that.
Tempting as it would be to close there, I think as serial readers you all deserve a little extra, and the best way I can think of to show my gratitude is making use of this space not just to wax philosophical and reflect on the past, but also to tackle a few of the most common questions I’ve gotten about SP through the years. I think the ending answered most of the usual ones, however there’s certainly a couple that I can tackle.
Q: Why is Super Powereds only four books long? Why not go into their intern years?
A: Hopefully the ending of this series has shed some light on that for everyone, but I feel there’s more to add. SP was destined to be four books long because that’s what I plotted out for it, that’s how long all the various arcs ran, and that’s when it was planned to end. I could have changed that, true, however doing so midway through would have meant robbing key plot elements from some years to pad the schedule, drawing aspects out longer than they were meant to run, and ultimately it risked making the whole series longer, but worse. I also don’t feel books after this point would really be SP. To me, a book/series is a snapshot into a time in those characters’ lives, and when the time ends, so does the story. It’s the same reason I could (and very well might) write another Titan spin-off, but it wouldn’t be another Corpies, because that time in Titan’s life is past.
TL;DR: Drawing it out wouldn’t be putting the story first.
Q: Who is the main character of Super Powereds?
A: I’m genuinely a little surprised to see this question still popping up from time to time. There is no main character of Super Powereds. Obviously, the Melbrook 5 and their friends get more spotlight than others, but this has been an ensemble from the start, even if some characters have more traditional arcs. I tried to give everyone a journey though, so if an ensemble as a protagonist just doesn’t gel in your head, then think of the main character as whoever your favorite is. I can only tell you the story as intended, the interpretation is yours to determine.
Q: Who is the 10th member of the Class of Legends?
A: Credit where it’s due, I really did not expect as many people to put this together as they did. The final member is… shit… what was the name? I can’t seem to remember at just this moment. Weird, I knew it a second ago. Oh well, I’m sure it will come to me at some point.
Q: Who graduated?
A: I saw some folks putting up lists in the last section, but just for those who want something definitive; here is the list of graduates from the Class of Nightmares, in alphabetical order.
Alex, Alice, Camille, Chad, Roy, Shane, Thomas, Vince, Violet, Will.
I think we can leave off on that final list of those who made it through the program. I’ve specifically waited a few days to do my monthly Patreon Q&A though, so if there’s something you really want to know more about and I didn’t cover, feel free to submit those. I’ll do the January Q&A post on Monday so that everyone has time.
If you’ve got the big question in you, though, the one we all feel at the end of a long work that we got deeply into, the one that sort of claws its way in as you return to the world of reality, then I know the pain. It’s the question every reader hits after finishing the last few words: what do I read next? Well, I can’t tell you that specifically, but I can hopefully tell you where you might find an answer. A lot of wonderful, supportive, talented authors are still running their own serials, and you can look through them all at WebFictionGuide.com. I hope you find awesome serials and new authors you love. Even if I have to leave this format for a while, I’ll always adore it for the opportunity it provided to a new author with nothing but a drive to write and a love of superheroes.
Much like the beginning before, I’m finding myself unsure of how to finish this. While I’ll still have the site, blog, videos, and events, I know that for a big chunk of the audience this is the last time you might read anything directly from me, Drew, rather than through characters in future books. So I’ll end by saying thanks for seeing this through to the end with me, and I hope that your last eight years have been as wonderful, uncertain, scary, fun, exhilarating, exhausting, and irreplaceable as this community has made mine.