I was contemplating superpowers the other day. Yeah, those are the types of things I ponder in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. I still can’t decide what superpower I would choose, probably telekinesis because looking into someone’s mind would be icky and I would trip if I had super speed.
Then, I had the terrifying thought–what would actual superpowers do to a human body? I found it rather creepy that a Ted Talk on “If Superpowers Were Real: Super Speed” popped up in my feed that morning.
Uhhh. Thought Police anyone?
Well, I posted the Ted Talk videos below, but I have a little more for you.
The thing that separates heroes from villains is what they choose to do with their powers and this all comes out in the origin story.
Once they choose, those superheroes generally fall into three archetypes:
- Hero: straightforward rule follower–Captain America, Wonder Woman, Superman, etc.
- Vigilante: rule bender who operates in the grey for the greater good– Batman, Daredevil, Robin Hood, The Crow, etc.
- Anti-hero: doesn’t care about the rules or how far they have to go to complete the task–Punisher, Catwoman, Wolverine, Suicide Squad, Deadpool, etc.
If you aren’t sure what an archetype is, check out Screen Craft’s list “99 Archetypes and Stock Characters Screenwriters Can Mold.”
List of Powers
Things to Think About
- What is your hero’s backstory?
- Why did your hero choose to do good?
- What environment did your hero grow up in?
- Where do they live now?
- What is the time period?
- What makes your character relevant to today’s society?
- What mood do you want to create?
- Does your character have to live a double life?
- What obstacles does your hero have to overcome?
- Who is your villain (a.k.a. the antagonist)?
- What makes your villain worthy of your hero?
Free Graphic Organizer
If you like graphic organizers, here is my gift to you. Go ahead, create a character profile. You know you want to. ; )
Fabulous Lists on the Web
- Superhero DB has a fairly comprehensive list of 318 abilities in its database.
- Superhero Nation’s List of Superhero Cliches, Tropes, and Conventions.
- Superheroes and Villains has a great list of the types of heroes like acrobat, armored hero, gadgeteer, etc.
- Superhero Nation has a list broken up by category.
- Adazing offers not only a list, but tips on how to use them in your novel.
- Fox Hugh’s list of 500 abilities.
Superhero Generators & More
- Reedsy generates a list of five names. Additionally, you can use their archetype generator to create heroes, villains, mentors, and side-kicks.
- Name your hero generator will give you a few giggles.
- A Name Generator Fun creates a whole list of names and gives you eight tips on creating heroic.
- If you would rather draw a superhero story rather than write one, I found this cool blank comic book full of blank templates for you budding graphic novelists.
- Or learn from the master himself in, Stan Lee’s How to Write Comics book.
Superpowers in the Real World–Yikes!
I found these Ted Talks really interesting AND terrifying. In fact, Amazon’s Series called The Boys touched on a few of these principles in their very dark “superhero” series. On a psychological level, it was very compelling. If superheroes were real, would they all be narcissists?
If Superpowers Were Real: FLIGHT
If Superpowers Were Real: SUPER SPEED
If Superpowers Were Real: INVISIBILITY
If Superpowers Were Real: IMMORTALITY
If Superpowers Were Real: Super Strength
I hope that this gives you a little inspiration. If you have any additions, please post them in the comments. May the muse of creativity visit.