More Than Human: A Houston Heroes Web Series

Categories: The Intertubes

Earlier this month I was doing my regular round-up of the best local Kickstarter campaigns when I came across something I was certain I would hate. The Web series is called More Than Human, and it follows the fates of five high school students who gain superpowers after ingesting a stolen experimental formula. They are of course then pursued by a variety of forces, both terrestrial and interdimensional.

My initial thought was, so we really need another story like this? Heroes started out great but then turned into a mess faster than a toddler's art project. Teen superheroes is really, really hard to do well, and I haven't seen it pulled off since Buffy went off the air. So what changed my mind?

Well, the trailer for one. Get a load of it up there. That's some pretty impressive visuals for a local production. You could put it up against any regular network show and it would hold its own.

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More than that was the fact that it's helmed by Carlos Tovar, who is quietly one of the people in the Houston film scene that gets things really done. I'm currently waiting on his horror flick Doll Factory (Because I apparently get too much un-haunted sleep), but he's been involved with some really top-notch projects like 25 and Married. That speaks well of its potential.

So far, the first five episodes of the first season have been completed, and Tovar is using Kickstarter to raise interest in the second five.

Inspiration for the series comes from everything from X-Men to the Bible, but what sets it apart is the unique approach to the superhero genre that Tovar is using.

"It has the origin story that develops in an organic way," said Tovar via e-mail. "It has an adequate, realistic depiction of the usage of powers and the training period it takes to truly master them (I am tired of superhero films in which characters 'learn their powers' in the space of a shortened time period). I like the idea of showing the team becoming a team. I like the idea of this group of teenagers learning to function as a unit and during that time, losing every battle they are in (which they do)...we have an internal joke amongst the cast and creative team that our burgeoning teen team gets their collective asses kicked in every fight they have during the entire first season. Poor Scott, who plays Bryce, the teen with 'super-strength,' has been begging from the start to actually win one of his fights -- to which I have mercilessly replied, 'No... he hasn't learned how to really use his power yet.'

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I guess I'll have to see if it does anything that the UK series Misfits does not.

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