Create a superhero

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Superhero

Always wanted to create the new Spiderman, Superman or Batman? If you want to create a superhero, you can have a lot of fun coming up with a character and story. Even if you only have a few ideas at the beginning, you can pick them up and create a complex character from them!

Set your superhero’s traits

Think about what superpowers your hero will have.

Since superheroes are usually defined by their superpowers, it is advisable to first think about how these should be designed. Many superpowers are already being used by other characters, so you might want to come up with something unique. You don’t have to limit yourself to a single superpower, you can also combine them. How about an ability to fly and superhuman strength? By combining different powers, you can make your hero stand out from those that already exist. Some superheroes have no supernatural powers at all, relying solely on their training and gear. The best examples of this are Batman and Black Widow. Other heroes specialize in a specific weapon or fighting style. Their devotion earns them respect, but it also makes them more susceptible to other fighting styles, which in turn makes them more vulnerable – and maybe a little more interesting.

Give your superhero a flaw or weakness.

This can be a physical or character weakness that your superhero has to deal with on a regular basis. An invincible superhero quickly becomes boring. So by giving him a weakness you make the fights and the character itself more interesting for the fans. Some examples: Superman is vulnerable to the kryptonite, while Batman’s weakness is always seeking justice after the murder of his parents. Such flaws and weaknesses can be emotional or psychological as well as physical.

Create a believable personality for your hero.

Your superhero may have two separate identities, namely that of an everyday private person and that of a superhero. The personality of the character may differ depending on the identity. Therefore, develop a separate personality for each identity. Clark Kent, the everyday identity of Superman, is a quiet, cautious, bespectacled nerd. But inside of him, as we all know, is Superman, who can use his superpowers to fight evil villains. Superman’s personality is fundamentally different from Clark Kent. If you intend to have your superhero act “undercove” as a normal human in everyday life, then having the occasional conflict between the two personalities develop can add depth to the character. This makes it more interesting for the reader.

Avoid copying from existing characters.

You certainly won’t be able to think of any traits or superpowers that anyone has never used anywhere, but make sure to change them so that they don’t exactly resemble another character. For example, if you want to give your hero the powers of Superman, give him a different name and backstory to set him apart from Superman. So you shouldn’t copy any characters that already exist.

Try to make your character different from other superheroes.

If you want to create your own superhero, you are probably familiar with the standard characteristics and qualities of well-known superheroes. So, to make your superhero unique, you should make sure that it is fundamentally different from these. Be original. Give your hero a unique combination of powers and traits. Originality is required here in all aspects. Perhaps your superhero is also disadvantaged by his supernatural powers and cannot benefit from them? Maybe he’s learning his powers but is always too nervous or scared to use them for good? Use well-known superheroes as a reference. When you think of a traditional hero, what comes to mind? How can you set your own hero apart?

Create a background for your character

Make up a backstory for your hero.

In the world of superheroes, one often speaks of so-called “origin stories”. They give an insight into the life of the hero before he became one and also tell how he got his powers. This story gives us a glimpse of the “human” side of our hero and makes him more sympathetic to the reader, who ideally can identify with this backstory. Many superheroes have lived through a tragedy in their past that gave them an urge to stand up for justice. Bruce Wayne saw his parents killed and Peter Parker lost his uncle. These tragedies serve as motivation for superheroes to use their powers (supernatural or not). Internal and external conflicts can help shape a character and its story. As you come up with his backstory, keep in mind the conflicts and issues he faced in his life that made him the hero he is today.

Think about how your superhero got his powers.

If you have developed a backstory for your hero, you will already know if they were born with their superpowers or if they acquired them in some way. This aspect is an important part of his story and personality. As you do this, ask yourself a few questions: What was the character’s direct reaction to their abilities? How long did it take for her to change her mind? Does the character’s survival depend on their skills? Does your superhero try to use his powers as little as possible? Is he proud of them or is he ashamed of them? Develop the hero’s superpowers. A character who has a consistent attitude about his own abilities isn’t particularly interesting. She should struggle with them, slowly discover them, try things and fail at them or maybe even have reservations about them.

Determine your hero’s standing in society.

Some superheroes are more likely to be feared, or at least disliked, by the society in which they exist. Batman and Spiderman were initially perceived as a threat before realizing they wanted to help people. Decide what kind of relationship you want society to have with your hero. Antiheroes, such as Deadpool and the Suicide Squad, are loved by many comic book readers and moviegoers, while those around them in the stories don’t necessarily have much love for them. Even your superhero might be feared or rejected by those around him. This can make for exciting storytelling and interesting character development.

Create rivals or enemies for your hero.

Every good superhero needs a few villains to contend with. Create these the same way you created your superhero. You shouldn’t tell everything about the villains in your story, though. Take your time to slowly unveil their backstory, true nature, and intentions to keep the story more engaging and the characters more mysterious. The nemesis’ backstory may be intertwined with the hero’s, even if the hero isn’t aware of it. Your hero might come across it as the story progresses. This will add complexity to both the characters and the story. For example, Luke Skywalker only found out later in the story that the villain was his father, which complicated things considerably. Everyone likes good villains. Most people are very interested in the backstory of villains. That way, they can better blame them or indulge their fascination with their motives. So you should put a lot of effort into them and represent them as vividly as you can. Your super villain can be the exact opposite of your hero. Their superpowers might also be polar opposites, which gives them direct reason to be at odds with one another.

Consolidate your superhero’s image

Choose a gender and body type for your hero.

Superheroes come in all shapes, sizes and genders. Some of them aren’t even human. Set your hero’s physical attributes. The superpowers that you have destined for him can certainly help you with the decision. Ask yourself a few questions: Is your figure particularly strong? Would a lean, lanky physique perhaps be more appropriate? Is the superpower dependent on the hero’s gender?

Make a costume for your superhero.

Make sure the color, style, and accessories match your hero’s personality and skills. Also, keep in mind the weapon your character might be using. This could be a kind of trademark for them and should therefore be emphasized. The color of the costume is particularly important. Think about what different colors imply for you. White can be a symbol of innocence or divinity, while black is often associated with darkness and villains.

Put a trademark on a superhero.

An icon or logo can complement your hero’s costume and make them more memorable. Think of the large “S” on Superman’s chest or the skull on the Punisher’s shirt. Some kind of tagline can also be helpful, but it really should just be catchy and not too cheesy or long. If it suits the character’s superpower, you can also brand them in a specific pose. However, the most important trademarks are weapons, vehicles and other useful tools. These items should be well woven into the story.

Name your superhero.

It’s the superhero’s name that’s going to pique the reader’s interest in the first place. Because of the character and the story, you will fall in love with him, but if the hero’s name already sounds boring, you will not even bother with him. Try different naming techniques. There’s the noun+noun technique, where you make two names into a compound, like Spiderman. You can also use the adjective+noun technique, like with Superman or Black Widow. The name should have something to do with the hero’s powers or maybe with their personality and character. Since you’ve already come up with a backstory and appropriate superpowers, this should help you come up with a good name.

Consider if your superhero might need a sidekick.

Your superhero could also be part of a team. Think of well-known and successful teams like the X-Men, the Justice League or the Avengers. They often perform as a team, but also have their own stories. Develop the sidekick/team the same way you developed your superhero. Additionally, develop a story of how they met and became a team. Again, ask yourself a few questions: is the sidekick/team useful or does he/she make a lot of mistakes? Were they once enemies? Were they both shaped by a specific event? Is it a friend or a relative? Did your superhero hit his sidekick/team by saving them? Or the other way around?

Final Words

It’s easier to identify with a superhero plagued by everyday problems. In addition, you can easily write something about him. The word “superhero” is protected by law, so you shouldn’t use it in the title of your comic or you won’t be able to distribute it.


About the Author

Julia Taylor

Julia Taylor is Freepromohub Contributing Writer. She loves writing the latest tech gadgets, helping consumers weigh the pros and cons of new devices prior to purchase. She also writes news and trends, and feature stories about business. Her work has appeared on popular publications like Gizmodo, Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, and CNET.