Hornchurch police officer teams up with Upminster artist to create superhero comic book series
PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 February 2020
A police officer from Hornchurch who dreamed of becoming a superhero at a young age has been able to relive his childhood goals through the characters of his comic book series.
The Secret Protectors, created by Adam Wheeler and comic book artist Ben Nunn from Upminster, is a diverse comic book series about a group of renegade supers who are trying to avoid a nefarious government agency.
Adam said he has always been a fan of comic books and superhero characters.
He told the Recorder: "I'm 35 this year and growing up my dream was to be a superhero, which obviously isn't possible.
"My full-time job is a police officer, which you could say is as close as you can get.
"I was watching one of the Marvel films with my wife and I shared with her that this is what I have always been interested in - creating my own superhero characters.
"She was really supportive and told me to go for it, but I can't draw to save my life."
Adam used the freelance business company, PeoplePerHour to look for an artist to help him with his project.
The first artist he came across happened to live ten minutes away in Upminster.
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Ben, a self-taught artist, joined the project and together the creative duo were able to produce the first edition of The Secret Protectors.
Set in 1982, the story focuses on Benjamin Banks from Kansas who is on a long journey to understanding his powers.
After his dad died in a car crash involving meteorites, Ben begins to meet more people like him who are being chased by a ruthless agency who wants to stop the public from gaining knowledge of their special set of skills.
"Historically speaking comics have been pretty much aimed towards white people," said Adam.
"We wanted to make a comic that was inclusive.
"At work I've just transferred over to the youth engagement team and I think it's important for kids to see people like them in media."
The Secret Protectors features a diverse set of characters from Malaysia and Africa.
Adam and Ben launched the first series two years ago following a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
Next week they'll launch their second campaign to create the next four books in The Secret Protector series.