1. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Help me with this origin story so I can give this hero a superpower

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by rktho, Sep 18, 2017.

    I'm writing a story that's a satire on teen superhero stories where the villain, Aldous Sphinx, realizes he's fighting a kid and he's like, "what the crap, I'm not killing a kid! That's messed up!" So he does everything in his power to keep the kid safe while still continuing with his evil plans. He sends his henchmen to spy on him so he doesn't get hurt fighting other villains, and tries to find out where he lives so he can tell his mom, makes angry calls to the local superhero league, and tries to find a way to take away his powers so he'll stop putting himself in danger and just be a normal kid and Aldous doesn't have to worry anymore. At one point he even saves the hero's victims for him because the hero is sooo insistent that they make it out okay, and Aldous undoes his act of terrorism just so the hero will go away instead of leaping into a burning building. He basically becomes an overprotective parent by accident.

    I'm trying to decide on the hero's powers, because that will determine his superhero name, what his suit looks like, etc. I decided to start with an origin story. I want the villain to comment on the origin story with horror about the level of irresponsibility involved. "Wait, x happened and y wasn't around to stop you from getting into trouble? And x was z?" For example, if this superhero were Peter Parker, then he would go on a field trip to a science lab, where a radioactive spider would get loose and bite him, giving him spider powers so he can become Spider-Man. The villain would be like, "Wait... you went off alone to a corridor in a science lab and the chaperones didn't see you? And you got bitten by a radioactive spider that had just happened to escape? That's totally irresponsible! Seriously, the spider was radioactive? Who the heck was incompetent enough to let a poisonous spider filled with radiation run loose in a lab where kids were on a field trip? How does being bitten by a radioactive spider even give you superpowers, anyway? Shouldn't you have died from radiation poisoning? Man, kid, you have some seriously negligent guardians!"

    So, long story short, I want a typical superhero origin story about how the hero got superpowers, one that makes you seriously concerned about how negligent the hero's teachers/parents/guardians are to let something like that happen to him in the first place.
     
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  2. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    I got it-- he got bitten by a feral goat during a trip to the petting zoo for a biology class. The goat wasn't even part of the petting zoo, it just wandered in and people started petting it. He wandered off from the group because the goat was making weird dubstep noises and wanted to check it out, when the goat nipped his finger. The goat later ate his notes before walking away forever.

    Okay-- gets bitten by a goat, gets goat superpowers. What would those be? Horns, obviously, but probably part of his suit, not a physical change, since that would draw too much attention. But he'd have a hard head he can butt things with. Also, a sonic scream, the ability to karate kick with both feet, rock climbing, diet expansion (can snack on inedible things like plastic cups), and he can grow a goatee even though he's like fourteen.
     
  3. making tracks

    making tracks Active Member

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    Haha, I love this premise! Are there any powers in your story so far that the kid has to have (from any scenes you've already thought up)? How about they went to an arcade, were playing pinball, the machine fell on them just as lighting struck the building and they got the powers of pinball - able to punch super hard, move really fast and throw things really hard. And not get dizzy. And make very loud shocking noises. (I am aware this is very silly and tenuous and doesn't make any scientific sense. Wasn't sure if that's what you're aiming for for?)
     
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  4. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Well, I had finally decided on goat powers that he got from a bite at a petting zoo... but I think I just might like this one better. That's hilarious. That actually sounds like a cool set of superpowers that has the potential to be hilarious.
     
  5. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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  6. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Wow. Yeah, that sounds like something my MC would get a kick out of. (Kicking is actually one of his goat superpowers.) But I think I'm going to go with the pinball idea.
     
  7. Thom

    Thom Active Member

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    Your antagonist sounds kind of like Gru! Neat.
     
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  8. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    I put in some Vulture and Doofenshmirtz, but Gru didn't occur to me. Great idea!
     
  9. newbie_writer

    newbie_writer New Member

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    Just a random idea but how about his parents didnt pick him up from school so he was left to walk home in the pouring rain, along the way his foot gets stuck to the pavement courtesy of a piece of chewed up gum whilst at the same time he is struck by lightning. This gives him the "powers" of bubblegum - almost a poor knock off of Mr Fantastic, he can stretch...just not too much. He can inhale air and inflate...just not too much. He can become sticky...but not enough to stick to walls like spiderman.

    On top of this he creates his own superhero outfit made from the best material he can find which stretches...lycra. However his parents see delivery upon delivery of lycra to their young teenage son and keep dropping hints on no matter what his life choices may be they will always fully support and love him.
     
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  10. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Hm... another possibility.
     
  11. Pharthan

    Pharthan Active Member

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    Something humorous would probably be good, but something surprisingly useful. If your villain is going to have as good of morals as you suggest, you kind of have to go the comedy route; a realism route would require a very deep Anti-Villain where it seems you're going for a more shallow Anti-Villain. Nothing against that.

    I had an idea that you could also go for something that would be warned against in a Public Service Announcement, like have him get his powers from a genetically engineered virus designed to alter DNA (You could literally do this with the e-coli bacteria, that's how GMOs are made, but I'd caution against that because it could give false-clout to the Anti-GMO people). Literally the dialogue could be "Wait, you were on a field-trip/take-your-son-to-work-day at viral research laboratory and they didn't tell you to wash your freaking hands after being around highly volatile viruses?!"

    Could have all of the powers of GMO corn. You laugh, but features would include:
    • Four different DNA strands he could alternate between, basically a schizophrenia that would parody teenage moodiness. He could have a nerd strand, a strength stand, an athletic strand, and... I dunno, something else. This would probably be his chief "power."
    • Size alteration, but only to one very specific size.
    • Drought resistant (ability to go for a long time without water or nutrition, which would probably be the number one problem for him - a teenager that doesn't eat a lot?)
    • His children would look nothing like him and have the wierdest powers (not that he'd find out).
    • Naturally insect repellent.
    • An extreme hatred for weeds, and the ability to kill them with a single touch.
    • Disease resistant. Can't get sick. Could probably also extrapolate this to not being able to be poisoned.
    • He could probably make a protective husk around himself to give it plausibility that he's going into dangerous scenarios without dying right off the bat. Not necessarily a great defense, but good against knives and small caliber bullets, maybe.
    What I'd suggest is that he also doesn't realize that he has the powers of GMO corn until later on and that be a point of humor, him realizing he has the powers of corn.

    Great potential for a joke about "good moral fiber."

    And my nerd in me really wants to critique the whole radiation bit you did at the start, but that'd be out of context and besides the point. To be fair, Marvel's understanding of it at the time probably wasn't any better.
     
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  12. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Living in my own little world Contributor

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    OK. Try this one.
    Due to a flub in the admin office, his name accidentally gets added to the list of kids who are going on a "scared straight" tour of a jail. He wears a black-and-white striped shirt on the day of the tour. He manages to get left behind in front of the cell of a crazy scientist dude who was imprisoned for testing his concoctions on humans without the proper approval. This scientist inmate coaxes him closer, then stabs him in the hand with a fork coated in one of his concoctions. The kids runs off around the corner, a guard sees him coming in his striped shirt and thinks it's a loose inmate, and Tases him. Viola, Taser combined with scientist dude's concoction = lightning/electricity powers.

    "Wait, so the school accidentally sent you to scared straight? And NO ONE noticed you hanging back at this dude's cell? How did he even get a fork to begin with? No one saw you getting too close to him? Then the guard ACTUALLY thought you were an inmate? Dude, you're like, 4 feet tall! And he TASED you? What the heck was in that concoction, anyway??"
     
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  13. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Oh man, that's awesome
     
  14. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Supporter Contributor

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    Man, this thread is a riot! This is the sort of comedy superhero stuff my family loves!


    Little quibble that's totally unrelated to the thread. Most people think goats eat tin cans and clothes, but that's not at all true. It's not uncommon for a goat to test how something tastes, and a goat might like the flavor of a tin can's label (or else a starving goat might be desperate), but they don't just eat everything. They mostly like to eat brush, grain, and some grass. A bored horse will chew on its wooden stall, but you don't see people claiming they eat everything wood!

    Anyway, just thought I'd clear that up.
     
  15. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    I was conscious of that fact when I came up with that idea. It makes his powers even more nonsensical.
     
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  16. Pharthan

    Pharthan Active Member

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    I shared this topic with a friend of mine who works on GMOs, he had this to say:
    "I'd say that's a good start. [my previous post] Having genetics combined with a plant would give some of his cells cell walls. He could probably stand incredibly high pressures.
    And given a source of light he could go for an extremely long time without oxygen because photosynthesis would make oxygen.
    He certainly would have a really different metabolic system. Most normal poisons would be harmless, but some herbicides could be an issue.
    Depending on the plant he shares genetics with he could be quite toxic to other humans. Some plants in the nightshade family contain alkaloids that would kill a human in a matter of minutes. The manchineel tree is a good candidate"
     
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  17. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Tassels. Don't forget the tassels.
     
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