The Starr Palace Chronicles: An Interview with Author Marquis Wright

There are two types of people in this world; dreamers and doers. For SUNY Oswego senior Marquis Wright, dreaming isn’t an option. So what’s this Information Science major to do? Write, of course!

Captivating, blunt, and imaginative, the Queens native plans on writing his own successful comics one day. This comes as no surprise; Marquis tells stories in a way that can have an entire room listen. However, writing them wasn’t always a part of his plan.

“I began writing when dreaming wasn’t enough,” explains the 21-year-old.

At the surface, Marquis’ current endeavor, The Starr Palace Chronicles, is a newer project. Starting December of 2016, Wright began publishing his own miniseries online. The series takes place in the fictional city of Starr Palace, where “enhanced” individuals with superhero like capabilities live among regular everyday people. Don’t let these capabilities fool you, however. Not all enhanced individuals are “good”, or they at least don’t all agree on what exactly “good” is.

“Everybody believes they are doing good. Every character is truly their own,” says Wright.

Nothing can be more true. In a city that faces political oppression, extreme violence and horrific crimes, what makes The Starr Palace Chronicles especially unique is that it is from the perspective of four different enhanced individuals. High school student Drake, vigilante Christian, federal agent Alexis, and a good-girl-gone-bad named Misty all have their own stories, sins, and fears that make them human. You will be conflicted in who you are rooting for.

“There is never a right answer. The only time there is a right answer is when it’s the right answer for that character. There is a variety of morals,” he explains.

A current issue in Starr Palace is the treatment of enhanced individuals. A new law passed forcing all enhanced individuals to register as one under law. Some people see this as a step towards fascism, but federal agent Alexis Zari sees this as necessary step to protect the public from violence. It is such a controversial topic that it led to the death of Drake’s fellow classmate in a fight between Alexis and the classmate himself. In light of current events, you can say that it is a commentary on current political issues in our own country, making this series even more compelling.

It's not all about politics, though. Many of the fights that the characters endure are deeply personal, and no character is guaranteed to survive every battle. Sometimes that isn’t in a literal sense either. For characters like Misty, a witness to a horrific crime, she is a “constant reminder that something has to die.” Misty isn’t the only character that has experienced a great loss either. All four characters had to make great sacrifices.

“I think I’m trying to convey that it’s okay to lose something you will never get back…loss is what makes us who we are,” says Wright.

You might wonder how Wright was able to think of this in such a short amount of time. The truth is, the story had been evolving since Wright’s sophomore year at Oswego. After writing Drake and Christian their own stories, he decided to combine them and the other characters involved. His hard work and patience serve as a reminder to us to never give up on our goals, even when you don’t know what's to come.

“I know the end of this story. It's the journey that I write as I go along.”

Marquis Wright encourages everyone to read comics. From classics like Batman to not so well known stories like Preacher, Wright believes the grittiness of comics can show us the realness in a world filled with made up superpowers. Overall, Marquis admires the diversity of the comic world.

“If you ever feel misrepresented, comics take you out of it. Anyone can be a superhero.”

Read the The Starr Palace Chronicles here.