marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

how to concentrate power

One of the first things in building a superhero world is not only what kind of superpowers there are, and how many superheroes there are, but how many of them have what powers.

Is there a standard type of superhero? A flying brick, so that flight, superstrength, and toughness are commonplace among supers? And by commonplace, does that mean that nine out of ten superheroes are flying bricks? Or a mere plurality, one out of three, or even one out of ten? (Would take a lot of creativity to multiply other powers to that extent, but would produce a variegated world.)

Or are superpowers, or at least superpower sets, unique? (Sets, of course, would not preclude the standard type, if every flying brick had one unique power, like supersight, or absolute direction.) It would strain the imagination to make a cast of thousands for superheroes, then, and I suspect that there would be a taxonomy anyway. (And they would make training new supers a real pain.)

Though if the hero is to have a unique set, it matters a lot whether unique sets of power are commonplace or not in the world. If only for the danger that it looks like unearned specialness.)
Tags: genre: superheroes, orchestrating characters, superpowers

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