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In A Surefire Way, my heroes have to contend with and battle Aztec gods.
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One of the reasons I wanted to write about transhumans (humans with extraordinary abilities) is so I can meld sci-fi elements with the supernatural. In comics, Wonder Woman battles aliens, deranged humans, super villains, and even Aztec gods like Tezcatlipoca from my books. It wasn’t until I’d already written Tezcatlipoca into A Surefire Way that I learned this god had appeared in a Wonder Woman comic as well as several anime stories.
Tezcatlipoca is a mythological villain with many layers. He was worshiped by the Toltecs and then the Aztecs. According to legend, he once ruled the world until his brother Quetzalcóatl defeated him. Later, the brothers joined forces to save the world from the great Earth Monster. There is a duality to Tezcatlipoca, a depth to his character. He is a creator god and a destroyer. He used a black obsidian mirror to see into the lives of humans and what they fear. A god of conflict, he was the patron of the military and of the Aztec nobility. However, he was also the patron of sorcerers (like my villain Ari), thieves (my hero Raven’s former job), and other criminals. Below is a turquoise mosaic representing Tezcatlipoca. I used this visage in my story when he is gathering his power and revealing himself to Ari.
Aiwok (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Tezcatlipoca is a lover too, and he fell for Xochiquetzal. He abducted this goddess from her husband Tláloc. She is the other Aztec god to appear in A Surefire Way, and one who is at odds with Tezcatlipoca, wanting to stop him from destroying the world, but also at odds with my hero, wanting to stop him from being with Surefire.
In the beginning of A Surefire Way, Raven has stolen a statue of Xochiquetzal, which Surefire is trying to recover. Below is statue he had taken.
Xochiquetzal is an Aztec equivalent of the Roman goddess Venus. She represents love, beauty, sex, and flowering earth. She remains forever young and beautiful. Her name means “feather flower,” and in artwork she is sometimes shown wearing two large Quetzal feathers in her headdress. During festivals, the Aztecs celebrated her with offerings of marigolds—an image of one is etched in the gold necklace she wears in my story and on the stone necklace that she gives to Surefire. However, despite her benevolence, the Aztecs held a sacrificial ceremony in her and other gods’ honors where a virgin representing Xochiquetzal was killed and her skin worn by a priest. Worshipers then confessed their sins to Xochiquetzal by slicing their tongues and atoning through a ritual bath. Like Tezcatlipoca, Xochiquetzal had a duality that added depth to her character, which made my heroes question if they could trust her.
If you want to learn more about Aztec mythology, I recommend Mythology of the American Nations by David M. Jones and Brian L. Molyneaux. It gives an overview of Aztec myths and also cultures spanning North, South, and Central America including the Mayans, Incas, and Native American tribes.