What is a Superhero?

I’ve done a lot,

God knows I’ve tried

to find the truth,

I’ve even lied;

But all I know is,

deep down inside

I’m bleeding.

And super heroes

come to feast,

to taste the flesh,

not yet deceased,

And all I know is

still the beast is feeding.

--Rocky Horror

Different people in the world will answer this question differently. As far as the public is concerned, a superhero is someone who runs around in a funny costume and isn’t a supervillain. Some people hate superheroes. Some people practically worship them. Many don’t even believe they exist. Make sure you ask your Editor how people in this world feel about super heroes.

In general, this is what makes someone a superhero, as far as the public is concerned:

1. A funny costume.

2. Usually fights super villains; preferably on camera.

3. Occasionally fights crime.

4. Doesn’t lie, steal, or cheat.

5. Probably doesn’t pay taxes.

Notice that a superhero doesn’t have to have superpowers. But anyone who has superpowers but isn’t a superhero is generally going to be considered a super villain. Boo. Hiss.


What people really worry about are the sleepers--those who hide their powers and use them in normal professions. If someone uses their ability to see the future as a way to do slightly better than average on the stock market, who’s going to know it’s not because of their superior knowledge? Who’s going to know if an Olympic runner is really super-powered? Who’s going to know if the guy next door could wake up one night and blow the neighborhood away with an energy blast?

Some people really resent the existence of super heroes. Many a fine super villain came into being because someone felt that super heroes were taking the spotlight away from the common person.