A

Guide

to Being Super




Heros and Villains Tell All!


 

Introduction

 

A Brief History

 

Legal and Social Repercussions

 

Extraordinary Origins

 

Super-Skills

Abilities

Compounds

Knowledges

Feats

Poisons

Procedures

Powers

Traps

 

Gadgets

 

Style

 

Super-Makeovers

Image

Name

Name Design

Name Flavor

 

Super-Psychology 101

Manner

Methods

Motivation

Solo or Team?

Solo

Team

Sidekicks

Having a sidekick

Being a Sidekick

 

Allies

Police officers

Small business owners

Reporters

Homeless people

Doctors

Criminals

 

Making A Living

Freelance Reporter or photographer

Law enforcement

Private investigator

Security guard/bodyguard

Work at home

 

Conclusion



Introduction


Saturday, July 9th 2005, 12:00 PM on radios and televisions (audio only) across the Tri-state area, repeating every hour:


"We interrupt this broadcast for a message from the Federal Emergency Management Agency: Be advised, several localities throughout southern New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware have reported contaminated water supplies in both rural and urban areas. Residents are advised NOT to use tap water for drinking or cooking until further notice. Homes with installed water filters are also advised not to use tap water as the nature of any alleged contaminants has not been confirmed and the effectiveness of filters is not certain. FEMA, the Red Cross and other agencies will be providing free bottled water at stations throughout these areas. Police officers will attend these stations as well as retail stores selling bottled water to ensure peaceful and organized distribution of supplies. We now return to our regularly scheduled program"


Saturday July 9th, 2005 on prime time and late night news broadcasts:


"This is Mary Marsh on the scene outside City Hall in Philadelphia, where reports of a strange water contamination have caused public panic and outrage across the city and surrounding regions in the tri-state area. Unconfirmed sources have reported sightings of monstrous mutated animals and people, and several people have been hospitalized, claiming to have been attacked by these creatures. No word yet on any person or group taking responsibility for this contamination, though anonymous sources have blamed the incident on a man referred to only as Dr. Helix. Sources say Dr. Helix is a deranged scientist who performs experiments on people and animals in order to make them more powerful while bending them to his will. Officer Steve Grabowsky is with me to talk about these reports. Officer?"


"Mary, I can't confirm the source of the contamination at this time, or if it was in fact the result of deliberate criminal activity. We just need people to stay calm and proceed in an orderly fashion to stores and water stations and I'm sure this will all be cleared up soon."


"But Officer, what about these reports of strange mutated people and animals, and this supposed super villain, this Dr. Helix person?"


"Any criminal activity connected with this incident is the work of normal, though dangerous, people, nothing more. I don't know who this Dr. Felix. . ."


"That's Helix, Officer. Dr. Helix."


" . . .right, Helix, whatever. Look, if some nut is running around contaminating our water, we'll find him and arrest him, plain and simple. We certainly don't need help from vigilante superheàI mean deluded citizens who will just get themselves . . ."


"So then you ARE confirming the existence and activity of super-powered individuals fighting crime in the area?"


"I . . .uh, have no comment at this time."


"But certainly you're aware of the incidents involving costumed citizens . . . OH MY GOSH! Over there!"


The camera pans to Broad Street amid sounds of screeching brakes and screaming people. A yellow taxicab swerves and skids to the side, narrowly missing a man running across the street while looking back over his shoulder. Partially blocked from view by the cab, a large brown form resembling a boar can be seen running toward the cab, striking it head first on the passenger side and nearly tipping it over. The creature rises and shows itself to be a bipedal humanoid nearly 10 feet tall as two huge white tusks jutting straight out from it's face lift and tip the taxicab over onto it's roof. Gunshots add to the din as two police officers shoot at the creature from behind their squad car. The bullets seem to cause only minor wounds to the thick fur covering the creature, who laughs and snorts wildly, turning to face the police officers. The creature lowers into a crouch, scratches the ground with one of it's massive feet and begins to lunge at the police car when it is distracted by a voice.


"Hey, hamhock! Didn't I just kick your butt around Logan Circle the other day?"


The boar creature looks past the camera and says, "The name's Pork-Lift, ya little twerp, and I've been itchin' for another go a round with you!"


The camera turns 180 degrees to focus on a tall, burly man wearing a red and yellow helmet shaped like a set of ram's horns. Matching red and yellow body armor resembling football shoulder pads shines in the mid afternoon sun as he begins jogging toward the boar creature. Mary Marsh tries to step in front of the camera as it pans back and forth to the two strange looking individuals now running toward each other, and the news crew, at superhuman speeds with their heads held down and forward.


"Ladies and gentlemen, the costumed man you're seeing is a local superhero calling himself . . .Headstrong who has been fighting crime in the area and has been seen working with the New Knightwatch and . . . oh $#@%, RUN!!!"


The camera falls to the ground as feet are seen running away down the street. Seconds later, as the sound of pounding footsteps grows louder, two shadows converge on the ground in front of the camera with a deafening crack like a safe hitting the ground from 10 stories up. The shock of the impact shakes the very ground and the camera is knocked out of focus . . . static fills the TV screen.


How ya doin'? I'm Rocco, but most people know me as Headstrong. What's so funny? Yeah, that's right, I'm a superhero! And if you're reading this book then you must wanna be a superhero too. You wanna use your powers to fight crime and evil and make the world a better place, right? Hmmm...or maybe you wanna use your powers to get rich, push people around and make the world a place where you rule with an iron fist, huh? Well, it's up to you; I'm just here to show you how it's done. Ya see, whether you wanna be a super hero or a super villain, good guy or bad guy, all us super-people always want the same thing û to be the star of our own comic book! Well, maybe that's just me. And yeah, I know "but Headstrong, comic books aren't real, they're just made up, right?" Fuhgetaboutit! Maybe your favorite characters didn't do EVERYTHING the comics said they did, but the comics are just exaggerated stories of actual people living actual adventures. Comics are real, all right, and if you play your cards right you could have your own someday.


Knowing how to fly, tip over cars and shoot lasers out of your eyes is the easy part; the trick is getting people to notice you and to either love you or hate you so much that they can't wait for that next issue to hit the shelves. Me and some friends of mine are gonna show you the basics. Now some of you might be thinking "but Headstrong, I just want to help people, I'm not doing it for the fame, blah blah blah!" Look, I hear ya. I mean I could really boost my book sales by knockin' over a few banks, but I'm trying to do the right thing, ya know? Anyway, just keep readin', some good friends of mine are gonna talk to you about this crazy super-world we live in.


A Brief History

Greetings heroes and scholars, I am known as Scarab, the Pharaoh's Curse. I have walked the earth for untold millennia, protecting the relics and dignity of my people, and recording those events I feel would be of interest to my kings when they rise to rule this world. I will pass on to you some events of the past half-century regarding the extraordinary human beings you call "super" heroes and villains.


People of extraordinary capability and ambition have existed throughout human history, their deeds recorded in story, song and all forms of visual art. Superstition and fear of the unknown have always kept these individuals in relative obscurity, shunned as outcasts by those who discovered them but dismissed as myths and legends by most.


The latter half of the 20th century saw the advent of the comic book in the United States, portraying heroic and villainous deeds carried out by extraordinary people. Much like the dime novels telling fantastic stories of Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid, these comic books were in fact telling embellished accounts of real people, gifted with abilities beyond the reach of the average person.


The 1940's was a time of great tragedies and greater heroics, inspiring the extraordinary people of the world to take the bold step from private obscurity to public anonymity, donning costumes and assuming alter egos to hide their identities and fighting for what they believed to be right. As always, there were those who chose to put the common good above their own desires, and those to whom desire for power was the ultimate aspiration. We know them as heroes and villains, respectively, but how does one judge the motivations of such people? What is a villain but a hero on the other side?


Over the past 60+ years the activities and adventures of various super people has waxed and waned in rough cycles of ten years or so, as has the popularity of comic books across the country. Throughout the late 1960's to early 1970's a group of supers calling themselves the Knightwatch assembled and fought the criminal element in the Philadelphia area, reportedly inspired by a prominent community service and criminal watch organization of "normal" people. Many such groups of super-powered heroes made similar attempts across the country, but the Knightwatch enjoyed unprecedented success due to sympathetic local government and law enforcement agencies.


Although the Knightwatch had great success in reducing the local crime rate and eventually disbanded, fading into obscurity. Eventually, many even began to refute their "extraordinary" nature and considered them an urban legend at best, delusional vigilantes at worst. But legends never truly die, and there were many who remembered, who witnessed the epic battles in their own neighborhoods. They told the tales and watched as their neighborhoods slipped further and further into the hands of criminals, waiting for the return of the heroes.


Sometime within the first few years of the new century, rumors started to spread of a group of super in Philadelphia calling themselves the "New Knightwatch". Scattered sightings and vague reports from media and police began mounting, and attention was drawn once again to anonymous heroes in the area fighting for justice.


A local comic book featuring a character named "Headstrong", which until then had enjoyed little success in circulation, grew more popular as rumors spread that this character was a real superhero operating in the area.


Then, seemingly all at once, every bar, street corner and schoolyard was buzzing with the news that masked heroes had once again answered the call of justice in their neighborhoods. The most notable breakthrough was a news interview with a mysterious disheveled man claiming to be a champion of the homeless. He is apparently an ally to the New Knightwatch and has been seen fighting alongside them. Shelters and soup kitchens across the tri-state area erupted with cheers and chants, their prayers had been answered! "Sludge! Sludge! Sludge!"


As is always the case in human history, where there are heroes there are villains. Sensing that their time had come to step out of the shadows, super-powered individuals and groups began pursuing their ambitions out in the open, knowing that the local police forces would be unable to match their amazing abilities and powers.


Known as the Order of the Mighty Enforcers of Gaia's Anger (O.M.E.G.A.) this fringe group of eco-terrorists recently revealed their latest weapon, a band of super-powered agents reportedly responsible for massive property damage to factories and housing developments. Their leader, who calls himself Mega-Phone, uses powerful sonic attacks and his deafening voice to spread the group's message. Other members include Mega-Hurtz; a militant zealot who channels electricity in various ways, Mega-Bite; a beastly little man with a monstrous jaw able to bite through anything and Mega-Lith; a mindless bruiser who can grow to giant proportions and transform his skin to living concrete. While OMEGA as a whole has avoided prosecution for connection with acts of terrorism, it is said that the New Knightwatch has clashed with their super-agents and was responsible for the arrests of Mega-Lith and another member called Mega-Death who infected a local population with a strange mind-altering disease. OMEGA remains at large and Mega-Phone occasionally speaks at protest rallies to recruit others to his cause.


Four years ago series of physical deformities plagued the Philadelphia area. These tragedies were traced back to a strange serum created by a super villain calling himself Dr. Helix. This villian is responsible for the monstrous mutation of countless animals and several criminals, many of who are still at large. Among his grotesquely augmented henchmen are Boris, an oversized and homicidal maniac with incredible strength and resilience; Beefy, an eccentric and effeminate criminal with super-flexibility; Brain, a shifty man with a deformed head and powerful mental abilities: and Sleezy, an attractive woman of loose moral virtue and incredible skills of seduction.


Always on the move and avoiding prosecution, Dr. Helix has evaded capture and prosecution numerous times. Rumors claim that Dr. Helix is none other than Dr. Henry Harrison a brilliant geneticist and founder of the Harrison Institute for Genetic Research. Dr. Harrison has made a fortune curing the genetic mutations caused by Dr. Helix.


Legal and Social Repercussions

Good day, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Special Agent Floyd, CIA liaison to the "Legislative Action for Individual Rights and Responsibilities" Commission- that’s the LAIRR Commission for short; let's begin the presentation. Slide one, please?


As super-powered heroes and villains became more prevalent in the past several years, so did their effect on the national psyche. Increased cultural emphasis on the individual led to political pressure and legislative changes, culminating in the creation of the bi-partisan "Legislative Action for Individual Rights and Responsibilities" Commission. The LAIRR Commission has been influential in affecting sweeping changes to local and federal laws regarding self-defense and third party crime intervention, commonly referred to as "Super Hero Laws". Specific laws differ by location but can be generalized by the following:


Laws regarding general use of force have been shifted greatly in favor of those victimized by or attempting to intervene in criminal acts. However, laws specifically regarding use of DEADLY force have become stricter and punishment for excessive or negligent force leading to death is harsh. Save the day, beat up the bad guys and you're a hero; kill the bad guys and you're a criminal.


Gun control laws have also been affected; citizens passing a basic background check have fairly easy access to handguns and hunting firearms, but gun-related crimes are met with high minimum sentences and "conservative" appeal, parole and probation statutes. Guns are for criminals and citizens unable to fight, heroes settle things the old fashioned way û fists, eye lasers and the occasional thrown mailbox.


Citizens defending themselves, others and private property enjoy increased protection from civil liability. Don't cry to Uncle Sam if your attempted armed robbery lands you in a body-cast at the hands of a hero. Uncle Sam doesn't care.


At a judge's discretion, a super hero acting as witness in a criminal case may be allowed to maintain anonymity and conceal his/her identity from the accused. This violates the defendant's right to confront an accuser under the 6th amendment, so this protection is not always guaranteed to super heroes. Who's the guy in the mask and cape? Don't worry about it. Who's the guy in the shackles and orange jumpsuit? That would be YOU, scumbag."


The LAIRR Commission also offers greater protection and other benefits to those superheroes who register their identities and capabilities in a national database. Some heroes and citizens distrust and criticize this registration as an attempt to regulate private heroic action for the advancement of a government agenda. Others endorse registration as a partnership with law enforcement agencies and a show of active support for heroic action by the government. Let me assure you that I personally have followed and supported the courageous and dangerous work undertaken by some of our extraordinary citizens for many years and will do everything I can to form a partnership between law enforcement and responsible private citizens.



Extraordinary Origins

Okay, listen up! The name is Naga, and if you're done playing around I've got some serious information for any of these would-be super-types.


There's work to be done and no time to waste. Some of you may have recently discovered your super-skills and don't understand where they came from. Some of you may feel something is different about you but you don't know what you can do yet. Or maybe you want to be a do-it-yourself techno-super hero and you're shopping around for options. Whatever the case, maybe you don't know anything about this stuff . . . but "other" people do. SHHhhh . . . don't read too loud or "they" might hear you!


Check this out, I hacked it from the top secret files of . . .well, let's just say some important people. It lays out the different ways super-people get their super-skills:


Memorandum


Date: 11/01/01

To: General Harold Walters, DOD

From: Agent Lisa Welsch, FBI

RE: Case file # 76394


As part of the department's continued investigation into the recent emergence of extraordinary skills and abilities exhibited by seemingly normal people, I have concluded that these anomalies originate from four sources.


Super: Most subjects we have observed have an unusual biology that accounts for their abilities. Some causes have been documented for this unusual biology, though more may exist:


1. Accidental genetic alteration: Certain subjects with otherwise normal physiologies have undergone radical changes after experience with various phenomena such as chemicals, radiation, electrocution and explosions.


2. Deliberate genetic alteration: Some subjects have confessed under interrogation to willingly undergoing an unexplained process to enhance their abilities. We have no leads at this time as to the persons or agencies behind these procedures.


3. Evolutionary anomaly: Certain subjects seem to have been born with this unusual biology as part of their standard DNA structure. We are still waiting for results from several autopsies and dissections to discern the cause of these anomalies.


Cyber: Certain subjects have altered their abilities with various cybernetic implants and bionic prostheses. Some of these cyber-enhanced subjects acquired the technology themselves, and others were enhanced by a yet unknown source.


Gadget: Some subjects, it has been observed, exhibit no unusual biology but use an assortment of devices and gadgets to simulate extraordinary abilities. As with cyber-enhanced subjects, the source of this technology varies from case to case.


Arcane: There are some subjects who exhibit extraordinary abilities with no apparent biological or technological origin. They claim to have "magical" abilities and are generally involved in various occult and paranormal activities. Confiscations have turned up various books that seem to teach these arcane skills, but experts have been unable to confirm this or fully understand the texts.



Super-Skills

Hey there, super-fans! I'm Garvey McGregor, my online handle is PocketAvenger74, and nobody knows more about super heroes than me! I even made my own super-cool website with bios and pictures and press releases for all the super heroes and villains out there, plus my own fan fiction involving me and all the hottest super-babes in the city and we . . .well, I'll leave that for another book.


My buddy Headstrong asked me to write a section in his book about all the different skills people can have and how they work. So I says "Sure, buddy, I'm a big fan. I got a whole super-cool website with all kinds of info on you super-people". So then he's like "Thanks, Garv, you're the coolest!" and I'm like "No way man, you rock!" Seriously, he said that, I swear!


All right, back to the skills. Some skills are pretty self-explanatory, and you can already figure out how they work exactly, but some I'll explain in greater detail to show how they can help with your super-missions and make you look good while you do it. There are different kinds of skills you can learn that fall into one of these categories:


Abilities

These represent general physical and mental capabilities beyond the scope of normal human beings. Like Naga told you earlier, they may be either genetic or somehow simulated with technology. Abilities are the bread and butter of supers so I’ll go into them in some detail.


Absorption

This is what helps super-people quickly recover their energy so they can use their Powers. Some guys are nature-types who pull the energy from the earth or the sun or something. Some super-people take the energy from nearby sources like electrical power lines and radioactive materials. Hey, whatever works!


Adhesion

This is a classic, it lets you stick to any surface, crawl along walls and ceilings and stuff. Maybe you have sharp claws that can dig into anything, or little buggy hairs that grip tiny cracks or even some sort of magnetic-energy-bonding thing, like inside specially made gloves or something.


Alter Ego

This one can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what kind you choose. Some people need to change their form to use their skills; they may even have a few forms with specific skills tied to each form. Others can really use their skills whenever they want to, but they don't know that! Putting on a costume or assuming another personality is what brings out their powers psychologically, for better or worse. It takes all kinds!


Body Combat Enhancement

Some of your super-enemies can't be hurt be normal weapons like bullets or even your hands and feet. So these abilities give your normal attacks different kinds of damage to get around those pesky invulnerabilities. Supers with this ability can cause different types of damage like earth, electric, enervation, ice, fire, sharp, etc.


Bound

You can make crazy vertical jumps, like 25' with this ability, including jumping down from that height. Not only is this really useful for getting around, into and out of danger, it looks awesome! A cool shot of you jumping over a truck at a group of enemies is sure to sell a few issues of your comic.


Dangersense

The last thing you want is somebody sneaking up on you and ending the fight before it starts. This ability gives you a last-second warning when somebody is about to stab you in the back or whack you over the head. For some people it's connected to their senses, for some it's a mind-reading thing, and for others it's just a creepy feeling like they can see the future.


Debility

Some super-people have special weaknesses, and this is one kind that hurts you just being near or surrounded by something. Supers can be negatively affected by exotic materials, water, moonlight or sunlight.


Devour

Hey, it's none of my business if you want to snack on your fallen enemies, so if you do then this is the ability for you. You'll be able to gobble æem up so fast they'll call youàStomach-Woman, or Captain Famished, or something.


Echolocation

This one lets you use different kinds of energy waves and stuff to find your way around, pinpoint enemies and so on. It works really well for nighttime super-people or if you like to hang out underground in sewers and that kind of thing.


Feeding

Ok, so maybe you don't want to actually eat your enemies like with the Devour ability, but with this ability you can heal your body by draining your victims! Some people drink blood, some siphon psychic energy, I've heard that even your very soul can be used as fuel by someone who can Feed.


Flight

Ah . . .where would the world of comic books be without the ability to fly? Well, I guess it would be on the ground . . .yeah. Anyway, like the name suggests this ability lets you take to the air any way you want, it can either be. Flight can be obvious with wings coming out of your shoulders, a big jet pack on your back or something else that shows people from a distance that you can fly. Or non-obvious. How do you do it? I don't know; you just do it! Maybe you lift your body with your mind, wear an anti-gravity belt, have jet-powered boots or maybe YOU don't even know how you do it.


Freewill

With this ability, you are your own man, or woman or whatever else you might call yourself. It gives you a super-will of iron that can't be controlled with super-Powers.


Heightened Sense

Yup, just like it sounds, you can increase one or more of your senses with this one. Another one of my favorites, its usefulness is limited only by your imagination. You choose exactly what it means: heightened vision could be distance vision like a falcon, or night vision like a cat or both! It's up to you and what kind of super-person you want to be.


Immovable

Wanna stand your ground in the face of danger? This ability lets you resist super-powers and such that force you from where you're standing. The look of it is up to you. I know this chick named Creeper who has these roots that hold her to the ground. Big, scary guys like the Glutton use their size and mass to overcome pushy enemies.


Increase Body, Mana, Rests, Hide

You can raise your genetic potential beyond normal human limits. Hey, that's the point of being superhuman, right?


Infection

Yeah, uh, stay away from me if you want this ability. You can spread all kinds of disease to your enemies, either through contact in combat or just by being close to them. Nasty, but effective.


Invisibility

Don't let ‘em see you coming! All you stealthy, hero by night types will love this ability. Change your skin color, bend light waves, or psychically manipulate the blind spots in your enemies' eyes, whatever works.


Invulnerable

There are too many choices to explain them all, but needless to say this ability gives you immunity to some form of damage. Take your pick!


Need

Another one of those weaknesses, some super-people can't live on bread alone! With this ability you have to consume something specific in order to use your super-skills, otherwise you're just a normal person like myself. You wouldn't have a super-cool website like I do, so it would pretty much suck to be you.


Potency

Nice and straightforward, this is where you get your super-strength.


Reach, physical or mental

Another one of those multi-purpose abilities, it lets you hit, touch or grab things that would normally be too far away. To Reach physically with a tentacle, stretchy arm or grappling cable you need the Attack Enhancement, Length to provide you with some bodily means to do the reaching. To Reach Mentally like with some kind of psychic tractor beam, you need Telekinesis, which you'll read about soon.


Recuperate

So, you know you need to rest before using an action again, right? This ability lets you do in seconds what would normally take up to 15 minutes! It's a great one to have if Feats are your thing.


Regenerate

Everybody's gonna get hurt sometimes (that's just the life you super-freaks are stuck with) but if you get really good at this ability you'll be everybody's favorite super-freak! For a team of super people, that ability could mean the difference between victory and defeat . . . and a defeated team doesn't sell many comic books!


Respiration

This one lets you breath in different environments, like water or even outer space! I've seen supers with gills on their neck, extra lungs that puff out of their chests, or sometimes no physical sign at all of their ability.


Retaliate

The ultimate in vengeance, this ability deals out damage to anyone who causes you damage in close combat. There are all different kinds of damage to choose from, and you can pick only one.


Servitude

If you have this ability it means you are bound to the service of somebody else. You could have been born that way, genetically altered or programmed (for cybernetic types). It's not so bad if you like your master, and it removes those pesky questions of "morality".


Sessile

This basically means you can't move, but not in a paralyzed or disabled sort of way. You are permanently rooted to the ground in some way, like a tree, part of a rock or the earth itself, maybe even part of a huge machine.


Size, increase or decrease

Super-people come in all shapes and sizes. A 6' super-dude could grow up to 10' tall with the increase ability, or shrink down to 2' tall with the decrease ability. Stealthy types like the Size Decrease for getting into places and staying unseen. As for the Size Increase, as they say "The bigger they are, the harder they hit!"


Skin

Beauty is only skin-deep, which is a good thing because some super-people, even really nice ones, are born with or develop strange physical characteristics along with their super-skills. The upshot is that you don't need a flashy costume to get people to look twice, and people will definitely remember you.


Skin Switch

If you don't like what you see in the mirror, change it! With this ability you can take the form of another creature in it's entirety or just certain aspects of it. This can make a great trademark for your super-persona and also makes for an easy disguise to keep your identity secret.


Slow

If you get stuck with this ability you'll be a bit behind the rest of the team in certain types of terrain. You better learn to fight if you can't run from danger!


Speed

Well, if you can't beat ‘em, RUN LIKE HELL! You can't take down the bad guys, or the good guys for that matter, if you can't catch them. Super-strong leg muscles are good for this, or maybe jet boosters or some weird way to bend space a bit or cut through different dimensions.


Stealth

You sneaky types will love this one, it's good for getting the jump on enemies with super-senses and stuff. It will also get you past security systems in bank vaults, CIA offices and secret underground lairs! Some super-people can change their colors to do this, and sometimes they radiate some kind of field that interferes with detection from technology and psychic senses.


Stomach, expanding

Yup, you'll be the scourge of every all-you-can-eat buffet! In fact, you can gulp down something as big as you are if you hook it up with the Reach ability you read about earlier. You may develop a stretchy throat and jaws to accommodate your tasty victims, or maybe you open up your stomach directly . . .ewwww!


Surface stepping

This lets you walk on things like water, mud, quicksand and stuff like that. You could be altering gravitational fields, making the surface under your feet stronger for a split second, or maybe you have little wings or jets or something that give you enough lift.


Telekinesis

I love this one! There are so many uses for it, whether you're a brainy psychic type, or maybe you use magnetic forces or manipulate air currents or even tiny invisible nanobots that move stuff for you.


Telepathy

You can't keep any secrets with this ability, but it's useful for activating your super-powers after a chop to the throat . . . or when your mouth is full! Plus, it can be pretty darned intimidating to start smack-talkin' directly into someone's brain!


Terrain

You can't really call yourself "Water Woman" or "Cap'n Quicksand" if you're just as clumsy as the next wanna-be super person in your favorite terrain. So whether you have a psychic or spiritual connection with the terrain, some weird physiology that helps you or mobility-enhancing gadgets this is the ability for you.


Thought scanning

Big-brained psionic types love this one . . . I mean, why spend all that time and money in school when you can just pull the knowledge right out of somebody's brain?! Techo-types like this one too; downloading memory patterns saves time when you measure your day in nanoseconds!


Transpose

When the work is done and the cops are on their way it's time to slip through the cracks and get out of there, so nothing works better than this handy ability. Some molecular vibration works if you even know what the heck that means, or maybe a temporary liquid or gaseous form will get the job done.


Tunneling

If you can't go through it or fly over it, go under it! This is great for pulling bank jobs, if that's your style, or infiltrating an enemy base. I've seen rodent-like super people claw and chew their way through the ground, I even knew a girl who spun through the earth like a drill. It was sweet!


Unaging

A hero's work is never done, so I guess this ability could come in handy for the truly dedicated champion of goodness. And hey, what's the point of ruling the world if you can't live forever to see it?


Unstoppable

Nothing makes a bunch of super-goons lose their lunch faster then a super-pissed super person charging at them no matter what they do to stop it. Super-strength is always a good manifestation for this ability, but use your imagination. I remember this guy Trouble Gum who had this ability because he could twist and bend himself out of whatever was trying to stop him.


Vulnerable

This is another one of those super-weakness things. It's a classic, and while it may be a bit inconvenient sometimes, readers like to read about characters with an "Achilles' Heel". Just make sure you choose your fights carefully û if you're a hero who's vulnerable to fire you probably want to rethink taking on a team of villains called Infernal Affairs!


Webwalker

No point throwing webs around at your enemies if you get stuck to them too, so learn this ability before you start slingin' silk.


Woodswalker

This is great for animalistic-types who like to hang out in the wilderness. It's great for quick getaways where the bad guys or the cops can't follow.


Compounds

There are all kinds of wacky chemicals that scientific types are always cooking up. Some you drink, some you rub on your body or your super-gear, and some you throw at your enemies! Manufacturing poisons require suitable catalysts. Here’s an example of five compounds.


Energy Liquid

This energy drink will allow supers to replenish internal energy expended by using their powers.


Coagulate Liquid

This compound will heal wounds.


Sink-Proof Paste

This amazing paste can be applied to an item preventing it from sinking!


Swarm Repellant Paste

This super powered bug repellent will keep away swarms of stinging and biting insects.


Knockback Vial

This awesome vial compound explodes on contact propelling the target away from the thrower.


Knowledges

These vary from the stuff you learned in school to driving a car, using weapons and doing super-cool acrobatics and stuff. There's nothing here that's super-powered; anybody can do it so I won't go into detail.


Feats

These are extraordinary feats of physical or mental prowess that can only be used once, and then you have to get some rest before using them again. There are some feats that anybody can learn, but the coolest ones are just for super-people! Here’s an example of three common feats.


Dodge

This feat allow a person to avoid ranged attack, such as thrown knives, bullets and even hand grenades.


Parry

This feat allow the super to avoid a melee attack. Use it to knock aside baseball bats, night sticks and other weapon strikes.


Negate

This feat allows the super to cancel a super power directed at you.



Poisons

In addition to the kinds of poisons that can kill or hurt people, there are lots of others that work in more subtle ways, manipulating emotions and behavior. Manufacturing poisons require suitable substrates.


Death

There is a number of different kinds of death poisons. Some kill you slow, others cause death instantly.


Procedures

These are techniques that allow supers to create some kind of effect. Procedures require a suitable energy source.


Restoration

This fantastic procedure will allow you to heal wound and injuries.


Powers

These are the skills that actively use the super-energy inside you, called mana. A lot of the classic things you've read about your favorite characters involved these kinds of skills. There lots of powers, so I’ll just list a few.


Dominate

Wouldn’t you love to control the mind of that nitwit who refuses to let you into the high security area. Well dominate is the ability for you. It’s much more powerful than the Jedi mind trick. The nitwit will offer to give you a tour and carry your coat and hat.


Missiles

There’s nothing better than throwing things at the bad guy. (Except maybe knockin’ his noggin) Missiles is the power that lets you cause damage from a distance. There’s a whole bunch of different kinds of missiles: earth, electric, fire, ice, sharp, etc.


Repel

This power pushes a person away from you. It’s great for that guy in the mall who just won’t take a hint. It’s better for the two hundred pound plus, tough-guy henchmen who wants to bust your head with a bat.


Shell

This power will put a protective aura around you and your friends.


Traps

Like with knowledges, anybody can use these, so I won't go into detail. But watch out, because if you're not careful they can be as dangerous as a super-powered punch.



Gadgets

"We don't need no stinking powers!"

Hey there, I'm called. . .HEY! Over here, the one who's not shooting beams out of her eyes or turning into some giant green freak. I'm called Vixen, though I can't say too much more about myself due to certain. . .let's say, disagreements with the local law enforcement. What I can tell you is I'm what you'd call a "normal" person. No superhuman abilities, no cybernetic alterations, just a homegrown American girl with the skills and the drive to fight crime with the best of them.


Don't get me wrong, it's not easy to compete with criminals like in the old days, everybody's flying around, smashing through buildings and eating bullets for breakfast these days. Normal folks like us need twice the dedication and training to protect our cities, and the equalizer is technology! So I figured why not share some of my bag of tricks with aspiring heroes? I have nothing to hide . . .ya know, except my name and where I live and stuff. Here are some examples of what's possible with the right technology, but don't go copying all my stuff! Get creative, think of what skills you'd like to have and then think of a wacky device that can give it to you.


Style

My name is Silkworm, for all you squares who haven't yet heard of the Silky One æcause The Man keeps my comic sales down. But enough about me, let's talk about you and those funky new super-skills you're working on. It sure would be groovy to be able fly AND increase your size AND shoot fire while changing your shape and throwing mailboxes like they were pillows, but take it from me, comic readers like characters that have what we call a THEME to their skills. That means that all the superhuman things you do are sorta related to one another. A theme helps give you definition so that a potential fan can know what you're all about at a glance. Ever read about some crazy hero or villain that could do just about anything? Unless there's one cool, central reason they can do all those things you usually won't see that character around for very long. Here are just a few examples of general themes for your super-skills:


Physical - This theme is all about muscle-bound power and athletics; they can deal out a lot of damage and they can take it too. Typical abilities:

            Potency II-V

            Size increase

            Bound

            Increase body I-V


Mental - This theme has all sorts of psychic powers and isn't generally a close combat fighter. Typical abilities:

            Telekinesis I-V

            Freewill

            Thought scanning

            Increase mana I-V


Sneaky - This theme is good at getting into and out of places unnoticed and keeping their enemies guessing. Typical abilities:

            Stealth

            Invisibility

            Skin switch

            Transpose


Energetic - This theme is all about some shooting and absorbing some kind of energy, from one of the four elements to light or even sound. Typical abilities:

            Invulnerable to X

            Imbue X

            Retaliate

            Flight


Animalistic - This theme has skills that emulate a real or imaginary creature, or that are generally wild and beast-like. Typical abilities:

            Body combat

            Hide I-V

            Heightened senses

            Terrain movement I-III


Another important part of stylish super heroics is the super-smack-talk, the fans just eat that up and it helps to psyche out your enemies. Plus, for those of you with Super-Powers you need that 9-syllable thing we call a "Catch Phrase". When I'm mixin' it up with some played-out bank robber who's tryin’ to split the scene, I hit him with my Web power. Now, you think big daddy Silkworm is sayin' some kind of "hocus, pocus" noise? No way, man, I just tell him "why don't you stick around for a while?" Nine silky syllables and it's made in the shade. Think about it. Why else are super heroes and villains always saying those cheesy one-liners when they do something super-powered? You have to use words to focus Super-Powers, but who says you can't do it with style, you dig?


The next thing to think about is any weaknesses or limitations you may have. I know you may not want to shout these out to the world, but take it from ol' Silkworm the fans, and the ladies, love to see a little vulnerability in their heroes. Maybe you can shock people with your touch, but you can't throw crazy lightning bolts like other super-chumps. Or you're a master of muscle-bound mayhem, but your powers don't work in the presence of radioactive materials. Don't sweat it, baby, embrace it. We can't all be as perfect as a tall, green and groovy specimen of super hero like myself, but you may find that your limitations make you that much better in your adventures.


Super-Makeovers

Hello boys and girls, my name is Amber Buschmeyer, otherwise known as Ambush! Take it from me; the key to success in the Super-biz is publicity. It gets the public on your side, keeps you connected with important people, and strikes fear in the hearts of criminals! Plus it can provide a nice living for visionary entrepreneurs like myself . . . you may have heard of my chain of Hero Health fitness centers. My line of weight loss products, Super-Slim? Surely my spunky yet sensual fragrance, Her-O? No? Oh well, I may not have a top-selling comic on the shelves, but I've been around and done it all so I'm going to help you make a place for yourself in the world and on the page.


Image

The first thing that will hit your future fans, whether they see you on the cover of a book or out in the city doing your thing, is what you look like. Your image can make or break you before anybody even knows what your name is or who you are. You need to think about what you're going to wear whether you're out fighting crimes or committing them. There are a lot of options to consider, and you want to make sure that your look is original and unique, or nobody will remember or care who you are. By the way, I'll soon be launching my line of active wear for superheroes, HeroGear, with casual fashions for everyday crime fighting and formal attire for press conferences and award presentations. But enough about me, consider one or more of the following guidelines:


Functional: Do you use lots of gadgets and toys and weapons? Consider something with lots of straps and pockets, they're useful and they let your enemy know that you're ready for a fight to the finish!


Anonymous: This includes everything from a simple mask to hide your face, to full helmets and androgynous body suits that disguise every aspect of your physical features.


Classic: Maybe you just want an impressive costume that attracts attention, without necessarily giving away who you are or what you can do. Capes are a good, time-honored design, as are helmets and high boots, just as long as you use bright colors. Unless you're the dark and brooding type, then black, brown and dark blue should do just fine.


Symbolic: If you choose a super name that tells what you look like or what you're all about (see Name Flavor below), then that can help you pick the right style for your costume. Think of a symbol or picture that sums up who you are and plaster it right on your costume where everybody can see it.


Name

Everybody knows that a great Superhero has to have a great name. Your super name has to say something to the world about who you are and why you're skipping around the city in a funny looking costume! Not that you should be funny looking, because it's all about style, honey! Here are some guidelines for coming up with your own super name:


Name Design

Your name shouldn't be too long, unless it's REALLY interesting and people will remember it. One or two words should do it, and you may want to use one of the following designs:


Formal: "Mr. or Ms. Something-or-other". This is a good, straightforward approach and kind of classy, too. It's good for older, soft-spoken types and for young heroes and villains trying to be taken seriously. ("Help us, Miss Behavior!)


Official: "Captain, Doctor, Professor, King, etc. Something-or-other". This kind of name gives you an air of authority and respect. Everybody figures that Doctor Helix knows a lot about genetics just by hearing the name, and you'll get more people to follow you into a fight if your name starts with Captain then if it starts with Mr.! ("We meet again, Doctor Demise.")


Obscure: "THE Something-or-other", or just one word that says it all, but that nobody will understand without an encyclopedia. Not bad, makes you seem special, which can be important in a city where everybody and their dog wants to be in a comic book! ("I . . . amd . . . The Saprophyte!")


Melodramatic: "Something-or-other Man, Woman, Girl, Boy, etc." The use of flashy, descriptive words either before or after the other part of your name can attract a reader's eye to your book. Just make sure you've got a great costume to back it up, we'll get to that in a minute. ("Everybody loves Marvelous Man!")



Name Flavor

Now you need your name to really SAY something that people will want to learn more about, and READ more about! Combine one or more of these with one of the designs from above and you're all set!


Mission: Your name can tell people about your purpose in life, your goals and your values. They may not know what you can do, but they'll sure know WHY you're doing it! ("Look out! It's Labor Union Girl!")


Powers: Your name can give people an idea of what kind of super powers you have, whether directly ("I am Doctor Shapeshift!") or indirectly through some sort of symbol ("Never fear, The Platypus is here!)


Description: Maybe you have a very distinct look either because of your powers or your costume, and you want your name to reflect that. ("The terrifying Winged Waitress!")


Trademark: Have a favorite weapon or device you use to get the job done? This can be a good foundation for a name too. ("Captain Shoe-horn will grind evil under his heel!")


Unknown: You could decide that you don't want your name to tell your readers anything. This is a risky choice, but if it's mysterious enough people may buy your comic just to find out more. ("Nothing can defeat The Variable!")


Super-Psychology 101

Hello, my patients know me as Mindsight. Between missions to make the world a better and more well adjusted place, I provide counseling services for superheroes and supervillains trying to find their place in the world. Now that you have chosen how the outside world will see you and what they'll call you, let's focus on the real you; that inner superperson seeking love and acceptance in a cruel world. How does that make you feel, hmmm? Not ready for all that yet? Fine let's start with this new costumed persona. Your super identity breaks down to three basic parts: Manners are the way you behave. Methods are how you go about your work. And motivations are why you're doing what you're doing


Manner

This is what gives you that spice that people love, or love to hate! It's the little quirks that give super people their individuality and definition. Some classic examples are:


Brooding: You are the dark, sulky type that doesn't talk much and likes to perch on the tops of churches and skyscrapers while thinking of all the victims you could have saved or all the people you'll make pay for laughing at you. You like to make sarcastic or pessimistic comments about everyone and everything around you, and demand to be left alone while parading around the world for all to see!


Serious: You are all business and have no time for jokes, in fact, you probably wouldn't know a joke if it shot you with radioactive eye-beams!


Lonely: You are rejected by society, and live outside the view of "normal" people. Maybe you are a gentle, misunderstood soul minding your own bell tower, or maybe you are bitter and vengeful at your mistreatment by the world.


Cocky: You sure do love the camera! You take every opportunity to get on the evening news or the morning paper front page. Practice a lot of witty one-liners if you choose this manner, and don't be afraid to rush right into the action. You can't be a hotshot if you're too cautious in the face of danger.

Philosophical: You are a know-it-all who loves to go on about the deeper meaning of whatever wacky caper you're mixed up in. You love to quote Shakespeare while punching out criminals or compare your latest plot for world conquest to the socio-political state of the Roman Empire.


Innocent: You are bright eyed and eager, but innocent and humble in your own way. Seems like a pretty nice kind of superhero, but don't let that fool you. You may be new to the wide world of super people, but you can still be devoted to world conquest or crime.


Flirty: Enticing and attractive, you live for the pursuit of whoever happens to catch your eye at the moment. Your specialty is charming the cape off your most dreaded archenemies, and then breaking their hearts when you defeat them.


Classy: Whatever you do, you do it with dignity. You dress to impress, speak politely even to your enemies and wouldn't dare get yourself dirty over some silly fight unless absolutely necessary.


Methods

How you go about the work you've dedicated yourself to, be it saving the day or ruling the world. It gives your readers and fans an idea of how you get the job done.


Think: You're the one who always has the plan to defeat the evil mastermind, or maybe you ARE the evil mastermind. There's always one scheme or another cooking in that super brain of yours.


Lead: You're at home in a team of super people, and we'll talk more about that later. But even if you are a loner, you're the kind who leads the "normal" people and tries to get their support either to lead them to a better life or build yourself an army for conquest.


Smash: You solve your problems with your fists, claws or whatever it is you have as long it involves hitting someone and causing widespread damage to public property!


Teach: You live to guide and nurture others, whether that means teaching lessons to children through your heroic missions, or manipulating other villains behind the scenes to do your secret bidding.


Invent: You can be found bent over a dimly lit workbench or a high-tech laboratory creating some device that is sure to finally defeat your foe. You may be intelligent and well spoken or you may not be very bright at all in general, but you can fix anything that breaks and make any gadget or machine you can imagine.


Obsess: No one understands you, and whether you're a hero or a villain everyone fears you. You're crazy enough to keep your enemies guessing, but you keep your head together enough to stay one step ahead of them.


Serve: You've got a mission and that's all that matters. In a group you answer to your leader without question. Alone you are completely dedicated to a cause and care nothing for popularity . . .yeah right! I mean, it couldn't hurt your cause to make a truckload of money through comic sales, right?!


Motivation

In simple terms, motivation is whether you're a good guy or a bad guy. But some motivations are more complicated than others; after all, one fan's hero is another fan's villain. Your motivation is what drives you to strike out into the world in tights and a cape, it should mean something to you and to your readers, they eat that stuff up with a mutated, cosmic spoon!


Megalomaniac: It is your destiny to rule the world and everyone in it, or to increase your personal power to that of a god. They call you crazy, but they'll see someday, and you'll stop at nothing to make your noble vision a reality.


Champion: You have chosen a specific cause that is your trademark. It could be the protection or elimination of a certain group of people or a country or ecological issue, whatever it is you dedicate yourself to it single-mindedly.


Vigilante: When the authorities can't keep the streets safe, it's up to you to do the right thing. Laws don't restrict the evildoers, so why should they stop you?


Monster: Whether this describes your appearance or simply your mind set, you only know destruction and violence. Maybe you do it deliberately for the sheer joy of it, or maybe you lose control and are tortured by the memories of what you have done.


Crusader: There are those on the world who cannot defend themselves, and it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak and liberate the oppressed.


Avenger: You were wronged by some person or group of people, and now you are out to take and eye for an eye, and maybe to help others do the same to their enemies.


Criminal: You live to break the rules and take what you can out of life. It's the excitement, the power and the money that drives you and no stupid cops or pansy super heroes are going to stop you.


Mercenary: You can be found working on either side of the law as long as the money is right. It's not that you ONLY think of yourself, you just think of yourself FIRST! But you're not necessarily a bad person. Maybe you don't care who gets hurt for the right price, or maybe you're just so weary from being the hero and caring so much that it's made you hard and cynical.



Solo or Team?

All supers face this question. Do you want to be part of a team or go it alone. Two well know supers Sludge and O.M.E.G.A share their thoughts.


Solo

My name is Sludge. I live in the sewers and the streets where others fear to tread. I watch forgotten places and protect forgotten people. I have no home, yet I am at home in the darkest and foulest places where I do my work without thanks or reward. I am Sludge. There are those who I would call friends in this world, those who defend the weak as I do, but they have not seen what I have seen. They do not understand the world as I do, and so I walk my path alone, as is the destiny of all who have been forsaken by the society of man.


Why do I work alone when I could join a super team and combine my efforts with others? Acting as a lone hero or villain has its advantages, though it also has its challenges. I am free to go where I choose, when I choose, and to hunt evildoers any way that I choose. A super team must have a leader, and that leader will command the actions of others as he or she sees fit. For those who need guidance and know only strength as their weapon this can be a benefit. But for those of unusual vision, who pursue a dream that does not appeal to the common sensibilities of society, such organization can be a hindrance. Alone I am a mystery; I am more easily hidden from prying eyes that would seek to discredit those of good intention.


But think carefully before taking on your mission alone. You must be strong, resourceful and clever to act without aid, to fight without allies. Keep your enemies guessing, never give them time to think or predict your actions. This is the key to success as a lone super hero or super villain.


Team

When the selfishness of Man's quest for power threatens our precious Mother Earth, one group of brave guardians stands against the tide to defend nature at any cost . . .and by any means. I am called Mega-Phone, and we are O.M.E.G.A, which stands for the Order of the Mighty Enforcers of Gaia's Anger. Like the last letter of the alphabet for which we are named we stand as the last resort to save our planet from technological tyranny. Gaia has gifted certain individuals with superhuman abilities, as you well know, and now you must join with us to save our sacred earth mother! No? Well, you'll see the truth one day, the whole world will see! In the meantime, I recommend that you ignore the ramblings of that filthy vagabond Sludge and become part of a team of people like yourself, or better yet be a leader and form a group of your own.


Enemies lurk around every corner, and if you've got no one to watch your back your attempts to end up in a comic book could become a short cut to the obituaries! I also seek publicity; a comic book would be a useful means to spread the message of my cause, and I have found that comic fans love to read about teams of their favorite heroes and villains. With many characters to focus on the reader need not become bored with seeing just one of them over and over. Think about what you could accomplish with allies as powerful as yourself, or perhaps slightly LESS powerful then yourself so you can crush any traitors that dare oppose you!


Sidekicks

Peace and friendship to you, my friends, you may call me Master Don. In my instruction of the mystical art of Kung Fu I have come to value the relationship of teacher and student. A sidekick is like a dedicated student and disciple, and is also not unlike a super hero "intern". Long hours, hard work, little to no pay or glory and lots of responsibility with almost no authority. But for those with the strength to persevere it is a path to wisdom and power, and it can also be a way to break into the "business" as you comic fans may call it, and make a name for yourself by riding on the coattails of an already well-known super-person.


Having a sidekick

When considering taking on a sidekick, first consider the nature of your relationship to define their purpose:


Mentor/Protegee: As a Mentor, you're role is to train this sidekick protegee to eventually replace you and carry on your mission, when you either decide to retire or when your sidekick decides he wants your position and "forces" your retirement.


Idol/Aide: As an Idol, you must nurture your Aide's need for approval while providing the discipline they need to aspire to your level of greatness.


Boss/Lackey: As a Boss, the main goal is to keep your people in line. Yours is the hand that hurts and the hand that rewards. Make sure your Lackey knows his place, but watch your back as Lackeys often have their own goals and agendas.


Next, you must consider their function:


Counterpart: This sidekick has basically the same powers and skills as yourself, so train her to do as you say AND as you do.


Supplement: This sidekick has those skills that you lack. For example, it can be very useful for a physically weaker hero or villain with mental powers to have a sidekick who is strong and muscular for stand-up fights.


Silent partner: This sidekick stays behind the scenes, providing the hero or villain with information, contacts or technological and material support.


Once you have devised the purpose and function of your sidekick, you can then design, or help them to design, their name, costume and image. Personally I selected my star pupil to be a Protegee-Counterpart. Unfortunately, he was quite adamant in his choice of a name, so due to his talent for a particular technique, my sidekick is known as . . .goodness, well . . ."SideKick". You may speak now, my student.


Being a Sidekick

Yeah, baby, SideKick in the house! Oh, I mean, uh, I am pleased to meet you on behalf of my honored master. WHATEVER! Look, being a sidekick is awesome, don't listen to the hype, we play a major role in the work of our mentors. I've put together some tips from me and some other sidekicks I know. First, let's talk about your Purpose:


Protegee: Pay attention, that's the most important part, you're here to learn. Picking up on your mentor's style can help you develop your own, and helps you follow their rhythm in a fight, giving you plenty of time in between punches and explosions to launch clever quips at your enemies or an endless stream of annoying questions at your mentor!


Aide: Students are allowed to make mistakes, but you need to be a cut above. Reliability is the key here, know what your Idol needs before he asks for it and get the job done without a hitch. You'll earn you Idol's respect and trust, plus the right to roll your eyes and smirk when your Idol makes the occasional mistake.


Lackey: Pucker up, buttercup! Bosses can be pretty harsh, so get ready to kiss some super-booty. Whether you're the wide-eyed "golly-gee" type or a sniveling "yessss, master" type, be as attentive and subservient as possible. Don't worry, they'll recognize and reward your loyalty somedayàyou'll make sure of that . . .


And as for your Function:


Counterpart: Pretty simple idea; if a little is good then more is better! Find yourself a hero with abilities and skills like your own, train to be just as good if not better, then bring on the enemies!


Supplement: You're there to pick up the slack for the things your hero can't do. Make your hero need you, and don't let on too much about how much you need her when the enemy exploits YOUR weakness.


Silent partner: Not much glory here, but there's a lot less danger too! You're the answer-man, the problem solver, like a super-golf-caddy ready to hand you're hero the right tools for the right job.



Allies

This is a tricky issue for a super person. Helpers and Henchmen. If you have the luxury of a huge bank account, your own private fortress and acceptance by society, then there's no need to bring anyone else on board for your super work as long as you're powerful enough to take on your enemies all by yourself! However, if you've got a normal life with a family, friends and a job then you'll need some help to do your work and to keep your powers and activities secret. Personally, I got a lot of friends that know what I do, so I can help you figure out what kind of people can help make your job easier. Be careful who you let into your business; the more people who know about your secret, the greater the chance it won't be a secret for very long! If you're the hero type we call these people "helpers", if you're the villain type we call them "henchmen". They both come from the same places; it's just a matter of why they're helping you. Helpers volunteer their services because they love you and what you're doing for the community and the world. Henchmen do your bidding either because they fear you or because there's something in it for them, or both.

 

Police officers

Helpers: They can keep you posted about criminal activity in your city, and cover your tracks when the job is done and it's time to make a hasty exit.

Henchmen: They can make sure the police show up at the right place, but just a little too late to stop you! They also have access to all types of weapons and other illegal items.


Small business owners

Helpers: They'll give you what they can to help you stock up on supplies after battling the robbers and looters. It's also good to have places to duck into and change back into your regular clothes.

Henchmen: They can provide a source of income in return for protecting themàfrom you and your other henchmen!


Reporters

 Helpers: Even super heroes have to work outside the law, which can make a good guy look bad. A friend in the news biz can help improve your imageàand your comic sales!

Henchmen: The press knows everything, all the dark little secrets that you can use to blackmail important people.


Homeless people

Helpers: They see and hear things that no one else does, and there are good people on the streets who will help in any way they can to keep their streets safe.

Henchmen: Whether for a few dollars and a place to stay or just to avoid your wrath they'll work for you and even fight for you. You've got an instant dispensable army in the shadows that no one else cares aboutà


Doctors

Helpers: Not all of our enemies will run at the very mention of our names, we can't all be invincible like me! But seriously, the Doc can come in real handy after a scrape with some bad guys when you can't just go to a hospital and say, "Hey, I was fighting crime and got a boo-boo!"

Henchmen: Got some high tech brain implants that turn people into your personal zombie-slaves? Plus, your other incompetent henchmen will need to get patched up after some troublesome hero beats the stuffing out of them.


Criminals

Helpers: Another good source of information, even the police know the value of turning a blind eye to petty thieves in return for help with the big bosses. Maybe you can help them turn over a new leaf while you're at it.

Henchmen: You are exactly their type of person; they'll do whatever you sayàafter a swift and brutal demonstration of your power . . .to strike it rich in the criminal underworld.



Making A Living

Everybody needs money in the big city, whether or not you're super-powered. Aside from the usual living expenses of food and bills and a mortgage and stuff there is the extra burden of costumes, weapons, gadgets and maybe a sweet-looking car or motorcycle to go with your super image. Maybe you won the lottery or got a big inheritance from a family member, but if you have a steady source of cash so that you don't need to work then you've got it made. Sometimes that source of cash can come from other people too, maybe there's some anonymous group of "investors" who'll fund your work for their own reasons.


Assuming you're a regular Joe, or Jane, like myself trying to do right and fight crime you'll need a job to pay the bills. You can't save the city from crime sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, and your lunch break just isn't enough time to conquer the world, am I right? So think carefully about what kind of job you'll have. Try to find work at home, a job with a flexible schedule, or one that might put you in the right place at the right time to do whatcha gotta do. Here are some suggestions, they are all fine choices but you'll have to find creative ways around some of the complications they present:


Freelance Reporter or photographer

Pros: No boss looking over your shoulder, you make your own hours, and it requires you to travel around the city.

Cons: To make money ya gotta be really good, and may have to spend almost as much time working as getting your super-business done.


Law enforcement

Pros: You'll already be armed and ready when there's trouble.

Cons: Long hours and constant communication with the precinct could make it difficult to work on your "extracurricular" activities.


Private investigator

Pros: Your work will put you in a position to help people without a lot of supervision.

Cons: To get paid you have to take credit for your heroics; it might be difficult to keep your identity a secret


Security guard/bodyguard

Pros: Your mission is clear; you get paid to do exactly what you do best.

Cons: A lot of what you do will be in the public eye, making I tricky to keep your powers out of sight.


Work at home

Pros: You are your own boss. Everything from stuffing envelopes to transcribing medical files to corporate web-design can bring home the bacon while leaving you free to fight crime on your own time.

Cons: As anyone in this type of work will tell you, it's hard to come by and difficult to make a decent living at it.



Conclusion

Well, its time to make a choice . . . Are you gonna go for it. If you got a power you better do it! Grab yourself a mask, cape and maybe a set of tights and do something good for society. Make a difference in the world. Fight crime and save lives. . . Be the Hero!