Friday, August 18, 2006

Joshua’s Guide to Being a Super Hero

Your life sucks. Don’t try to lie, don’t pretend it’s not. As interesting as you think your life is, it’s not really that exciting. I mean, when was the last time you jumped a building in a single bound? Can you remember ever being faster than a speeding bullet? Doubtful. How about saving the world from an evil alien invasion? Done that recently? I didn’t think so.

See, the problem is that you are not a super hero. But all that can change. All you have to do is follow my simple guide to being a superhero and in no time you’ll find yourself wearing skin-tight Lycra bodysuits and running around city rooftops.

The Origin

The first thing you have to do is figure out how you’re going to acquire your super powers. Some of the more popular options involve mutation in some way. You can be bitten by some radioactive animal, thereby being imbued with its natural abilities, (just make sure it’s a worthy animal, there’s not much worse than being bitten by and being imbued with the natural abilities of, say, a hamster.) Or you can be doused with radioactive material. But be warned of this second option, you could either end up losing one of your senses, or you could end up a hideously deformed creature of super-human size and strength, and that’s never fun.

There are otherworldly options. You could have your powers given to you by a benevolent alien. Going with this origin is good if you’re the social type and you like meeting new people. Another good one is to actually be born as an alien and come to Earth, but this requires a fair amount of pre-planning, so it might not be the best idea for you.

For those do-it-yourselfers out there, you could study the occult and become a powerful sorcerer, (or sorceress.) If you’re more of a hands-on kind of person you can build your own robotic suit, or suit of armor and use that to fight crime.

You can be disfigured in an accident, or lose body parts and be partially rebuilt with some cool cyborg attachments or give yourself over to the U.S. military and have them turn you super with a serum or something. But I don’t trust our government, so I’d never go that route.

Some people don’t actually want super powers. If you’re one of these people then your origin needs to be filled with personal suffering and misery in order to give you the proper motivation to fight injustice. The typical non-super power background involves entire families dying. If you’re not particularly fond of the people in your family, you might want to consider this origin.

The Powers

Typically, super heroes have two powers, one main, and one secondary. The most popular super power is, of course, super strength, usually followed by flight. But you’re not limited by just those, you can also be invisible, have power over lower life forms, shoot some kind of energy beam from somewhere on your body, move really fast, have super intelligence and so forth. You’re limited only by your imagination. But don’t get greedy. Super heroes with too many super powers, or who are just ridiculously strong usually have some kind of flaw or allergy to something common. Be careful!

If I could pick a super power, it’d be instantaneous transportation. I’d be able to travel anywhere….instantly! It’s better than flying, though I have to admit, it’s more suited for super villains than super heroes. For a secondary power, I guess I’d have to go with telepathy, so I could finally figure out what the hell girls are thinking about that causes such crazy things to come out of their mouths. But I digress.

Whatever powers you pick, don’t be afraid to see how far you can take them. Take the Flash for example. He took his ability to run really fast and experimented with it. Now he can vibrate his hands really fast too. I have no idea how helpful that is as a super power, but he can do it!

That’s all the space I have for this week. Tune in soon when I go over such things as choosing a super hero name, costume and location. Are cities really the best place to battle the forces of evil? What about the suburbs?

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