The Invisibles

I stayed up late last night, so I think I've mentioned a little of this before but I will start from the beginning so I can organize these ideas for later reference.

Up the street from where I lived, there was a small utility company office. This is strange in that AmerenUE has a monopoly and it wasn't an Ameren office. It took me years to hear the name and I never did confirm it was what it said it was. It did not have a sign or anything. All it had was a sculpture on its front lawn. A concrete lightning bolt.

It took me a few years before I even noticed it was there. I don't know how many times I had driven up Watson to Hampton and on up to the interstate. It was one of my three main routes around the city. So I was astonished when one day I was walking rather than driving and there was a lightning bolt on someone's lawn.

It reminded me of the kind of lightning bolt you'd see on a comics superhero, a yellow bolt in a black circle or something. And I thought to myself, how interesting would it be if that was a headquarters for a super group and they put a sign right out front because it was a place of business but no one questioned it. We just move on past without thinking about it.

Now I'm in New England. I work on the west side of downtown just before Back Bay in Boston (sw corner of Boston Common). If you walk toward Back Bay, the pike and Tremont move at an angle askew to the normal urban grid, which causes one street to seem more like an alley because it doesn't really go anywhere. It just has a triangular building that reminds me of a rundown, brick version of the Flatiron building. This building has a defunct Italian joint, a Mexican restaurant, and a biomedical supply company (or so they claim!). The doors to the biomedical side of the building are all wooden with black iron bands. They have gargoyle head, iron-ring handles with a stone gargoyle over the door. If Doctor Strange was ever to have a headquarters, this would be the place!

AND THEN! I find out in Boston's North End, there is Henchman Street. I swear to god, that's a real street. Henchman Street!

This only stokes the fire of my imagination of a whole hero/villain panoply hidden in plain sight. I've been wanting to do this for awhile (since the lightning bolt) but I keep writing Hellboy. I need something fresh. I think this will work better as a graphic novel. The visuals of seeing these places out in the open will communicate better.

I thought of a title this morning, "The Invisibles," which unfortunately is the title of a comic that Vertigo ran from 1994 to 2000 (even though the stories are nothing alike). Granted, titles can be reused, but that's not always a classy way to go. And since I don't even have a story yet, it's nothing I need to sweat.

It'll be fun if I ever get to do it, though.