Superhero parenting

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HellsBouncer
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Superhero parenting

One aspect of a world with supers would be parenting: how do "normal" (unpowered) people) deal with kids (adolescents, pre-teens or worse: toddlers!) that have even "minor" levels of superhuman strength, energy casting, invisibility, flying or whatever?

If supers have existed for decades, there would be best-selling books, specialized family counseling and pediatrics, schools and foster-care for super kids, to name just a few ways Western society would respond. Some interesting topics for character background.

And that's just normals raising supers. What about being the normal child of a super parent? Or the sibling of a super? What if a parent (normal or super) desperately wants a metahuman child and is disappointed? Family counseling would definitely seem prudent, even one of those no-doubt expensive specialists.

I know comics and movies have explored some of these possibilities, seriously and less so. I"ve used some for character background myself. Any examples anyone thinks are particularly good, your own or others?

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It really depends on lots of

It really depends on lots of factors of the world it's set in. Are supers hated? Hunted? Revered? How many supers are there in the world?

That book wouldn't be the popular of a best seller if there's only a few thousand supers. Do you think there's millions of supers in the world? Do you think, let's say 2 million, of the supers would all by such a book?

I wouldn't think there'd be a million supers in the world. That many supers also doesn't work. Marvel tried it and then retconned it out :p Specialized counseling would be the like of Prof X...three or four in the world.

Would they have laws against mutants? Laws against supers? Then parents would want to keep it secret.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

It really depends on lots of factors of the world it's set in. Are supers hated? Hunted? Revered? How many supers are there in the world?
That book wouldn't be the popular of a best seller if there's only a few thousand supers. Do you think there's millions of supers in the world? Do you think, let's say 2 million, of the supers would all by such a book?

I was thinking in terms of a world where there are a few thousand supers; roughly one per every million normals. Whether supers are hated, revered or all shades inbetween, if their existence was public knowledge (which anytime after the invention of printing, not to mention telegraphy and radio would be pretty inevitable), I think books about them would be popular.

You're probably right about there only being a few specialized counselors / therapists in such a world, but word would get around, I think. With only a few thousand of them and modern communications, all supers would know at least the basics of the ones that had any kind of public persona / profile. Not every such therapist would have to be a super themselves, either. Just have a good rep for dealing with supers with family problems.

I agree that quite a few parents would prefer to keep a super child out of the spotlight, especially if they were at all leery of their government's attitude towards supers. There might also be incentives to do otherwise, especially if some supers have already managed to have successful public careers.

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HellsBouncer wrote:
HellsBouncer wrote:

Brand X wrote:
It really depends on lots of factors of the world it's set in. Are supers hated? Hunted? Revered? How many supers are there in the world?
That book wouldn't be the popular of a best seller if there's only a few thousand supers. Do you think there's millions of supers in the world? Do you think, let's say 2 million, of the supers would all by such a book?

I was thinking in terms of a world where there are a few thousand supers; roughly one per every million normals. Whether supers are hated, revered or all shades inbetween, if their existence was public knowledge (which anytime after the invention of printing, not to mention telegraphy and radio would be pretty inevitable), I think books about them would be popular.

In a world where there's only "one in a million" supers I doubt there'd be anything "mainstream" about them as far having counselors / therapists who were dedicated to them or books about "How to raise your super-powered child". Yes there might be a few supers who were famous and there might indeed be books about them, but those books would be more like sensational "Who are they and where do they come from?" type books more than "How to handle your mid-life crisis as a super" self-help books if you know what I mean.

Think of it this way: at "one in a million" that means there'd only be around 300 supers in the entire United States. There's not going to be a huge subculture to cater to such a tiny minority. You'd have to figure at least 200-250 of those are either undeveloped power-wise or actively trying to pass as "normal". This would leave only maybe a few dozen who might be openly active and or publicly known.

So in that context I think supers would be anything but "everyday occurrences" and probably be treated more like Superman was in the latest Man of Steel movie - with suspicion and distrust until they prove themselves one way or the other.

P.S. Of course you could always swing it the other way and say the few thousand supers managed to present a united front to the world and they went the way of Khan from Star Trek using their powers to try to actively control, or at the very least "persuade" the normals of the world to accept them with open arms. Really almost anything is possible depending on how you want to set it up.

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HellsBouncer wrote:
HellsBouncer wrote:

Brand X wrote:
It really depends on lots of factors of the world it's set in. Are supers hated? Hunted? Revered? How many supers are there in the world?
That book wouldn't be the popular of a best seller if there's only a few thousand supers. Do you think there's millions of supers in the world? Do you think, let's say 2 million, of the supers would all by such a book?

I was thinking in terms of a world where there are a few thousand supers; roughly one per every million normals. Whether supers are hated, revered or all shades inbetween, if their existence was public knowledge (which anytime after the invention of printing, not to mention telegraphy and radio would be pretty inevitable), I think books about them would be popular.
You're probably right about there only being a few specialized counselors / therapists in such a world, but word would get around, I think. With only a few thousand of them and modern communications, all supers would know at least the basics of the ones that had any kind of public persona / profile. Not every such therapist would have to be a super themselves, either. Just have a good rep for dealing with supers with family problems.
I agree that quite a few parents would prefer to keep a super child out of the spotlight, especially if they were at all leery of their government's attitude towards supers. There might also be incentives to do otherwise, especially if some supers have already managed to have successful public careers.

If we have a few thousand...even if there were ten thousand...supers in the world. Figure they're spread out around the world.

Chance of being put on a watch list if it was found out. So imagine what would happen when you buy the book!

Then do those ten thousand all have kids? Would those supers all be that super. X-Men kinda tackled this, and it just ruined the supers universe...and then erased :p

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Lothic wrote:
Quote:

In a world where there's only "one in a million" supers I doubt there'd be anything "mainstream" about them as far having counselors / therapists who were dedicated to them or books about "How to raise your super-powered child". Yes there might be a few supers who were famous and there might indeed be books about them, but those books would be more like sensational "Who are they and where do they come from?" type books more than "How to handle your mid-life crisis as a super" self-help books if you know what I mean.

Think of it this way: at "one in a million" that means there'd only be around 300 supers in the entire United States. There's not going to be a huge subculture to cater to such a tiny minority. You'd have to figure at least 200-250 of those are either undeveloped power-wise or actively trying to pass as "normal". This would leave only maybe a few dozen who might be openly active and or publicly known.

So in that context I think supers would be anything but "everyday occurrences" and probably be treated more like Superman was in the latest Man of Steel movie - with suspicion and distrust until they prove themselves one way or the other.

Good points. The population of active supers I originally envisioned would be too small for that kind of "mainstreaming". I could still see small groups of supers who had reason to trust each other offering support to their members, but probably nothing more widespread. If such a group had government sanction, then additional support might be available.

Aside from political / military types who would see supers as a useful resource, most people aren't exactly quick to cozy up to something or someone markedly different from what they consider "normal". Well, I guess you'd have obsessed fans too, but probably most supers wouldn't be that desperate for company.

Thanks for the feedback.

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So with the hypothetical idea

So to continue the hypothetical idea of a United States with roughly 300 super-powered people their fate would mostly depend on how they interacted with the vast majority of normals around them. We'll go with the premise that at least a few of them "outed" themselves several decades ago and that perhaps some of them have become "heroes" and a few others are "villains".

First off we could easily assume the government would be very interested in learning all they can about them. How many of them are there and are they natural mutants or has someone figured out how to create super-powered people? If they're creatable then I'm sure the government would want to create some of their own, but let's assume they're more like X-Men mutants at least from the point of view that no one can really predict how they happen. Would the government then try to round up anyone with even a hint of super powers to study/control them or would that be something either the heroes or villains would actively try to do on their own (sort of like what Professor X and Magneto tried to do)?

We can guess the several famous "heroes" might want to build a relationship with the government but I imagine there'd still a level of apprehension/mistrust between the parties regardless of how "nice and friendly" the heroes are. That and the knowledge there are at least a few evil super people out there will constantly make normals unsure about the overall motives of any super powered person, especially if the villains have managed to do some really nasty stuff.

Overall out of the 300 I think you'd have maybe a few dozen "active" public supers and then perhaps a couple of hundred unknowns. Of those unknowns you'd have some who know they have powers but for whatever reason are trying to "act" normal perhaps out of fear or disbelief. Then you probably have others in that group who don't even know they have super powers (maybe they're too young or whatever). So with that a major question might be are the number of supers rapidly increasing, staying roughly the same or even declining? If they're not increasing in number then society would probably just figure out how to adapt to the ones that exist and press on. But if the number of supers are markedly increasing then there could be all sorts of societal reaction spanning from eventual acceptance into the "mainstream" to panic and potential race wars (normals versus supers).

For what it's worth the idea of a world envisioned by games like CoH and CoT (an American city with literally thousands of superpowered heroes and villains running around) almost doesn't seem plausible at least from the point of view of all the normal people happily accepting trying to have a "normal" life in that situation. Frankly in a world that had that many supers I'd almost think the "normal" human being would be an extinct species. Just doesn't seem like a scenario that could remain balanced but of course that's just my opinion on the matter - I still want to play CoT even if I don't think such a place could ever exist. ;)

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PS 238

PS 238

Aaron Williams wins again.


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For any of y'all who haven't

For any of y'all who haven't read George RR Martin's OTHER series...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Cards

Lots of angles explored in these books published back in the late 80's. Recommended reading for Superhero buffs that goes beyond Marvel/DC canon.

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

For what it's worth the idea of a world envisioned by games like CoH and CoT (an American city with literally thousands of superpowered heroes and villains running around) almost doesn't seem plausible at least from the point of view of all the normal people happily accepting trying to have a "normal" life in that situation. Frankly in a world that had that many supers I'd almost think the "normal" human being would be an extinct species. Just doesn't seem like a scenario that could remain balanced but of course that's just my opinion on the matter - I still want to play CoT even if I don't think such a place could ever exist. ;)

Some more good points there. I definitely agree that society would transform radically if there were as many supers as a setting like CoH / T. Normals in such a world would be patronized and tolerated at best but rarely treated with respect, I'm afraid.

Quote:

We can guess the several famous "heroes" might want to build a relationship with the government but I imagine there'd still a level of apprehension/mistrust between the parties regardless of how "nice and friendly" the heroes are. That and the knowledge there are at least a few evil super people out there will constantly make normals unsure about the overall motives of any super powered person, especially if the villains have managed to do some really nasty stuff.

With regard to public opinion... DC had a series, "El Diablo", about a small-town, unpowered hero in the DC universe. He had some local support, but at one point he met a retired hero from the previous generation. This old-timer pointed out, "If the people don't like what you're doing, they'll fry up your butt and feed it to the dog."

And just one incident involving a super crook or terrorist, or even a "good" super screwing up, would certainly affect how all supers were perceived. In the real world there are countless examples of media shitstorms having repercussions far beyond their original subject. If these are people capable of tossing hydrogen plasma, walking through walls or peeling steel plate with their bare hands, such frenzies could easily become an all-out war.

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WarBird wrote:
WarBird wrote:

For any of y'all who haven't read George RR Martin's OTHER series...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Cards
Lots of angles explored in these books published back in the late 80's. Recommended reading for Superhero buffs that goes beyond Marvel/DC canon.

I never really paid much attention to the Wild Cards setting. I'll see if I can pick up some of the books. Thanks, WarBird!

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

PS 238
Aaron Williams wins again.

I love PS 238. There was even a scene where Tyler's mentor, the Revenant, is seen playing CoH!

You say nice things about me: I admire that in a person.

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HellsBouncer wrote:
HellsBouncer wrote:

Redlynne wrote:
PS 238
Aaron Williams wins again.

I love PS 238. There was even a scene where Tyler's mentor, the Revenant, is seen playing CoH!

The things I dig up for you folks ... *sigh*


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
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HellsBouncer wrote:
HellsBouncer wrote:

Lothic wrote:

For what it's worth the idea of a world envisioned by games like CoH and CoT (an American city with literally thousands of superpowered heroes and villains running around) almost doesn't seem plausible at least from the point of view of all the normal people happily accepting trying to have a "normal" life in that situation. Frankly in a world that had that many supers I'd almost think the "normal" human being would be an extinct species. Just doesn't seem like a scenario that could remain balanced but of course that's just my opinion on the matter - I still want to play CoT even if I don't think such a place could ever exist. ;)

Some more good points there. I definitely agree that society would transform radically if there were as many supers as a setting like CoH / T. Normals in such a world would be patronized and tolerated at best but rarely treated with respect, I'm afraid.
Quote:
We can guess the several famous "heroes" might want to build a relationship with the government but I imagine there'd still a level of apprehension/mistrust between the parties regardless of how "nice and friendly" the heroes are. That and the knowledge there are at least a few evil super people out there will constantly make normals unsure about the overall motives of any super powered person, especially if the villains have managed to do some really nasty stuff.
With regard to public opinion... DC had a series, "El Diablo", about a small-town, unpowered hero in the DC universe. He had some local support, but at one point he met a retired hero from the previous generation. This old-timer pointed out, "If the people don't like what you're doing, they'll fry up your butt and feed it to the dog."
And just one incident involving a super crook or terrorist, or even a "good" super screwing up, would certainly affect how all supers were perceived. In the real world there are countless examples of media shitstorms having repercussions far beyond their original subject. If these are people capable of tossing hydrogen plasma, walking through walls or peeling steel plate with their bare hands, such frenzies could easily become an all-out war.

Oh, yes, normals would not be tolerated much at all. You'd get those like Peter Parker who were picked on and then use powers to pick back "My mom always told me, they were jealous of me, that when I got older those jocks would be jealous of me, working for me. Well then I got my powers and with great powers comes the ability to put them all into their places."

And then as mentioned...media involvement.

Check out Fallen Justice which likely does justice to how RL would treat a hero. Accidently kill a murderer after being a big, looked up to hero...boom rebel against the hero! Media looking for any fault, because it helps increase ratings.

People ask "Why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker, when the Joker has killed hundreds!" when really, if he did do it, they'd call Batman a killer, and notice how none of them ever ask "Why doesn't one of the cops just kill him when he's handcuffed in the car." Or some previous victim of the Joker's not just shot him.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

HellsBouncer wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
PS 238
Aaron Williams wins again.

I love PS 238. There was even a scene where Tyler's mentor, the Revenant, is seen playing CoH!

The things I dig up for you folks ... *sigh*

Your selfless efforts on behalf of your fellow comic geeks is appreciated. At least by this geek. ;)

You say nice things about me: I admire that in a person.

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HellsBouncer wrote:
HellsBouncer wrote:

Your selfless efforts on behalf of your fellow comic geeks is appreciated. At least by this geek. ;)

True, for a certain value of appreciation. I just lost about 8 hours and 4 hours of 'I should be Asleep!' to the deadly little thing.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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Well, if you kept up on these

Well, if you kept up on these important issues, they wouldn't pile up like that ^_^

*goes to make sure PS238 is listed in the [url=http://cityoftitans.com/forum/comic-recommndation-thread]Comic Recommendation thread[url]

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Personally, I think a game

Personally, I think a game should really presuppose a large portion of meta humans because otherwise you should realistically have no more than one or two heroes in a city the size of New York and these heroes should maybe encounter one or two bad guys with metahuman powers over a career that spans decades. :D

If I were creating a game, I would probably have there be a sudden explosion of metahumans at the start of my game, and either have no prior metas at all (like the Wild Cards shared universe except starting in the current day rather than immediately after World War 2) or have only a few who existed beforehand ... so people could have their centuries old sorcerer or Highlander-type warrior with the understanding that until relatively recently no one knew or believed they existed. Setting the game at the very beginning of a heroic age instead of decades afterwards can make it easier to deal with societal changes or impacts.

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Eh. I think if Batman really

Eh. I think if Batman really killed the Joker then no one would really be all up in arms about it.

The Joker has a death toll in the thousands-- possibly even the millions-- by now. I find it much less realistic that any judicial system would keep him alive, let alone send him back to the same institution he keeps escaping from. It's easier to believe in Superman than it is to believe that the Joker would still be alive today.

IMO, of course. :D

(I'd expect the death penalty to be both much more prevalent and frequently used in a universe with people like the Joker and the Green Goblin. In the real world, it's very unlikely that any serial killer is going to escape from prison once he's captured. In the comics it happens at least once a month.)

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Blue Battler wrote:
Blue Battler wrote:

Eh. I think if Batman really killed the Joker then no one would really be all up in arms about it.
The Joker has a death toll in the thousands-- possibly even the millions-- by now. I find it much less realistic that any judicial system would keep him alive, let alone send him back to the same institution he keeps escaping from. It's easier to believe in Superman than it is to believe that the Joker would still be alive today.
IMO, of course. :D
(I'd expect the death penalty to be both much more prevalent and frequently used in a universe with people like the Joker and the Green Goblin. In the real world, it's very unlikely that any serial killer is going to escape from prison once he's captured. In the comics it happens at least once a month.)

You say that, but I wouldn't have believed a judicial system to allow someone who burnt themselves with their coffee to sue and win against the company that made the coffee.

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HellsBouncer wrote:
HellsBouncer wrote:

Redlynne wrote:
HellsBouncer wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
PS 238
Aaron Williams wins again.

I love PS 238. There was even a scene where Tyler's mentor, the Revenant, is seen playing CoH!

The things I dig up for you folks ... *sigh*

Your selfless efforts on behalf of your fellow comic geeks is appreciated. At least by this geek. ;)

I too have added your findings to my webcomic reads!

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There another aspect. Gossip

There another aspect. Gossip. I often make comments in the RP threads about a TMZ like show called Behind the Mask. Heroes and supers in general would be not just watched by a Government but by paparazzi and other types. Something few touch on would be how some jerk would be trying to get an up-skirt of Supergirls undies. I do remember one Batman Beyond that had a Tabloid show fellow get a recording of both Bruce and Terry in the Batcave. Just think how hard it is for a normal celebrity to have peace and quiet, you know someone would be trying to map out a Super's flight pattern to find out who he or she is.

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RottenLuck wrote:
RottenLuck wrote:

There another aspect. Gossip. I often make comments in the RP threads about a TMZ like show called Behind the Mask. Heroes and supers in general would be not just watched by a Government but by paparazzi and other types. Something few touch on would be how some jerk would be trying to get an up-skirt of Supergirls undies. I do remember one Batman Beyond that had a Tabloid show fellow get a recording of both Bruce and Terry in the Batcave. Just think how hard it is for a normal celebrity to have peace and quiet, you know someone would be trying to map out a Super's flight pattern to find out who he or she is.

Which is why my namesake never uses the same path day in and day out. Rookie mistake :p

Part of the problem would be trying to keep up with the heroes in the first place. In such a setting they're not typically like Kick-Ass and walking down the street.

In such a setting, what makes one super isn't generally mass produced or available to the public.

Something I think gets forgotten when people think "Oh! Because there's so many players, it must be!"

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

RottenLuck wrote:
There another aspect. Gossip. I often make comments in the RP threads about a TMZ like show called Behind the Mask. Heroes and supers in general would be not just watched by a Government but by paparazzi and other types. Something few touch on would be how some jerk would be trying to get an up-skirt of Supergirls undies. I do remember one Batman Beyond that had a Tabloid show fellow get a recording of both Bruce and Terry in the Batcave. Just think how hard it is for a normal celebrity to have peace and quiet, you know someone would be trying to map out a Super's flight pattern to find out who he or she is.

Which is why my namesake never uses the same path day in and day out. Rookie mistake :p
Part of the problem would be trying to keep up with the heroes in the first place. In such a setting they're not typically like Kick-Ass and walking down the street.
In such a setting, what makes one super isn't generally mass produced or available to the public.
Something I think gets forgotten when people think "Oh! Because there's so many players, it must be!"

And then you have the heroes (and villains) who don't enjoy being followed/ridiculed/harassed by the paparazzi.

"Lord Nightmare! Folks we've caught up with one of the greatest fashion disasters of all ti-"
*Magically INCINERATED!*

Going back to the main point, if there were some widespread print or video assistance then you know us villains would get on the ball and implant mind-control signals or something of the sort in the media... so it's probably safer that to avoid a mass takeover by a certain Demented Scientist and his army of young supers, such a thing does not exist.