Questions 3: The Common Man Among Superhumans

Han Solo has nothing to do with this topic

Han Solo has nothing to do with this topic

The topic works off the idea that Delvin is a normal warrior among a group of superhumans.  You see it very often, but the characters in this role don’t typically rise beyond sidekick or fodder.  Rarely do they become a full-fledged hero unless they’re in a comic book.  That medium has a tradition of the ‘weaker’ heroes either growing in power somehow like Bucky Barnes becoming Winter Soldier.  So let’s play around with the idea of a protagonist who isn’t more than human:

  1. Who is your favorite powerless hero? (And you can’t say Batman.)
  2. When writing or reading about a hero without special abilities, what do you do or look for to make them stand out?
  3. What do you think is the appeal of having a hero without powers in a world of superhumans?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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17 Responses to Questions 3: The Common Man Among Superhumans

  1. The Marvel version of Batman is Ironman, can I say him? How about Conan, Lone Ranger, or Tarzan?

    I had this struggle in The Cock of the South, in that the main character is a regular guy that has to rise to the top. (He’s a dwarf, does that count?) I really tried to get into his head as he adjusted to his circumstances, then rebelled against them.

    I think it’s awesome. He or she is the one we relate to, and usually makes the better POV character for that reason. We got the Sherlock Holmes stories from Watson’s POV. The Conan movie was from a sidekick’s POV. Frodo is the lean and not Gandalf.

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  2. L. Marie says:

    My thoughts:
    1. Who is your favorite powerless hero? (And you can’t say Batman.)
    Batman. Ha ha! Seriously, Sokka from Avatar is one of my favorites. I also love Aragorn and Faramir. Black Widow and Hawkeye are favorites. But they have a specific skill set that makes them not entirely powerless.

    2. When writing or reading about a hero without special abilities, what do you do or look for to make them stand out?
    I look for courage, cunning, and some kind of ability to fight. In Sokka’s case (and Aragorn’s and Faramir’s), he trained with the sword and had ingenuity. He was good at designing things. I also look for humor.

    3. What do you think is the appeal of having a hero without powers in a world of superhumans?
    A hero without power is easier to identify with. The stakes are higher with this person, because his or her life would be in constant danger. He or she needs cunning to figure out a way to defeat someone with superpowers. One of my favorite scenes in Return of the King is when the fellowship went to the black gate to challenge Sauron’s forces just to buy Frodo and Sam time. They could have died at any moment. That’s the kind of sacrifice that’s memorable.

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    • 1. Forgot about Sokka. I blame the movie.

      2. A warrior seems to always have it easier when it comes to finding a niche in a group. Sokka also had the boomerang, right?

      3. Basically, they have to be braver and maybe smarter than those that can punch their way through. Good point.

      Liked by 2 people

      • L. Marie says:

        I avoided the movie when I heard how bad it was. And yes, Sokka had the boomerang and his haiku ability. 🙂 I loved the episode, “Sokka’s Master,” where they discussed Sokka’s ordinariness in the company of benders.

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      • Never saw it beyond a little on TV, but it really knocked the entire franchise down a few pegs in general. Felt like Korra became almost underground in terms of fandom.

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  3. L. Marie says:

    I saw all four seasons of Korra. Not as good, but still very entertaining.

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  4. Jack Flacco says:

    1. I’m not sure if it counts, but I’d like to add Robin Hood to the mix. He’s a superhero for the ages. And he makes his mark by interceding for the poor. To me, that’s a true superhero.
    2. Story is above all things, supreme. Without a story, the characters are nothing.
    3. A world of superheroes–just thinking about it makes me want to watch the latest Marvel Avengers!

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