I’ve seen these lists for evil overlords, evil sorceresses, and hapless sidekicks, but not superheroes. It doesn’t mean there isn’t one out there, but only that my lazy Google search didn’t turn up anything. So here’s what’s been tumbling around in my fevered hamster brain…
1) If I gain my powers in a one-of-a-kind, impossible to duplicate science mishap, I will assume that the mishap will promptly be duplicated, resulting in the creation of my nemesis.
2) If I gain my powers by building one-of-a-kind, impossible to duplicate technology, I will assume that despite my best efforts, this technology will be either stolen from me or someone will in fact manage to duplicate it.
a) In that case, I might as well patent the technology and at least make some money off of it.
b) I will, however, not try to develop an artificial intelligence if at all possible. If I really think I need an A.I., I will program in the Three Laws of Robotics.
3) If I gain my powers by an accident of birth, I will assume I will be hated and feared for the way I was born.
4) If I gain my powers through a mystical, one-of-a-kind, impossible-to duplicate artifact, I will assume that the artifact will be duplicated, resulting in the creation of my nemesis.
5) No matter what the origin of my powers, I will acquire the best body armor I can afford. At some point, I will lose my powers and that Kevlar vest will be worth every penny.
6) No matter what the origin of my powers, I will learn some kind of martial arts/fighting ability. There are two reasons for this:
a) If I am a flying brick, I had better learn to pull my punches when fighting ordinary guys or I will kill someone.
b) At some point, I will lose my powers and knowing basic fighting techniques may just save my life.
7) No matter what the origin of my powers, I will learn how to shoot at least a handgun and maintain a marksmanship skill. At some point, I will lose my powers and being able to use a firearm may save my life.
8) I will learn everything I can about anything I can, especially in the realm of law and law enforcement. Being a flying brick is pretty awesome, but having a list of talents a mile long is also practically a superpower.
1) I will never, ever wear my underwear on the outside.
2) I will never wear a cape unless I have proper training to utilize it as a weapon. Otherwise, it’s just something else to get in the way.
3) I will wear a costume that covers as much of my body as possible. My goal is to fight crime, not be sexy. Boob windows and bared midriffs only expose points of vulnerability for my enemies to exploit.
4) I will not change my costume every other week. That’s just too expensive.
5) If I choose a costume theme, I will not try to make every single gadget/accessory fit into the theme if it reduces the functionality of the item.
6) If I choose a costume theme, I will make sure it’s obvious as long as it doesn’t interfere with my ability to fight crime.
7) My costume will reflect my superhero name to the greatest extent possible.
1) I will team up with other heroes when the opportunity arises and not complain about being a loner.
2) If I get in over my head and know that one or more of my colleagues can deal with the problem, I will call them in to help. There is no reason to fight impossible odds alone when I have allies. That’s what allies are for.
3) I will not have a sidekick.
a) The sidekick will either end up dead or depowered.
b) The sidekick will constantly get taken hostage or get in the way and potentially cost the lives of others.
c) The sidekick will end up captured by my enemies and turned against me.
d) I don’t need those kind of child endangerment lawsuits.
e) The parents of the dead sidekick will vow vengeance against me.
4) I will not take a younger superhero under my wing to teach the way of superheroing. Unless I have degrees in child psychology and education, I am completely unqualified to undertake such a task. Also, as it is likely that I am a broken shell of a human being, my tutelage is likely to emotionally scar the young superhero.
a) Assuming, of course, the young superhero is not killed under my tutelage.
b) Assuming the young superhero survives, the young superhero ends up completely disenchanted with superheroing and quits.
c) The young superhero stays a hero but is filled with a burning resentment against me.
d) The young superhero turns into a villain and vows revenge.
5) I will not flirt with my allies. This is unprofessional and bound to cause trouble later.
1) Before embarking on my superhero career, I will set priorities with myself on where my actual job, family, and superheroing rank. I will do my best to maintain that balance or else I risk losing my actual job, my family, and being a lousy superhero.
2) I will not lose my job due to my superheroing. Yes, it is important to save the world, but if I don’t have a place to sleep and food to eat, I’m not going to be a very good superhero. Also, gadgets and armor are expensive, so unless I happen to have money as my superpower, I need to be budget-conscious.
3) I will honor commitments to my family. If I have promised to see my girlfriend’s play, I will see her play even if a police car goes by. If I wanted to chase police cars all night, I should not have agreed to see my girlfriend’s play.
1) I will tell my family members my secret identity.
a) If they are close to me, they have already guessed it.
b) My superheroing puts them in danger and they have the right to know that and act, rather than being forced to react.
c) This makes missing family commitments a little less disappointing for everyone.
2) I will not have a significant other.
a) Girlfriends in particular do not fare well. If she survives the relationship, she will most likely turn against me.
b) Boyfriends fare a little better, but they can still end up dead, depowered, used as a hostage, or be so scorned they may become my nemesis (this is especially likely if I have already told them my secret identity).
c) Marriages are full of conflict and tend to end really badly.
3) I will not have a child. The child will either end up dead, a hostage, or turned against me by my enemies.
4) If any family member disappeared and presumably died when I was young only to reappear and want to be part of my life, I will assume they are part of a nefarious plot by my enemies until proven otherwise.
5) I will not have a landline if at all possible. That could lead a villain to discover my secret identity. If I must have a landline, it will be unlisted.
6) I will use a burner cell phone. Long-term data plans are traceable. Only my family members and my work, if necessary, will have the number.
7) I will regularly search the web for my name and remove my personal information where found (such as from phone number look-up websites) if at all possible.
1) I will not work for shadowy government organizations.
2) If I ever realize there is a hole in my memory, I will immediately seek to fill it. This should be my top priority.
3) I will never expect a villain to monologue, but I will take advantage if they do.
4) I will not get involved in time travel.
5) If I break it, I will try to fix it. If I make a mess, I will try to clean it up. If I cause it to fall, I will try to catch it. If I make a mistake, I will apologize.
6) I will thoroughly vet and see a therapist on a regular basis. If I can find a superhero therapist, so much the better. But I will acquire mental issues and I need to treat them properly.
7) If I find I am involved in time travel, I will not break the space-time continuum.
8) I will not explore parallel universes or alternate dimensions.
9) If I end up in an alternate dimension or parallel universe, I will get back to my home dimension as quickly as possible. I don’t need to find out that I’m the worst villain the alternate dimension/parallel universe has ever seen; such information has no bearing on my superheroing.
10) I will assume my alternate dimension/parallel universe self will be evil until proven otherwise.
11) I will not assume my nemesis is dead; clearly this is either a clone or robot or life-model decoy.
12) I will not flirt with my villains. This is unprofessional and bound to cause trouble later.
13) If I am responsible for someone’s death, I will immediately work to make amends to the family/significant other if possible to try to prevent the family/significant other from vowing vengeance against me.
14) If the villain can take the full brunt of my powers, I will dish out the full brunt at the start of the fight to try to drop him/her quickly instead of progressively building up my attacks. Dropping the villain quickly will help prevent collateral damage.
15) If my powerset does not include witty banter, I will not attempt to utilize witty banter during a fight. If it’s not a power, it’s just a waste of breath.
16) If a villain tells me s/he is reformed, I will assume this is a clever ruse and part of a nefarious plot until proven otherwise. Note – I may never be proven otherwise.
17) If I am a technology hero, at some point my technology will turn against me. I will build in multiple failsafes to shut it down in that case. If all else fails, I will ask my powerful allies to destroy my technology for me before it wreaks more havoc.
18) I will avoid all sources of radiation if possible, even if I obtained my powers through a science mishap. Radiation and superpowers (no matter the origin) can get pretty ugly.
19) I will retire one day, and I will stay retired.
The hamster is exhausted for now; I may think of new items to join this list later.