Other than Nate and the basic premise, I really didn’t have much of the plot decided when I sat down and started writing, and I certainly didn’t have any of the characters mapped out. So I did something weird, and I’m not exactly sure why I did it, other than there was a spirit of “anything goes” happening at the time: I made up all the members of Hero House off the top of my head.
When it came time to mention a member in the script, I just wrote their name down. Sometimes this worked out really well. Brutal, Animale, Pseudopod…they were all just off the cuff, and their characters and backgrounds got filled in later. Sometimes this didn’t work out so hot, and that’s where Brother Nozzle came in.
Brother Nozzle was entirely invented to serve a joke. He was going to be serving the punch, and it was going to gross Nate out. Because Nozzle’s power was…to absorb and then redirect liquids. So he was going to be spraying the punch out of his finger into the punch bowl. Great gag…terrible, terrible character.
I got as far as getting Nozzle down on the page, when I stopped and thought about it. What the hell kind of power was absorbing and redirecting liquids? How could that help the Eps in a battle? How would that be in the least bit interesting to write about?
The answer, of course, is that it wasn’t. It was incredibly stupid. However, given the fact that I made at least six heroes up on the spur of the moment and only one of them was a total dud…that ain’t bad!
Even Pseudopod, if you stop and think about it, is kind of a weird name and power for a hero, even though I decided to keep him. But I could, at least, see how his power would be helpful in battle. And, perhaps in honor of his fellow strange-powered brother, Nozzle, who will never come to be, Pseu was even given Nozzle’s gag in the final book: