I'd like to introduce fellow author, and a good friend, David Berger. I'm a big fan of Top Ten style lists so I asked David, who are his top ten Favorite Heroes/Heroines & why.
1. Wonder Woman: Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved this character. Not only does she have her origins in Greek mythology, an obsession of mine, but she also embodies strength, compassion, wisdom, and love, qualities that both women and men can share. She has “encourage[d] women to stand up for themselves, to learn to fight, and be strong, so they don’t have to be scared, or depend on men” according to her creator, William Moulton Marston. In a way, she was one of my role models growing up, partly because I have a strong mother figure.
2. Black Canary: She ranks up there as a top heroine for me because she’s another strong woman. Simply because she’s a skilled hand-to-hand combatant with no superhuman strength and she can hold her own does she have my respect. Even though she does have her “canary cry,” a shrill scream that can deafen her adversaries, she is known largely because she can go toe to toe with the male heroes.
3. Zatanna: I grew up with more egalitarian sensibilities, so when I was a kid, I loved the idea of female magician who would speak her spells backwards. As a child raised with fantasy fiction and comic books, I saw that she fit both worlds easily, and she has a strength that transcends the physical.
4. Aquaman: We had a pool when I grew up in New York, and I couldn’t wait to go swimming in the warmer months. As a comic book kid, I used to pretend I was Aquaman while I splashed around, trying to communicate telepathically with the imaginary ocean life swimming with me. He used to be looked down upon because he wasn’t the strongest hero or the one with the coolest powers, but I think that’s why I liked him so much. Later, when I learned more about his ties to Atlantis, my connection was cinched since he was also tied to a mythological place, just like Wonder Woman.
5. Green Lantern: My earliest memories of Green Lantern come from Saturday morning cartoons of the Justice League of America and, later, the Super Friends. Like with Aquaman, I used to pretend I had a power ring that could create anything my mind could imagine. The idea that the mind could be so powerful that it could create objects fascinated me, and it was when I was older that I realized that, as a writer, I could also create objects with my mind.
6. Superman: For as much as I love Superman, he’s not in the top five. I think because society tends to favor him and Batman more, and I don’t follow norms very well, I have avoided the idol worship of Krypton’s last son. He’s a powerful member of the Justice League, however, so he deserves great respect, and that’s why he’s one of my top ten heroes. Being the perpetual Boy Scout always fascinated me, too, since he always seemed to find ways to avoid killing his adversaries.
7. Flash: The Flash reminds me of a superhero version of the Greek god, Hermes, and since I’m obsessed with Olympians, I’ve always had a special place in my comic-loving heart for him.
8. Batman: The Caped Crusader entered my life through comics and the Adam West TV show, and he was always a fascination, with his utility belt, his detective’s mind, and even his irreverent playboy vs. staunch hero dichotomy. Even with that, and I’m sure I’ll catch flak for this, he’s not higher on the top ten for me. I attribute that to Batman overload over the past decade or so.
9. Perseus: A list of favorite heroes wouldn’t be complete with Perseus. Ever since the original Clash of the Titans movie with Harry Hamlin and Ray Harryhausen’s animation, I’ve been a huge fan of the guy who slew Medusa. It was one of the first myths I read in school, and seeing how he was just a man who used his mind and the gifts the gods gave him to tackle some enormous obstacles, I had so much respect for him as a character. He was one of my first “superheroes” growing up.
10. Odysseus: When I read the Odyssey in school, I fell in love with Odysseus. Like Perseus, he was like a superhero for me, and reading about his exploits over his twenty year journey to return home to his wife and son just showed me that anyone can overcome obstacles, even seemingly insurmountable ones, with the right mindset.
About his series, The Task Force Gaea
Book 1 SYNOPSIS
During the age of Olympos, when a vengeful goddess shatters the Sacred Scales, both immortals and humans alike suffer. Apollo, the god of truth, goes from a glorious existence as The Shining One to a victim of Zeus’ wrath, and his journey makes him question his godhood, his role in the cosmos, and his views on humanity. Prophecy and the Fates direct his course, and he must make difficult, yet vital, choices. Millennia pass, and Dan, Aleta, Brandon, and Sarah—four reluctant modern-day heroes gifted by ancient civilizations born of the gods—bound by prophecy, have to choose whether or not to save their world when it could mean they never existed. They must master their new powers while battling against incomprehensible forces from the Underworld and repairing the Sacred Scales, destroyed long ago. With the equilibrium between Order and Chaos unhinged, and the Olympian gods struggling to exist, these four must ally themselves with the United Nations to protect an endangered world, becoming the only group who can fight against metaphysical threats to the Earth, forging Task Force: Gaea. Can mortals succeed where gods cannot go?
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Book 2 SYNOPSIS
For Aegis, Zodiak, Aether, and Talon, operatives in the United Nations Task Force: Gaea, life should have returned to normal after they restored the cosmic balance that a reckless elder goddess shattered, but because of the intervention of the Fates, they would never remember what life was like before. With history now unfolding the way it was supposed to, paranoia plagues this new time line, and tight-fisted governments mandate control through a pervasive military presence, DNA scans, and surveillance cameras.
Inexplicable occurrences all over the world give way to a new mission for Task Force: Gaea when an ancient cloudlike evil referred to in prophecy only as The Nebulous One emerges from Tartaros, with the intention of devouring the Olympian gods. But, before she can find them, all of the gods but Apollo have disappeared.
Leaving chaos and human corpses in her wake, she oozes her way across the globe to satisfy her hunger. Apollo will not face this threat alone, and it then becomes a race: will he and Task Force: Gaea find and vanquish this primordial goddess without falling prey to her power before she finds the gods?
Aegis and his teammates, perhaps as a side effect of their encounters with The Nebulous One, have to battle personal demons in the form of potent memories that could jeopardize their mission’s success, seemingly insurmountable obstacles that could indeed mean the end of their team.
Starting in antiquity and moving to the modern day, this epic battle between good and evil leaves both immortal and mortal alike wondering whether memory can be a blessing… or a curse.
Buy the bookAmazon | Smashwords | BN
Boston born, I grew up on Long Island in New York, and have my B.A. in English with a Master's in Secondary Education. I currently teach AP English Literature, IB English, and Creative Writing in Land O' Lakes, FL. My avid appreciation for fantasy fiction came from a childhood love of Greek mythology and comic books, especially Wonder Woman. Stemming from this literary love affair, I published my first novel, Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance, in February 2012.
In addition to my fantasy writing, I have written poetry, much of which was influenced by my travels abroad, namely to Ireland. My hibernophilia extends not only to a great love of the Emerald Isle itself, but also to the writers who hail from there, namely W. B. Yeats, and I studied this poet in a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship at the National University of Ireland in Galway in 2005.
Additionally, I have traveled to Spain, France, and England—all with trips I have led with students—and hope to show more of my students what the world beyond Florida looks like.
I'm "living the dream," as it were, and I love life—I just hope it loves me in return. I reside in Land O' Lakes, FL with my partner of 13 years, Gavi, and our two cats, Yankel and Shayna.
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