marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

nature of the donor

Getting your superpowers from someone is going to affect the world.  But who the someone is also crucial.  Or rather the nature of the someone.

You get a very different effect when the heroes are the consequence of a mad scientist losing control of his victims, or even a circus owner who keeps endowing her attractions with freakish skills only to have them run off to do good (or evil), than when it is the bestowed gift of luminous, transcedent beings whose mind the superhero can not even begin to fathom, or even an interstellar organization that can scan candidates with superscience and then endow them with power to enforce justice.

Motive is important.  Not just what it is, whether the hero obeys or revolts against it, but whether the hero even knows what they are.  Make the source powerful and uncanny enough and he may even wonder whether he's a pawn, or merely the unlucky victim of impersonal forces.
Tags: heroes and villains, mad scientists, motives and purposes, superpowers, world-building: metaphysics

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