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Plotting > Superpower Triggers

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message 1: by Shadow (new)

Shadow | 12 comments This is something I've been thinking about recently.

Many superheroes I see have powers triggered at will. Iron Man builds and operates his machinery, Batman uses the items in his utility belt, Kitty Pride runs through walls, and Iceman generates ice. It's not so simple as just that, but at a basic level they all use their superpowers at will, yes?

Now, there's nothing necessarily wrong with powers activated at will. It's cool to shoot ice out of your hands, or lessen your density and run through a wall. But what are some other possibilities for activating a power besides simply will?

The Incredible Hulk's power activates when he's angry. That involves self-control and will, but he can't just go all monstrous whenever he wishes. Cyclops of the X-Men emits his laser vision constantly, and wears a visor so he doesn't fry everything he looks at.

What else could activate a superpower?


message 2: by Katie (new)

Katie Daniels | 18 comments That's really cool, Raymond.

I'll give this some thought. I've never considered it before. o.O


message 3: by Shadow (last edited Feb 13, 2014 08:01PM) (new)

Shadow | 12 comments That is cool, Raymond. :D

I've thought about super powers involving emotions, either activated by them or affecting them.

And there's Melissa from Midnighters by Scott Westerfeld (I'm not saying I endorse the series, but I'm still using the example). She can read/sense minds, which is a problem in school with a large crowd of people around, so she blasts music in her ears between classes to drown out the cacophany of thoughts and emotions.
So that's an example of someone whose power is active constantly, as well as having a clear downside to go with the advantage of reading/sensing minds.


message 4: by Shadow (new)

Shadow | 12 comments Yes. *agrees* Specific locations, like a certain island or city or even planet. Or weather conditions, like rain. Maybe someone can only harness the power of electricity or sonic weaponry during thunderstorms.


message 5: by Shadow (new)

Shadow | 12 comments Keshena wrote: "Exactly:) Just imagine the precarious limitations of a superhero who, for example, derived their powers from a lightning strike. It would be a pretty good extended metaphor for the great personal r..."

In that they could only use their power so often? Or how do you mean?


message 6: by Katie (new)

Katie Daniels | 18 comments In that if a supervillain tried to take you out in broad daylight there wouldn't be a thing you could do about it, I think.


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