Some people need to become someone else when in their role as a citizen’s saviour. Especially when they are trying to protect their secret identity from work colleagues and family members. Although keeping secrets from those we are close to isn’t always the best option to take, sometimes it is a necessary evil. Particularly due to the unscrupulous actions of those in the super villain community. They’ll stop at nothing to find any secret, and will use it, once they uncover it, over and over again. However, sometimes, once the secret is out, and no longer a secret, the problems associated with it tend to go away. This, of course, depends on the way the superhero chooses to think.
Some superheroes spend a lot of time and money protecting their secret identities, and the people they know. They wear disguises, masks, cloaks, wigs, and even make-up to alter their appearance. Although this works visually, the person within can still shine through, prompting the are-they-or-aren’t-they scenario from people they are close to. Other people, strangers and super villains alike, only see the uniform the superhero has chosen to wear, so it is essential that the superhero chooses the right clothes to portray the personality they want to portray.
A superhero, unless their public identity is known, is actually two people. They are the hero that everyone else aspires to be. They are the beacon, the guiding light, the protector, the hope. They bring in a sense of good where quite often there seems to be only despair and danger. They are also the school teacher, the doctor, the artist, the scientist, the cleaner, the IT technician, the plumber, the barmaid, the student, the normal person everywhere. They need to use a different tone in their approach to each of these ‘two’ people. Unless their public identity is known, and then they can choose who they want to be.
One thing a superhero must always try to be is polite. Yes, it is inevitable that someone or something may happen that will cause frustration and anger, most superheroes are only human as well, but they must learn to handle the frustrations and take them in their stride. There is no point in helping an elderly lady to cross the road whilst seething in anger at the same time. A courteous superhero is everyone’s friend.
Most superheroes tend to work alone. They usually (but not always) patrol their neighbourhoods in the early evening or night, and prefer the solitude of their work. Sometimes, it is essential for superheroes to work together. In twos, threes, or even larger groups, depending on the threat that is at hand. When working with others, personalities may at times clash. It is perfectly natural as not everyone is going to like everyone else, but part of a superhero’s role is to maintain harmony. To keep the peace. To get along. So they must learn to put these ‘personality clashes’ to one side, and be focussed on the task at hand.
When working with others, knowing their strengths and weaknesses is key to the success of the mission. Where one may have, for example, only the power of great speed, and another has great strength and the ability to fly, there may come a time where one may need to carry the other. It is also likely that one may request the help of another. It is this giving and receiving of help that makes the team far more effective.
Due to the nature of the line of work a superhero is in, a sense of humour is a must. It helps to lighten the mood, relieve stress, keeps the banter – and therefore the teamwork – flowing nicely. It also helps with worried citizens. A little laughter can go a very long way.
Respect is earned, not a given. Being a superhero has great responsibilities, and if you want to be a respected superhero, you must ensure that you carry yourself in a way that is respectful. Treat people as you would like to be treated. Treat them with respect, and they will do the same. Even the super villains. Most of them go into the super villain game by thinking this will earn them respect – by intimidation – and this backfires on them.
It is odd to have a section on honesty when this guide started with keeping secrets, but the secret identity is a personal choice of the superhero. The reasons for keeping the secret are very clear, but they must be honest reasons. It is no good becoming a superhero and keeping the secret just until the day you can reveal your identity to show someone how great you are. Any respect you gain will be lost by this action.
Also, be honest with those you can be – your superhero colleagues; the friends and family you are able to tell; and most of all be honest with yourself.
Practise at being a good superhero. Always do your best. Look for ways that you can improve yourself. Try new things. Look at what inspired you to become a superhero in the first place. Look at your fellow superheroes, and learn from the things that they do well. You may have been a superhero for over a decade, but remember there is always room for improvement. You may be great, but you can always be better.
Combine your strengths, humour, and good-natured wellbeing with your own personality, excellent physique and superb style of dress, add in the correct attitude and ‘can do’ approach, and be encouraged that you can be / will be / already are a superhero of the highest degree. Remember too, that you are also human. Humans by nature make mistakes. We get things wrong. But we learn. We improve. We get better the more we put our minds to it.
Having the right personality is a key factor to being a really good superhero. Having the right attitude is a key factor to being a really good person full stop. You don’t need to have any super powers to be a superhero. You can be a hero simply by being yourself.
But… ah. Must dash. Duty calls once more…