1. The Question Asker

    The Question Asker New Member

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    Are There Any Cool Super-Powers NOT Taken?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by The Question Asker, Nov 12, 2016.

    I am one of those young teens who is very into super-heroes that fight crime. Problem is, I posted on a forum one day describing a super-hero I thought up. It got destroyed. After I looked at it again, the hero was riddled with stereotypes and too similar to the already existing hero Wolverine.

    What I am getting at is, every time I create a super-hero I think is cool, someone points out those powers are too similar to so-and-so.

    Which brings me to my question(s):

    How do I make a super-hero unique? Is it possible to add powers without him/her becoming too much like an already existing hero?

    Any and every kind of help is appreciated.
     
  2. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    Don't only think of powers, think of personality too. Wolverine and Deadpool both have healing factors, but they're quite different people. That means they interact with and regard their powers differently. I think it's less important to come up with unique powers than it is to make the character who has the power interesting, and consider how their personality syncs up or conflicts with the power.

    When it comes to crafting interesting powers, I'd recommend A: thinking of how they're weaknesses, not just strengths (eg I have a character who can 'fly' by manipulating gravity but spending so much time in less than a G eventually wrecks her bone density), and B: breaking them down into smaller pieces to come at them from different angles (eg my girl doesn't just fly magically - she manipulates gravity - so I have to consider the ramifications of that, such as the health issues).

    You also have to consider the incredible amount of superheroes that DC and Marvel (mostly) have churned out over the years. With that much content there's bound to be some comparisons, no matter what you come up with. I write sci-fi and it pretty much feels like any idea I have, Star Trek probably already did :D You just have to make it your own and at some point stop worrying about true uniqueness.
     
  3. The Question Asker

    The Question Asker New Member

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    That makes sense. I did not really think of personality.

    Powers that have flaws...How the character syncs up with or conflicts with their power. This is helpful, thank you.
     
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  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    You also have to consider that not all super heros have powers, like the Punisher for instance (though he is more anti-hero),
    he still manages to pull off some pretty spectacular stunts. But yeah the other person is right, it is more about personality
    than what powers they have. Besides Deadpool is invincible compared to Wolverine (Deadpool regenerated from a tiny piece
    of what was left of his body. Wolverine can't quite do that in the same way, because if he did he would not have the adamantium
    in his bones once he did regenerate.).
     
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  5. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Pay no attention to the bad comic book logic behind the spoiler:

    [​IMG]

    ... Anyway, @The Question Asker , using new versions of familiar tropes is generally more fun than coming up with one from scratch, and comic book superpowers shouldn't be any different. I'd recommend reading up on Required Secondary Powers and trying to imagine what the traditional superpowers might look like without them ;)

    And don't just mention the lack of Required Secondary Powers off-hand, make them consistent and plot-relevant.

    For example, the vampire character in my Urban Fantasy WIP uses an enchanted ring to cast a glamour that makes her look like a human, rather than a Nosferatu-demon. My problem with glamours: the light from the environment is still bouncing off of the original person. If she casts an image on top of herself, it won't look like the image, it would look like she's standing inside a hologram.

    I could just have the ring be such a powerful reality warper that it changes the light around her rather than just superimposing an image on top of her, but it's so much more fun for me to say that other mages are powerful enough to break the laws of physics more blatantly, but that this one isn't and that she has to settle for creatively getting around the realistic limitations that the more powerful mages can create the Required Secondary Spells for.​

    So here's my thought: the ring can also make her completely invisible. She can turn both powers off if she wants to appear in her natural Nosferatu form, she can turn herself invisible so that she can hide (she needs to be naked for this to work, but even my raging horndog narrator finds her Nosferatu-demon form to be the least attractive naked woman he's ever seen in his life), she can turn herself invisible so that she can disguise herself as a human, or she can add a glamour on top of her visible body just to demonstrate why she needs to be invisible for the disguise to work.

    So after my vampire has beat the living daylights out of my narrator and his boss from the backseat of their car, proven to them that vampires are real, and shown off how her ring of disguise/invisibility works, my narrator's first response is "Great. So I just got beat up by a blind chick." Would you like to guess why he said that?

    And if you do think you know what my narrator meant, would you like to guess why that means my vampire would care more about the invisibility itself than about the invisibility for the sake of a human disguise?
     
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  6. PilotMobius

    PilotMobius Active Member

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    You know what's a cool superpower? Launching a piece of lead at supersonic speeds at your enemies! Oh wait, that's a firearm. There's real-world superpowers all around you in the form of modern technology. Flexible armor made of shear-thickening fluid that hardens upon impact, chemical weapons that cover your enemies' flesh in festering boils, hollow cones of explosives that turn sheets of metal into molten armor-piercing jets, etc.

    You could make a superhero built around technol- wait, that's Iron Man.

    I guess all the powers are taken, and it's the characters' personalities and circumstances that make them unique.
     
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  7. ToBeInspired

    ToBeInspired Senior Member

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    Well, sure you could make some heroes with relatively boring powers to be unique.

    Sticky Vicky
    Age: 22
    Gender: Female
    Power: Ability to turn sticky notes into butterflies. Different colors do different things. White transfers information, green tracks, red incinerates upon impact, blue allows far sight, yellow heals, etc.

    Doubt that's a real one.

    It's not always the power, but how its used that matters.

    For instance, Wolverine is a bad ass. Super regeneration, adamantium bones/claws, etc. Now he faces off against a super who's only power is the ability to breathe under water. If he can maneuver a flood, he can beat Wolverine by drowning him.

    The show Misfits did a good job at that. These teens all have powers. Time travel, invisibility, mind reading, miracle healing, etc. Now one kid only has the ability to control dairy. Lame ability, just does tricks with milks. Yet he kills everyone by forcing any dairy up from the stomach and drowning them. Only works out because one kid is Immortal (revives) and the time traveler is lactose intolerant.

    Size matters, but so does the 'otion of the motion.

    Instead of all these big flashy superpowers, consider how a small superpower can be made flashy.

    + personality fitting your character.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  8. WNP

    WNP Member

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    I love that show, some of the 'powers' were so weird
     
  9. Raven484

    Raven484 Contributor Contributor

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    On a funny note, my wife watches all the seasons of Friends over and over. One of them was about a comic book Ross made as a kid. It was called "Science Boy". He would use the Scientific Method to get out of any situation. This episode always sticks in my mind because of how passionate Ross was about it. It cracks me up just thinking about it.
     
  10. Desertphile

    Desertphile Member

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    How about the ability to make plants grow quickly? Abruptly, I mean.
     
  11. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    ;) You mean like Poison Ivy?
     
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  12. Desertphile

    Desertphile Member

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    Gosh, I didn't know she can do that. Argh. Gosh.... there are no super powers left.....
     
  13. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I would say there don't need to be.

    In addition to the spells cooked up by my vampire, I'm thinking that my protagonists start learning elemental magic first. Earth magic is powered by one's ability to focus, Air magic is powered by one's ability to adapt, Fire magic is powered by one's ability to stay passionate, and Water magic is powered by one's ability to keep one's cool (my best would be Water, followed most closely by Air).

    My MC chooses to practice Earth and Water magic explicitly because her baseline personality is of the consummate professional, and these two specific elements combine in my system to give her healing powers when she's mastered both of the components.

    Super villains have had healing powers before, and super villains have been cold-blooded mafia-styled crime bosses, but how many cold-blooded super villain crime bosses have had healing powers?
     
  14. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

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    A Merlin and King Arthur NES game had Arthur's attack power the act of combing his luxuriant blonde hair.
    The mobs were charmed to death.
     
  15. Desertphile

    Desertphile Member

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    A new super power: the ability to swap a person's gender. I was going to write "The ability to shrink penises down to Trump's size," but that would have been impolitic.
     
  16. The Question Asker

    The Question Asker New Member

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    Agreed. I suppose you have to be creative when picking powers.

    Careful mentioning stuff like "Trump" around here. I got my ass skewed on one of my very first posts for talking about the likes of him. I'd hate to see that happen to someone else.

    On another note, the ability to swap someone's gender is a power I have not really heard much about. Maybe I could put a pin on that to test out some other time.
     
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  17. Desertphile

    Desertphile Member

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    Alas, I write humor so I cannot actually avoid Trump.....
     
  18. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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    As far as I know, this somewhat-plausible "super-power" hasn't been done:

    The awareness, at all times, of every action you can take and the consequences of all of those actions going forward in time 4 minutes and 32 seconds, with 97% certainty. The prediction is continuously updated, so there's constantly new actions and consequences youa re becoming aware of as your action or inaction changes things. Obviously, your limited omniscience doesn't extend to your own mind, because the resulting recursion would paralyze you. So you don't know how your mind will be affected. You do know how the rest of your body will be.

    Obviously, I just picked arbitrary numbers for the above.

    If you want a scientific rationale, it's a combination of incredibly good perception (including deep unconscious telepathy -- you don't know what people think, but you know the entire state of their mind) and the ability to simulate the immediate (272 seconds that is) consequences of each possible action you can take, including how everyone and everything will react to it.

    Downsides - you are almost never surprised so life is kind of boring. You also may feel incredibly guilty, because you're aware, for example, that the action (or inaction) you took that saved a child resulted in the death of their parent. You are always aware of all the various ways you could do good, but you must choose to only do one of them. You are always aware of tragedies you could have prevented, except doing so would cause a greater tragedy. And sometimes, the best result for the next 272 seconds winds up being a disaster 10 minutes, 10 hours, or 10 years later.

    You might go mad.
     
  19. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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    Mystique in the Marvel universe, among other shape-shifters.
    And Ranma in Ranma 1/2, among other anime characters.

    If youa re talking about someone else's gender, then that's the Transformation Gun that figures prominently in the popular long-running web comic serial El Goonish Shive
     
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  20. The Question Asker

    The Question Asker New Member

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    I see. Write what you love then, my friend. :agreed:
     
  21. Lewdog

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Poison Ivy already can do that.
     
  22. Lewdog

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    How about trying to tie it into some kind of new technology? Say a Superhero where one of their powers is being able to travel over the internet and can access the internet for information at any time?
     
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  23. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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    Ghost in the Shell
     
  24. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    Just an idea,

    Instead of trying to think of a new super power, why don't you go the Midas Touch route? Let's use super strength as an example: A Hero who with a simple touch can destroy a car, tank, building etc, but due to this super strength he can't even hug the woman he loves without crushing her to death. When a super ability denies a hero even the most basic human pleasures (such as a hug), then you have ironic conflict (which is the best type.)
     
  25. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    Yes all of the main superpowers are taken, but there is still a large amount of wiggle room in powers with conditions

    Cool power
    Main power - Makes things cold
    'new' super power - makes everyone within a 50 meter distance slightly colder than is comfortable, regardless of the environment.


    I used to come up with super powers, names, sidekicks, and backstories for everyone in my Spanish class in highschool. It's probably the reason I know almost zero Spanish.
     
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