I am a comic book head to the tenth degree and I admit, even at 40 years of age, that 8 year-old boy inside of me comes out when DC or Marvel drops a superhero movie. Two of my favorite heroes were Flash (DC) and Quicksilver (Marvel) among a few others. These two drew me in because they had one thing that I was intrigued by when I was a child…speed.
Even to this day, I watch Flash every Tuesday on The CW and I love it. You can even imagine how excited I was when The Avengers: Age of Ultron featured Quicksilver as did X-Men: Days of Future Past. My football and track coaches always told me that “Speed Kills” and I always admired that cliché within the world of athletics and in the comics. When I began creating my first superhero novel, Majesties of Canaan: The Goliath Project (Release date-May 27th, 2016), I knew I wanted to add a speedster, but there were going to be a few adjustments.
For one, I wanted to add another dimension to my speedster character. I wanted him to be able to jump high, fight extremely well, carry a weapon, and I wanted him to be of color. A’ la Denin Harvick; a.k.a Slaycick (Slay-sick).
Color lines have never mattered much to me. As a half African-American, half Peurto Rican boy growing up outside of Chicago, I definitely had my bouts with racism. I’ve been called the ‘N’ word more times than I can count and have even been racially profiled by prejudiced police officers on more than one occasion. Nonetheless, none of that mattered to me when I watched superhero cartoons or read my favorite comic books. However, as a former collegiate track & field athlete, I couldn’t help but notice the paradox between the numerous gold medals won by black athletes over the years since the days of Jesse Owens and the fact that there weren’t any notable African-American speedsters in the superhero universe.
I wanted to change that. Slaycick is a British-Jamaican soldier who joins the Israeli army as the world is on the brink of war with an evil dictatorship movement that becomes a threat to the world and the nation of Israel. Prior to receiving his powers and name change, Denin Harvick was a world class sprinter who had his gold medals revoked after he was found to have used performance enhancing drugs. Once he fell from grace, he went into a deep depression, lost his home, his wife, and ended up on the streets as a wonderer.
His story is one of redemption, and readers will get his full origin story in book three of the M.O.C. series subtitled Slaycik’s Regret. When introduced in book one, Slaycick is a bold, laid-back, kick-butt and take names, soldier who goes all out for his team. He’s also a little bit comedic and arrogant, but I think the readers will love that about him. When Slaycick receives his superhuman gift, he runs at about Mach 5 (3,836 miles per hour) which is more than twice the speed of a bullet. Let’s see if he gets faster!
At the end of the day, there are no color lines when it comes to speed, but I just wanted to add a little melanin to speedster line up. Flash and Quicksilver will always be two of my favorites, but now I can add one more to that list. 😉