Sorry, Marvel. ALL heroes are super.

“Superpower” is a technical term used by some writers and editors, myself included. It’s awkward when used in superhero fiction, but generally speaking it’s a great term packed with a lot of information.

Your protagonist must have a superpower. Your secondary characters usually need them too. Your villain always has a superpower, but an¬†antagonist doesn’t always need it. (Yes, there’s a difference between a villain and an antagonist. There’s also a difference between main characters, protagonists, heroes, and viewpoint characters, but that’s another blog post.) It’s advisable to have a kryptonite as well, but that’s not as important as long as you’ve practiced.

So what is this superpower thing? Flight? Super-strength? The ability to leap tall buildings faster than a speeding bullet while running alongside a train?

It can be, but it’s not necessarily supernatural. A character’s superpower is defined as anything they can do better than anyone else in the story. Similarly, a character’s kryptonite is that which forms an obstacle they cannot overcome. Continue reading