universe: superheroes

masterofenthropy  asked:

Hi HeyWriters! I was wondering: do you have a tip to create a weak point on main characters? I´m making a story, but I´m having trouble since my main character is TOO overpowered. Could you help me with this?

(All of this is written under the assumption your character has superpowers or “special” abilities, so forgive me if you meant a different kind of power.)

I created a character concept when I was twelve. She had all the superpowers of my favorite heroes and then some. As time wore on she gained more and more until eventually my adolescent brain invented logic and realized she was actually ridiculous. Here’s how I depowered this character, who’s name is Ace, without completely ruining her coolness.

Step One:

Don’t be greedy. Any ability that does not contribute to the story needs to go. It’s taking up space that could be filled with credibility. I decided early on that Ace didn’t need most of her abilities, and by the end of the story she only relies on a few to get the job done. Also, if a character can do more than one thing that are all basically the same thing some of those should probably go (invisibility and camouflage, superspeed and teleportation, etc.). 

Step Two:

Apply real-world science. If you try to make your depiction realistic, you’ll want to have an idea of how these abilities might work and how they might not. Of course, you should suspend disbelief for some things if they’re truly essential to your character, but others can be adapted. For Ace there are some powers that only work under the right circumstances, and others that her body rejects or that give her physical pain when she uses them. Most importantly, special strengths come with special weaknesses. Sensitive hearing means loud noises are more jarring or harmful, regeneration means metabolism speeds up and the person needs to eat as much as a body builder. Any superpower you pick out will have a drawback, I guarantee it; if not a physical one then a social one (I’ll get to that).

This scene from The Incredibles is an excellent demonstration of superpower drawbacks.

Step Three: 

Consider how the character feels about all this power and why they obtained it in the first place. Ace was not born with abilities, but over time she chose certain powers for the purpose of defending herself or others. Some of her powers fade away when she stops using them, like any skill you fail to practice, and some abilities she just plain old refuses to use for personal reasons. Some are too difficult or time-consuming for her to master, and some even trigger memories of her traumatic past thus she discards them. This way she has a choice in the matter and her choice is not to bite off more than she can chew or what she doesn’t want in the first place. 

Step Four:

How do other characters feel about all this power? Perhaps some or all of your character’s powers intimidate, frighten, or anger others in the story. One of Ace’s friends dislikes how unstoppable she is, and others are taken aback by some of the things she can do or how she looks when she does them. On the whole, she hides what she can do or picks small things to do instead of big things, downplaying her own power when necessary. How your supporting characters react to the force of nature that is your MC is the most important aspect of her power.

Here’s an example from the X-Men of how other characters might react. 

For additional opinions and advice, read this https://mythcreants.com/blog/five-characters-that-are-too-powerful/ and take to heart its ending line: “There’s only one fix that avoids all the pitfalls of overpowered heroes: refrain from making them really powerful in the first place.”

Yes, Ace is a flawed concept and all the advice I just gave is only a patch kit for that flaw. However, overpowered characters continue to excite readers and viewers alike, so I would never suggest we dispense with them altogether. Just, when you’re getting a headache from how overwhelming your character is, it’s good to consider dialling it all back and focusing on the power of their personality instead.

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Super apologize for taking so long to respond, and thanks for asking in the first place.

Excerpt from a column about Wonder Woman creator Dr. William Moulton Marston.

Marston and his wife Elizabeth are also credited with the invention of the lie detector, hence the lasso of truth. The two were in a polyamorous relationship with Olive Byrne, the niece of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

Both Elizabeth and Olive (who was known for her wide cuff bracelets), are acknowledged as being the inspirations for the character.

(source: The Des Moines Register, February 21, 1944.)

So I just saw Wonder Woman

I cannot stress enough how important for girls to have good, strong, female role models. I’ve been obsessed with Super heroes since I was TWELVE and I’ve NEVER seen a female super hero portrayed in a way that captured the strength and power the hero was capable of without sacrificing the passion or the innocence of the character. My favourite female super “hero” is actually the villain Harley Quinn purely because she is absolutely fearless and she refuses to take shit from anybody without fail. She was the only female super anything that I had seen with that attitude EVER. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love Harley and she will for ever be my queen of crazy, but tonight I finally found a version of a female hero whose main purpose wasn’t to be a sexy character that the “real” hero could flirt with. The film makers stayed true to the original costume, but not ONCE did I feel like they used it to sexualize her in an unnecessary way. She was sexy, naturally, but it wasn’t forced. She never had to use it in the attempt to seduce the bad guy, men were distracted by her, but the movie made it clear that that was not her fault, she was focused on her mission the entire time and never once faltered for a boy. They just did SO MANY THINGS RIGHT by keeping everything about her focused on her being a badass rather than her being fucking gorgeous, even though she is that too. The best part about her attitude is that she wasn’t “weird” because of it, it was normal and even encouraged for her to be like that. Speaking of attitude, let’s talk blocking. She was put in so many power positions throughout the movie, it was like she refused to let anyone ever look down on her. She had the high ground in SO MANY fights, she was running on rooftops, she was getting all up an some general’s face lecturing him about honour, and this girl WOULD NOT BACK DOWN. Someone tell her to stay put and she didn’t want to? She didn’t. She went exactly where she wanted, exactly when she wanted. And then, in one of my favourite moments, she FLIPS that classic “stay here, I’ll go ahead”, line that guys had been using on her throughout the movie back onto them before running STRAIGHT TOWARDS ENEMY FIRE AND TAKING OUT EVERY BAD GUY IN HER PATH. BUT for every ounce of magnificent attitude in her body, there was AT LEAST an equal amount of compassion. She genuinely cared for every civilian, for every soldier, for every person that she met and everything she did was guided by her desire to do what she believed was right. And despite being told she was wrong, that it was crazy, that “that’s not how the world works”, she was RIGHT. I won’t go into detail, because spoilers, but she was RIGHT. She also treated everybody like they were just as important as her and HELLO THIS GIRL IS TAKING OUT WHOLE PLATOONS NEARLY SINGLE HANDEDLY, SHE DESTROYED A FUCKING TANK AND SHE STILL DIDN’T SEE HERSELF AS BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE. And more on that compassion thing? She was still very capable of emotions and you could see them swirl together and twist themselves into knots as she tried to process the idea that everything may not be as she was raised to believe. However this is the first time I’ve seen a female super being feel emotions as powerfully as that and, rather than becoming useless or distracted by them, she was actually STRONGER because of the passion she was feeling. Let me repeat that HER FEELINGS DID NOT IN ANY WAY PREVENT HER FROM BEING A COMPLETE AND TOTAL BADASS. EVEN MALE SUPER HEROES AREN’T GENERALLY ALLOWED TO DO THAT. AND as for things that don’t directly relate to Diana herself, it dealt with soldiers suffering from PTSD (whom she reminded of their value and still saw them as warriors), carried a heavy theme of honour and acting on what you believe in, and it didn’t use the demeaning of men as a tactic for female empowerment. To be clear, it showcased Diana’s strength without making the guys come across as weak, cowardly, or immoral. That’s a victory for equality. I was physically shaking on the edge of my seat for most of the movie, I’ve literally spent the last 8 years of my life waiting for a hero like this, 100/10, GO WATCH THIS MOVIE.

Originally posted by diana-prince

Eight of the strongest female characters

1. She was so strong that our hero, who had always admired her strength, was moved by her murder to find within himself the power to finally defeat the Platinum Wraith.

2. Her physical awesomeness was such that armour would have only hampered her. Since she had solemnly sworn to uphold the rule of law and that included the part on public decency, she always made sure to wear at least a bra and some shorts, even though she could probably have beaten that spider god first time if it hadn’t been for the sticking-in underwire.

3. She was so strong that her only weakness was love. And also generosity. And wistfulness, that was also her only weakness. And maybe anger. But apart from feelings, she was totally as strong as all the other strong people.

4. Actually her strength was feelings. But in a science way. Through the brilliant alchemy of her brain, she was able to show that Einstein’s equations solved perfectly for all quantum universes if corrected for the force of love. And goodness me, wasn’t it fortunate that she found her own capacity for love just as her planet fell towards the black hole?

5. She could punch through a brick wall, leap over a canyon and stink out a hyena den. Unable to secure an advertising contract, she had to fall back on stress-testing superhero armour in a factory to pay the bills.

6. Her strength came entirely from within; from that deep, secret, mysterious and kind of moist place inside her where the moon’s pallid magic weaves its unknowable mystery.

7. She was definitely the strongest at sass and at least in the top ten at flirting. Some of the younger members of the team suspected that she might not have any real hero powers at all, but every time the issue came up she would fire off approximately a mega-bant of sass, leaving them disarmed and gasping.

8. Everyone agreed that she was as strong as ten women; so strong, in fact, that there was no need to even have the other nine women in the team, which was absolutely great, you’ve no idea how helpful that is, because there are only eleven seats on the hero bus and the others have already been promised to men and have you seen the prices of new buses these days?

Superhero Shows as High School Stereotypes

My brother and I loveeee superheroes and all the shows that have been put out recently so we decided to compile a list of what high school stereotypes they would be if they were personified. (I like the motif my brother had for the extra kids but I added alternative names if you guys think it got a repetitive) 

Smallville - The Star Quarterback
Supergirl - The Preppy Cheerleader
Gotham - The School Shooter
Arrow - The Moody Emo Teenager
The Flash - The Science Nerd
Legends of Tomorrow - Extra™ Kids/Theatre Geeks
The Defenders - The Other Extra™ Kids/Gang Kids
Daredevil - That One Blind Kid
Jessica Jones - The One Who Gets Held Back 4 Times For Senior Year and Is More Adult Than The Rest
Iron Fist - The Rich Kid
Luke Cage - The Try Hard
Agents of Shield - The Final Group of Extras™/Track Team
Legion - The Crazy Kid

So I do love me some Superman and some Batman. Heck, I grew up with them. A lot of people did. But out of all the superheroes, they have had the most adaptations. Not just film adaptions but shows, cartoons, the whole shebang.

So like…I’m going to side-eye people who call Wonder Woman cliché and possibly do the same with Black Panther because, for literal years, we have seen the same story told multiple times through Superman and Batman. Plus, just because something has some clichés doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad. It depends on the clichés.

For real, women and black people have waited years for both of these films. Let us have this