I needed more bad guys for Rapid City. I am currently working on a story set in the scummy under-belly of the city. One villain ascends to power while another seeks revenge against him. Each of them are going to need to chew through a lot of bad guys. Funny. Writing that I just noticed something. When I wrote about good guys, they mostly fought other god guys. And now that I am writing about bad guys, they are mostly fighting other bad guys.
Anyway, I asked A. Kaviraj (my talented Rapid City artist) if he had any ideas for bad guys. He did. He sent me a whole list of great ideas for bad guys. Many of them were situational threats of the sort that are very often found in comics. Things like alien worms that eat brains (or other human parts) or a robotic "zombie" that rebuilds itself be cannibalizes whatever technology it can find.
(These ideas are not the actual ones he suggested, just my short hand for a TYPE of threat that often appears in comics.)
See, the worm is only a threat because it is not on its home planet where it is part of a happily functional eco-system. And the robo-zombie is only a threat because it needs parts. If you supplied those parts, he would just be a robot.
I looked my own cast of villains and wondered why it lacked this kind of threat.
I looked at what my characters had in common. And then it hit me.
My day job. I work in the educational unit of a facility for locked-up teenaged boys. The nature of my unit is such that none of my students are in for the first time. They are 16 and 17 year olds who have already committed a significant portion of their lives to crime and incarceration. Having been there for a few years, I know a lot of these kids pretty well. I have a good idea how a lot of them get there.
What did my bad guys have in common?
They were all severely damaged children who had grown into maladjusted and violent adults.... and they also happen to have powers.
They say write what you know.