So You Wanna Be A Superhero?

stdradThe world is a scary and dangerous place full of criminals and villains out to destroy society and harm the innocent. You’re sitting on your couch at 3 AM watching a live report of yet another heinous crime and something in your snaps. It’s time to stand up for what’s right and do something to change the world. Your plan to eliminate all evil by systematically watching every single Netflix Original series is clearly not panning out, so it’s time for drastic action. You will become….a Superhero!

The first thing you must do is acquire superpowers. You may think you can be a superhero without special powers, and just have a bunch of cool fancy gadgets. But unless you’re a billionaire orphan with a mysterious past and plenty of powerful connections, the high-tech, high-angst route just isn’t going to work out for you. So where to find superpowers?

The vast majority of superpowers are acquired as the result of exposure to lethal amounts of radiation and/or toxic waste. Here’s a list of some of the most toxic places in the world to give you a starting point. Other options are going out into space without a suit, hanging out around a particle accelerator, or acquiring an X-ray machine and standing in front of it regularly. Sure, most people would end up dead or dying from such activities, but you’re a superhero, so you’ll get powers.

Unfortunately, you have no control over what kind of powers you’ll get. Sometimes they’ll reflect your natural personality and ability, sometimes they’re affected by whatever gave them to you in the first place, but other times they’re just random mutations that nobody can understand. Hopefully you get a power set that’s useful, and not just silly!

Once you’ve survived the process of acquiring your powers you’ll need to choose a superhero name. Make sure it has something to do with your powers and doesn’t sound completely dumb so that you look good on the headlines! Next you’ll need a costume, complete with a mask to hide your identity. Luckily, every superpower inducing event also endows you with the ability to design and create your own super costume just like a pro! In no time at all you’ll be suited up and ready to.


Congratulations! You are now a superhero! It’s time to go out and fight some crime. Here are some rules to keep in mind while you’re on the streets:

  1. Obey all traffic signals.
  2. Don’t ever kill anyone. Even if you know that supervillain is just going to break out of jail and do horrible things in retaliation for being put there in the first place, you’re not allowed to kill him.
  3. Always help those who ask you, no matter what else you might be in the middle of doing.
  4. Never tell anyone who you really are, even if you meet the love of your life and can’t come up with a plausible explanation for what you really do.
  5. Choose a neutral location to switch between identities were you’re unlikely to run into anyone you know, or be caught by an unsuspecting witness. If anyone does catch you in costume, just tell them you’re a big fan on the way to a convention.

And finally, the most important rule of all. No matter what you do, no matter how much fun it seems, no matter how many cookies they claim to have:



Katie Lynn Daniels is the author of Supervillain of the Day, and the mastermind behind Vaguely Circular. She blogs about science and things that are peripherally related to science. You can read all her posts here.



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