Topic: What makes a good Super Hero?

I started to pick up where i left off in writing my character outlines for my comic book when a though popped in my head.

Is my comic book hero good enough?

This was immediately followed by the next questions.

Are they relatable enough? Is his power unique enough? The story fresh, exciting? Dose it say something, or is it just a whole work of fluff? Do i need to re-work my story, my characters, my whole idea again? Am I wasting my time on people and places and events that no one will care about? 

Am Making a good Comic Book SuperHero?

I have been trying and failing to write a comic book for my capstone for over a year now. My capstone was due this semester in order to graduate. Because of my amazingly lack of capability with the shit storm that fell this year, I have neither created a comic book or graduated.

I’m sitting here, second guessing myself for the Nth number of times on if my story and characters will invoke anything. I set out to find a kind of algorithm for creating a great superhero but came up with goose egg. Witch left me with the ever building question…

What makes a Good SuperHero?

so I went back and read, Read like the wind. I looked up interviews at other bloggers and even watched several videos of Stan Lee himself explain it. But all of it is just, a wash. I mean its all really arbitrary information. This is what a few hours of research has given me.

Stan Lee IGN interview

  • Good powers
  • a Cool Costume
  • Good Name
  • Adjectives… like Amazing Spiderman  or Incredible Hulk 

Observation Deck

  • Ability to connect with readers
  • Get readers invested
  • Compelling and Engaging writing
  • Identifiable Moral Code

Movie Pilot

  • Good backstory
  • superpower
    • useful
    • very cool
  • dark-side
    • sad past

Thats it…Thats the best i could find I even scraped the bottom of the bucket and read threw random Linkden rants and Wikihow pages. But nothing broke it down for me. Having a cool name doesn’t make a superhero objectively good and neither dose having a dark-side. Take Robin, Robin as everyone knows is Batman’s sidekick but…robin really? Thats a tiny bird that is neither fierce nor intimidating, but trying telling Dick Grayson that, hell kick your ass. And for a dark-side, what about the proverbial boy scout himself i.e. Superman. Superman is the representation of all things good, and even though new writers or movie produces try to paint a grittier picture it usually fails and he falls back in to the laser eyed scout we all know.

I wanted Objective answers not this wishy/washy “even you can make a comic book” answer meant to satisfy the hobbyists with out giving real detail away. This lead me to a another questions.

What characteristics dose the best super heros share?

First who are the best super heros? I looked of a few lists and came up with the top 10 that were shown most on the list.

  1. Batman
  2. Superman
  3. Spiderman
  4. Captain American
  5. Deadpool
  6. Wonder woman
  7. Green Lantern
  8. Rocket Raccoon
  9. Wolverine
  10. Thor

 

I need to rank them, but how and in what categories. That was my next step, while ranking them i tried to stay away from arbitrary ideas things like what the powers were, but focused more on on where they got them from and if they had any. Here are my categories.

  1. powers (if they have them)
  2. how they got those powers
  3. parents?
  4. Names have alliteration
  5. Do they kill
  6. Gender
  7. Do they use weapons
  8. Age
  9. Location
  10. Edgy (not the same as dark)
  11. Hero vs Anti Hero
  12. GroupScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 6.53.23 PM

This is what I got.  When you compound it this is what the numbers say

  1. 80% have powers
  2. 50% are from Mutations, 20% from being alien, 30% are tool based
  3. 70% have no parents
  4. 60% Don’t have alliteration in their name
  5. 70% Kill, 30% kill when forced too
  6. 90% are male (no surprise there)
  7. 70% use weapons
  8. Nearly all fall between early 20’s to early 30’s
  9. 30% NY, 20% CA, 20% space, 30% other
  10. 60% not Edgy (edgy as in trendy)
  11. 60% Hero type, 20% Anti-hero type, 20% both
  12. 80% work in groups, 20% float between groups and single work

Now that i have this I have a blue print, With this small sample set I can make up my algorithm.

A Good super hero needs this to succeed:

  1. Have Powers
    1. From a mutation
  2. Orphan
  3. Normal enough real name
  4. Kill enemy’s
  5. Use Weapon’s
  6. Be a man
  7. Be 25-35
  8. Live in a big city
  9. Be Conventional
  10. Be a typical Hero type
  11. Have a team

Now this isn’t a perfect recipe, a lot of outliers exist right?

Do any Popular heros not follow this algorithm?

Lets look a ever growing popular female superhero and how she follows those 11 traits. X = no Y= yes

Black Widow 

  1. X (she has no powers)
  2. Y (Is an Orphan)
  3. Y (Normal name)Natalia Natasha Alianovna Romanova
  4. Y (kills enemy’s)
  5. Y (Uses weapons)
  6. X (Woman)
  7. Y (31)
  8. Y (Has a home in NY)
  9. Y (Conventional)
  10. Y (hero)
  11. Y (Avengers)

When you look at it, she really only differs in two regards, no powers and is a woman.  Maybe theres something to this algorithm. Lets look at a less known but still badass superhero.

HellBoy

  1. Y (has powers)
    1. Y (two both!)
  2. Y  (Orphan)
  3. Y  Anung un Rama (Not super normal, but not alliteration)
  4. Y (Kills enemies)
  5. Y (what’s hellboy without his gun)
  6. Y (Man)
  7. x (being found in the 1400 he’s very old and yet, not at all somewhere between 6-10 officially)
  8. Y (NY)
  9. X (Edgy)
  10. Y (hero)
  11. Y (B.P.R.D)

And again, We have an 80% match.  So maybe there’s an 80% variance to this formula. Now that I have a formula, A set of heros i can base it on, and some actual hard numbers i can finally answer my question and get back to work!

Let me know what you think!