make your superheroor supervillain, and you probably have even done some of that work already! The components of course are; the history of your superhero, their character traits, their ambitions and internal conflicts and finally the costume.
All those components are absolutely necessary to give your character the depth he or she needs to be a successful superhero. Your superhero is more than just a being in a flashy costume; there must be more to explain the ambitions and the choices that your hero makes. Commonly, when people make their own superheroes and villains, they come up with 3 of the 4 components with relative ease, and it’s the one final component that we have trouble in our lives that’s the most difficult to come up with for our heroes.
The ones that come easily of course are the character history, character traits and costume. The difficult is the drive and reason for existence.
Make Your Own Superhero’s History
How did your superhero become who he is today? Was he born on our planet, or is he of another world? This explains how the hero got to where he is. Bruce Wayne lost his parents and wanted his city to be free of crime. Peter Parker was an awkward teen that discovered himself after getting bit by a spider. Clark Kent is discovered that he was found in a spaceship and wanted to learn more about himself.
Deep down, the readers (or viewers of your superheroes, if you are fortunate enough to have them make it past the pages of a graphic novel), want to be that hero! The audience naturally relates to the superhero that you make and the history that you create for your hero will allow audience to say “I’m just like that guy”.
Make Your Own Superhero’s Character
What makes your superhero or supervillain who he is? Is he strong or weak in nature? Does he have a good sense of morals and values? Is he or she extroverted or introverted? When you make your hero, you can fall back on your own life experiences and observations. A lot of the time a hero or villain is not very complex, instead their traits are exaggerated from what the “average” would be.
When you make your own superhero the easiest way to get started to choose a character you like from a book or a movie and give their top 3 traits to your hero. They can be for example bravery, strength and decisiveness. At the same time heroes usually do not have the typical weaknesses that we tend to have. The heroes are exaggerated versions; or the “ideal-self”. So when you
make your superhero, just eliminate a couple. For example, does Bruce Wayne procrastinate? Or does Tony Sparks blame others and victimize himself? Not at all!
As much as entertainment, people will look for guidance from the superheroes you create. They will want to find out how the hero functions under every day situations, and they will change the perspective of their own lives as a result.
Make Your Own Superhero’s Ambitions
There often needs to be some sort of a reason for existence, and perhaps this is the part that gives most people the biggest problem. After all, why do we exist? What is it that we want out of our lives and the 70 or so years we can hope to spend on this earth? These are difficult questions to answer, and so when you make your own superhero or supervillain, you may encounter a writer’s block at this point.
Here are some of the most popular themes:
- Revenge. The hero or villain looks to avenge his loved ones.
- Expectation. The hero has powers. They must be used, because people need to be protected.
- Weight of The Past. The hero looks for answers to his origins.
- Understanding. The hero wants to understand and learn why he is different from others around him.
Make Your Own Superhero’s Costume
This arguably is the easiest part. In our case “clothes do not make he man”. Our hero can dress in anything that will make him or her look awe inspiring. Bright colors are great for personifying youth, and dark colors do a great job of creating mystery, but then again so do masks.
Maybe consider practicality in your approach to the costume. Where is the gear held? Will your hero wear armour? Is he ready for just about anything that the villain can throw at him (or vise-versa)
Now while your hero can realistically be anything, there is something that your hero should be; and that’s relatable! To amass a following, cult or otherwise, people need to be able to relate to your superhero. So when you
make your own superhero, it really helps if he has at least a human image. How many superpowered frogs or aliens (that don’t look human) are you a fan of?
At the same time, supervillains that you make do not have that problem. In fact, the less human they are, their look, their character traits, the better villains they will make. The reader places them into the “unlike us” or the “not like me” category, thus objectifying the character as an enemy and nothing more.