Scarlet Spider

Unique Power Sets and Superhuman “Copyright”.

Anyone want to listen to me complain more about super heroes? No? Bah, too bad.

Part of the draw of super heroes involves their uniqueness, e.g. they’re the only ones who can do these things, and it can’t be replicated. Well, usually. You’ve got plenty of exceptions, like the Green Lantern Corp, but they all have their own self-selecting criteria for inclusion; ranging from the Corp/Guardians selection process, hereditary powers, inherited mantle, etc. (The Dial Wielders from Dial H for Hero/ Hero/ Dial H, where the only limitation is possessing a dial, are a ton of fun, and a great example of how to do it.) So: in order to maintain the hero’s status as special/ unique, you need to have some way to limit the imitation of their powers.


Super Heroes and Crimefighting

Hey! Look! More time-wasting ruminations on super heroes!

In the first decades of super heroes, their purpose was firmly fixed: Crimefighting. Even most supervillains, to this day, are petty criminals much of the time. This actually makes a lot of sense, given the time period they rose up in. Pre-WWII America was a crime-ridden, nasty place. Even today, America has an absurdly higher rate of violent crime, especially gun crime, than many other industrialized nations. If super heroes were first written today, though, or actually existed, would they be crime fighters? I don’t think so.