Sep 19 2008

Creating Weaknesses for Your Superheroes

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Writers sometimes add unique weaknesses to challenge their heroes or rein in heroes that have gotten overpowered. For example, Superman has kryptonite and for a while Green Lantern’s powers couldn’t affect anything yellow.  Those two feel gimmicky.  The powers don’t work on yellow? How does that work?   Why would anyone be vulnerable to his own planet?  Etc.

A better example of a unique weakness is the Martian Manhunter’s vulnerability to fire.  It doesn’t feel arbitrary that fire might damage something.  Unlike yellow or kryptonite, fire is dangerous to most living things.  Compared to kryptonite, something generic like fire has the added advantages that it’s easier to acquire and use.

Other authors sometimes use completely innocuous weaknesses, but that’s tricky and usually contrived.  Let’s say your hero is vulnerable to marshmallows.  You’d probably have to come up with a (goofy) explanation for his weakness, then show that he somehow discovers that he’s weak against them, and then show that the supervillain somehow discovers it as well.  Generally, it’s easier to work with weaknesses that are plausible and logical.  That helps you avoid relying on ridiculous contrivances to explain how the villain discovers the weakness.  (You could work something like fire into a fight scene even if the villain doesn’t know it’s his weakness.  I don’t think you could do the same for marshmallows).

I think the best weaknesses are side-effects of the hero’s strengths.  For example, a hero with supersight might be vulnerable to intense light.  Someone with superhearing might be vulnerable to loud sound.  One advantage of these weaknesses are that you can work them into secret-identity stories.  Clark Kent isn’t likely to run into kryptonite when he’s having dinner with Lois, but he might get a migraine when a jet flies overhead.  Here are some other possibilities.

  • Superstrong heroes are probably too dense to have much buoyancy.  That would make it very difficult for them to fight in water– even treading would be a tremendous struggle for someone like the Hulk, let alone Ben Grimm or Slate.  If your villain needed to escape, he could take advantage of this by flooding the room with water, knowing that he will float upwards but that the hero will sink.
  • Super-fast characters would create a lot of friction when they run.  A supervillain might try to take advantage of that by dousing the room with a flammable oil (so that the friction will set him on fire) or anything slippery.  However, the slippery angle has already been used fairly extensively.
  • A psychic’s powers would probably require more concentration than physical powers.  A supervillain might try to take advantage of that by flooding the room with a weak tranquilizer gas to make it harder to concentrate.  Loud noises might also work.  Finally, if the villain sets distractions before his final plot is set to go off, the hero might be completely exhausted and badly in need of sleep when the final battle commences.
  • Someone that wears a powersuit is probably not very dexterous or precise when he has his armor on.  A villain may be able to trick him into taking off his suit (or at least parts of it) by planting a bomb.  I doubt anyone could manually defuse a bomb with metal gloves on.  Alternately, your villain might also try using a powerful magnet to reduce his mobility or an electromagnetic pulse to fry his circuits.
  • Unlike humans, most terrestrial animals cannot metabolize alcohol.  If your character is not human (like Superman), he might not be able to either.  That could easily lead to interesting social situations.  Additionally, you could probably work it in as an ingestible poison.  It would be much less incriminating to have an assassin armed with Bud-Lite than cyanide…
  • Capture the hero’s girlfriend.  Add an explosive booby trap.  Voila!  Instant trap.  Ideally that will kill the hero, but the worst-case scenario is that it kills the girlfriend, leaving the hero in an emo funk for years to come.

Alternately, you can try a quirky vulnerability to Kryptonite or something else that isn’t usually dangerous.  If you’re leaning that way, please see this cautionary article.

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348 responses so far

348 Responses to “Creating Weaknesses for Your Superheroes”

  1. Marissaon 29 Sep 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Thanks a ton for this one. I made the mistake of volunteering to write a novel about a friend’s created characters, and he won’t let me write very good weaknesses into his characters, so I have to be creative. Been looking for ideas anywhere I can… The super-speed one helps a ton, as the main character has super speed.

  2. B. Macon 30 Sep 2008 at 6:17 am

    A novel is tremendously difficult even when you have complete control over your characters! Your friend is quite fortunate…

    You might also try using rooms where speed would not be as useful, like a gravity-less environment, a room with narrow and slippery walkways, or a tank of water. If I knew I was fighting against the Flash and I were in it to win it, I would add a number of small rooms that I could lock down and flood with nerve gas. Hell, even holding the battle on a sandy beach might screw with his footing enough.

  3. Timon 05 Oct 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I was thinking of a character who has psychological blocks rather than physical weaknesses, where the character feels emotionally uncomfortable using his/her powers, so he/she doesn’t like to use them (or doesn’t *dare* use them).

    For example, I’ve been trying to come up with a character who can theoretically do *anything*, but the twist is that she is too highly religious (“Only God is all-powerful!”) or is afraid using her powers might inadvertently blow up the universe.

  4. B. Macon 05 Oct 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks for your comment, Tim. I feel generally unsatisfied with the idea of internal limitations. Let me try to explain why.

    Generally, limitations that a character has no control over (like how long his powers will last) are more satisfying obstacles than internal limits (like the character’s morals). For example, Hourman’s powers only last an hour. An external limit is very easy for readers to grasp and naturally dramatic. Can your hero get finished before his time runs out? If he’s out of powers, can he save the day anyway?

    In contrast, your character is completely in charge of her own morals. This places you in a tricky position at any moment when the hero might consider using her powers: she either uses her powers or comes across as a callous ass. For example, let’s say she sees a criminal beating up an innocent. She decides not to intervene because stopping the criminal might destroy the world. Well, on a totally logical level, that’s fine, but she’s still allowing a criminal to beat up an innocent. In contrast, if Hourman came across the same criminal after his powers were already exhausted for the day, he has no control over his lack of powers. He simply comes across as helpless. In contrast, your heroine may feel callous because she’s essentially writing off the victim. But Hourman’s helplessness is temporary and your heroine’s callousness is not. That’s a distinction that will make the heroine seem far less sympathetic, I suspect.

    It may help if your character decided to save the victim without using her powers. But even that approach will probably feel arbitrary. Why does your heroine use her powers sometimes and not at other times? In contrast, a more external problem would allow you to establish conditions that are more transparent and stable. A hero can use his powers except when his hour elapses, or when Kryptonite is present, or when he is separated from his power-armor, or when he’s in his human form (The Hulk or Jake Long) or whatever. These limitations are dramatic not because of uncertainty as to whether these situations apply within the story, but how the characters will overcome them. In contrast, you’ll tell your readers that “My hero can use her powers except when she doesn’t want to.” There’s no element of struggle there– she can’t overcome herself! The only question is whether it’s present at any given time, and that’s not nearly as satisfying as the struggle against a tangible force like a time-limit or Kryptonite, I think.

    Does that make sense? What do you think?

  5. Ragged Boyon 25 Oct 2008 at 12:09 pm

    You already know Sketch’s abilities and his weaknesses can be both external and internal. For instance, he has two internal flaws: he might not be able to think of something fast enough to summon it in time (or summon the wrong thing), or he might lack the emotions to power his ability.

    An external flaw would be losing the sketchbook while he is Aadrello, although it has a Kingdom Hearts-esque return ability the villain could create a field stopping the book from opening a time portal and returning to Aadrello. These should be pretty effective weaknesses that could put Aadrello in Robin-esque situations where he has to use quick thinking to succeed while, say, falling from a skyscraper.

  6. Holliequon 22 Nov 2008 at 11:14 am

    Hey, I’ve been toying with the idea of a superhero story of sorts, and I’ve always liked the idea of superspeed so I was planning for one of my characters to have that power. But I think it’s easy to get pretty carried away with it, so I was just thinking of some weaknesses or problems I could throw in and thought I’d run them by you:

    – The superspeed works by everything seeming in slow-motion for the character when he’s using it. At first, this sight is very blurred so he can’t make much out and it’s difficult to see – so he doesn’t like going particularly fast (this would improve later, as the story progressed, so he’d get faster). This also creates the problem that he can’t judge time well when using his power. It might feel like hours have passed for him, but in reality it’s only a few minutes.

    – I like the idea of the flammable oil or slippery surface. I’ll probably use those somewhere.

    – I figure if you’re going really fast it would be very difficult to stop. This could create a lot of comical running-into-walls scenes, I suppose.

    – He can’t (at least at first) keep up with his speed. So if he’s about to run over a cliff, sees this, and thinks “DIRECTION CHANGE!!”, then by the time his brain has processed this he’ll already have run over the edge.

    Then there’s the typical “his powers exhaust him” thing. Does this seem like it would make the effectiveness of his powers limited enough?

  7. B. Macon 22 Nov 2008 at 11:39 am

    I like those a lot. The problem of maneuverability will probably serve very well to limit his powers. Ideally, it could also immerse us in the scenes.

    I’m kind of at a loss as to what I could add, though. Please let me know if you have any questions– hopefully I can offer more!

  8. Renegadeon 11 Dec 2008 at 8:11 am

    This site is terrific!!! My question is: I have a hero who can generated and manipulate energy. This came from an explosion he was in that caused his cells to produce this energy. He can create constructs, beams, etc. But I’m I gave him three major weaknesses: (1) weak to Nuclear energy, (2) weak to sonic sound, and (3) limited amount of energy his cells can produce at any given time. Do you think these weaknesses are okay or do I need to do a rethink?

  9. B. Macon 11 Dec 2008 at 10:19 am

    I think #2 and #3 will be very easy to work with. Nuclear energy is OK, but might be harder to work into your fights. (It’s harder for a villain to discover the weakness and harder to find radioactive materials than a boombox, etc.)

    Another consideration, particularly if you’re writing a book, is that it’s probably easier to write a visceral and relatable scene around a weakness to sound than a weakness to radiation. Everyone has cringed when a jet has flown overhead, but I suspect that fewer people will have that sort of personal experience with radiation. (I suppose chemo therapy is a good analogue, but it’s still pretty rare).

  10. Renegadeon 11 Dec 2008 at 6:48 pm

    One other thing is I was thinking of giving him a super-speedster friend and I was wondering what kind of weakness you thought were good. This is a guy who can move at near the speed of light… could anything hurt or weaken him?

  11. Ragged Boyon 11 Dec 2008 at 7:06 pm

    I’d recommend not having him run near the speed of light. How could you accomplish anything at that speed without ripping through people and destroying everything you run past.

    A lack of footing could be detrimental to a speedster. Having him fight on a greased floor or on sandy turf, would be very difficult for him. If you really wanted to use a really high speed, a time or fatigue parameter would be effective. He can only use his powers so much or for so long, before getting exhausted.

    Maybe running at really high speeds takes a physical toll on is body.

  12. B. Macon 11 Dec 2008 at 8:55 pm

    If the main character has no superpowers, I’d recommend staying away from the idea of superpowers in general. Otherwise, it will seem like the friend is the most heroic of the characters, which would probably make Vir seem insignificant by comparison.

  13. Davidon 06 Jan 2009 at 6:43 pm

    If you’re talking about speed weaknesses, well, there are a few things you could try. One, if they travel too fast, the G-force could cause them to black out. Also, it could lower their sugar glucose level so they would need to eat a lot all the time.

    Also, when an object travels near the speed of light, it starts to turn into pure energy. That could limit how fast someone can travel. Also, tunnel-vision might happen.

  14. Cesaron 07 Jan 2009 at 7:43 pm

    For my characters Mithro and Caesar, their weakness is the limitations of their powers. If they go beyond their powers their souls would begin to disintegrate.

    So what do you think?

  15. Davidon 07 Jan 2009 at 8:05 pm

    well how would you show that? and really all powers have a limiet you need something villens can use in there faver

    mind you i guess they could do something to make your heros go more and more over there limet but then how would your hero win or recover? to fight agien

  16. B. Macon 07 Jan 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Hmm… typically, I recommend weaknesses and limitations that are concrete. For example, Hour-Man’s powers last only an hour. He and the audience know that, and the drama comes from whether he can finish the job in that time.

    Many heroes are limited by the need to maintain a secret identity. For example, in some Iron Man stories, Tony Stark can’t turn into Iron Man when other people are watching, so he might have to save the day without relying on his powersuit. The element of secrecy is another limitation that is easily understandable to the audience.

    What I might be worried about is that the audience won’t necessarily know how close your heroes are to pushing the limits of their powers. It’s not quite as obvious to the audience.

  17. RikuTomoshibion 27 Mar 2009 at 6:38 pm

    I’ve got two characters that I’m trying to write a novel around. One is sort a demon-looking thing with red skin and bright yellow eyes. He’s pretty strong, able to lift several tons, and his skin is tough as rhino hide. The other one can change his skeleton into a near-indestructible metal and can change his hands into various, though limited objects, such as magnets, buzzsaws, and drills. He’s able to pick up an oil rig over his head with one hand. However, I suck at coming up with weaknesses. Any suggestions?

  18. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 27 Mar 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Hmm. The guy with the power of metal should be the easiest to create weaknesses for. For example, perhaps a routine trip to the fridge could end up with him stuck to it and having to wait for help. Then there are things like metal detectors etc.

    A fatigue limit could be set for your strong character. To make it fit with his power, you could say lifting heavy weights is the equivalent of hiking up a hill while wearing a heavy backpack.

  19. Chulanceon 28 Mar 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Okay how do you weaken a guy who can freeze time and rewind time? I need help for weaknesses.

  20. Ky'lathon 28 Mar 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I have a superhero in my fanfic. He’s a brilliant technopath. But he’s also a geek, has no social skills and would last about .00001 seconds in a fight. He is highly annoying and screams like a girl.

  21. Marissaon 28 Mar 2009 at 11:47 pm

    I’ll think more on this, but one thing that came to mind is the typical ‘severe consequences if you see your double when you’re in the past’ deal. That doesn’t restrict it too much, so I’ll keep thinking on it.

    If he’s highly annoying, how is he a likable character? The reader has to be able to relate to the character.

  22. B. Macon 28 Mar 2009 at 11:55 pm

    “How do you weaken a guy who can freeze time and rewind time? I need help for weaknesses.” I’d recommend placing a strict limit on how far back in time he can go, maybe an hour or two. As for freezing time, it’d probably be really hard to have him do anything interesting when time was stopped. I’d recommend placing a really tight limit on that, too. Maybe a minute or two. Anything more than that, and it’d be really hard to challenge him.

  23. Chulanceon 29 Mar 2009 at 2:12 pm

    At the end he is supposed to accept his destiny as the guardian of time. But he needs to struggle until the final battle, when I release the character’s restrictions.

    As for a limit of how far he can go back, that helps. One of my friends suggested that he have no control over his ability to go back in time.

    Anyway, what about accelerating time around himself? This is one of the main heroes so I need to know.

    Also, I have a villain that’s really strong. He can warp reality. Is there a good weakness I can use or should I wait for the final novel to bring him in?

  24. B. Macon 29 Mar 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Warping reality sounds complicated and hard for readers to understand. What sort of things will he be able to do with it?

    Also, what do you mean by accelerating time around the hero?

  25. Chulanceon 31 Mar 2009 at 5:48 am

    I explained warping reality in another thread. Warping reality means the ability to manipulate all aspects of reality your real you can be warped for example a person or gravity. Their all real and can be warped. He can alter reality for example making people into stone or making ducks talk.

    Accelerating time. He can accelerate time aroundhimself so it looks like he has superhuman speed but he’s actually accelerating time for him making him faster.

  26. Stefan the Exploding Manon 31 Mar 2009 at 5:53 am

    Maybe a more plausible power would be warping probability, like Jinx from Teen Titans. If, for example, there was a chance that a building next to an enemy would fall on him, even a tiny chance, the hero could tip the scales and make the possibility of the building falling a certainty. I have no idea how you would go about writing this power into a novel, though, because reality warping and related powers can get horribly complicated when you try to explain them.

  27. Ragged Boyon 31 Mar 2009 at 6:25 am

    I think giving your character a specific way to activate their powers makes it easier to explain. It would be unsatisfying to read “he warped reality, creating a hole in the ground.” For example, one of my characters has to use his book in order to summon things to reality. This creates a medium in which you can use to explain how he uses his ability. “Sketch flipped through the pages in his mind, searching frantically for the perfect creation. “Got it!” he said. He opened his arms extending his creative field and poofed to reality a high-powered pogo stick.” That would make more sense in context, but that just an example anyway.

  28. Chulanceon 01 Apr 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Well, someone else in my story can warp probability, though I need a weakness for warping reality. If I can’t find one then I’ll just say he can’t kill directly, meaning he can’t just warp reality and make someone dead. Therefore, there would actually be a challenge. I don’t know any special way though. I mean, books may work with summoning, but what object could work with reality warping? I had an idea that he could warp reality with his keyboard. For example, typing someone tried to runs somonever somone would actually try to do it or their was a tornado. [EDITOR: ?] That way he would need to write something down.

  29. Chulanceon 09 May 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Back I’ve come to a conclusion weaknesses are not needed for heroes.

  30. B. Macon 09 May 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I agree, Chulance. Weaknesses are often a boring and tacky way to rein in an overpowered character. (Particularly if the weakness is hard to intuit, like a vulnerability to kryptonite or the color yellow).

    If you feel the need to use a weakness, it is often more effective to come up with better limits. For example, Hour-Man is overpowered, but he’s limited by time: his powers only last for an hour. Magneto’s powers are limited to metal. The Hulk and other transforming heroes are particularly limited by secrecy. (If they’re caught in their human forms, they can’t go super without giving away their secret identity).

    Also, replacing overpowered abilities with weaker-but-similar powers can help a lot. For example, superspeed can be replaced with agility. (It’s much easier to endanger an agile hero like Spiderman than a speedster like the Flash). Time-stopping can be replaced with something like time-slowing, which would make it at least possible for a hero to get beaten when he’s using his power.

  31. Chulanceon 09 May 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks yes and Superman can easily overcome his weakness simply by physical determination. It makes it slightly stupid for a hero to always encounter their weakness unless it’s a physical trait such as Goku’s weakness being his tail till he grew older and got over the weakness by training.

    I also think limits aren’t needed. Yeah look at Goku he has unlimited use of his power and is capable of causing massive damage. He’s a known character and very popular. Flash(Wally Wesy) can move faster than light and make people implode.

    Super speed and agility are completly different. Speed allows one to have a form of invisiblility increased physical power,phasing ect. agility allows dodging and good reflexes. Time stopping is also cool for heroes time stop and save the day

  32. Marissaon 09 May 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Limit is most definitely needed. I have not only experienced this firsthand ten times over, but have cringed at unpublished story after unpublished story in which the characters had no limit.

  33. Chulanceon 09 May 2009 at 8:08 pm

    No, no I hate limits because I hate to deal with weak characters. Limits aren’t needed just creativity Flash is faster than light and can battle Superman he can fight average pepole with no powers due to great plots. I hate limits because I know what the character can’t do. I use to love PeterPetrelli on heroes till they gave him limits now I know he’s in danger and there’s a possiblity of him loosing.

    I have experienced how limits and weaknesses ruin a story. Many people in DBZ have no weaknesses and it’s good, people with weaknesses restricts the story. It supresses my imgination. I’m doing manga I’m planning to make some awesome power-houses. They start off semi-realistic and grow. I can easily help pepole make a character without limits

  34. Marissaon 09 May 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I… am not sure what to say, because I disagree with 99% of that post. =/ But for the main points…

    Uh, what good story comes without a danger of losing? Nobody cares if he wins if he could never have lost to begin with.

    As for DBZ, I’m with B. Mac, on it being all fighting and little plot. And I, for one, have watched a few episodes, just so I could say that from personal experience.

    And it takes no imagination whatsoever to write a guy with limitless powers. The imagination comes into play when the hero has to win, even despite his limits.

    However, one thing I am going to say: If you’re doing manga, the odds are a good deal better that you can get away with limitless powers. Manga fans seem to tolerate that a lot better. 🙂

  35. Chulanceon 09 May 2009 at 9:24 pm

    State why you disagree remeber I’m doing manga which I’ll still need help but manga is more about limitless power.

    Um I can name tons of things Dr.Manhattan from Watchmen had no danger of loosing yet was a main character and all powerful still involved sometimes people want to see a limitless person who never looses like me. I know lots of people who hate vulnerable people and pepole who are weak.

    Tenchi another anime/manga guy is a human who can become ominpotent,omniscient, and omniscient. Good series TTGl everyone in the show was godly if they want to win they do.

    That’s not true I enjoy watching a hero who can beat up a hero and not loose.

    It dosen’t matter unless you’ve watched EVERY episode of DBZ, than I’d like to hear your opinions and give reasons. I just don’t like when pepole say it’s all fighting because I saw one episode where they just fought.

    You know I don’t mind critics if they’ve truly watched every episode and such. Because DBZ is far from just fighitng it has a great plot that involves fighting. A few episodes can you describe the episodes,characters ect? Most people who enjoy action/comedy enjoy DBZ it has lots of plot it depends the longest fight is proboably Goku vs Freeza and they don’t just fight they use cool techniques.

    I disagree Dr.Manhattan was very good imagination involved not just kill by thoughts he did a few times but he had other methods.I prefer my heroes to be limitless because I want them to be able to know they can do anything if they train and try. ANYONE in my story can become powerful if they train I hate stories where destiny chooses and others are forced to never be as strong.

    Manga/Anime fans love limitless powers I’m a bigger Manga fan than comics. Novels generally have more realistic abilties which I dislike.

  36. Marissaon 09 May 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Why I disagree about what specifically? I was sure I covered most of it…

    As for your responses:

    I’ve not seen Watchmen, so B. Mac would have to address that part.

    And yes, your story is manga, so you’ll have more lenience.

    Well, of course, all of us love watching our hero win, but it’s really unsatisfying to watch them win when they win every single time and have no chance of losing. Then, we might as well just say ‘pff, they’re going to win’ and turn off the TV or shut the book or manga.

    …I’m not sure many ‘critics’ could stick around to watch every single episode, to be honest. =/ I survived five or six, and have since watched and read enough better things to cleanse my mind of it. Let’s agree to disagree on this point, alright? 🙂

    Well, that is limited, the way you describe it. They can only get stronger if they train. That’s a physical limitation right there.

  37. B. Macon 09 May 2009 at 11:22 pm

    “I also think limits aren’t needed. Yeah look at Goku he has unlimited use of his power and is capable of causing massive damage. He’s a known character and very popular. Flash(Wally Wesy) can move faster than light and make people implode.”

    Well, umm… I think that publishers would prefer to work with characters that are easier to challenge, particularly if the target audience is Americans older than 13. I wish you the best on your project, but personally I think it will be a hard sell.

    In the United States, I notice that more limited superheroes (Wolverine, Spiderman, Batman, etc.) tend to sell much better than Superman and the Sentry. In manga, DBZ gets outsold by Naruto, Fruits Basket, Vampire Knight, Warcraft: Legends, Tbusasa, Chibi Vampire, Gantz, Rosario + Vampire, MPD-Psycho, Eden, etc. I don’t believe that DBZ has ever cracked the New York Times best-sellers list for manga.

    I wish you the best, but I’d like to reiterate that I think it will be seriously hard to find a publisher. If I were the editor evaluating your submission, the main thing going through my mind would be something like “but DBZ manga doesn’t sell very well in the US. If DBZ manga doesn’t sell well, what chance does a DBZ-like manga without a TV show tie-in have?”

    Also, I’m not sure how applicable Dr. Manhattan is to your situation. The Watchmen was definitely not an action series, but it sounds like yours is. Over the course of 12 issues and hundreds of pages, I think Dr. Manhattan had two fights totaling perhaps three pages. Dr. Manhattan is pretty much a satire of the character you are proposing. Unlike Goku, he is not a straight-up action hero and probably wouldn’t have succeeded as one.

    I’m not that familiar with Tenchi, but it strikes me as more of a comedy or perhaps a romance than a straight-up action. I don’t think I’m familiar with the examples you cited, but the iterations of Tenchi I’ve seen seem pretty unpowerful. In any case, I don’t think that Tenchi manga sells all that well in the US.

  38. Davidon 09 May 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Okay, guys. First, the Flash can run at the speed of light, but he gets caught in speed force. That was shown in JLU.

    Goku can use his power anytime, but using his energy continuously tires him out, and Goku has been killed a few times, so he has the weakness of being a mortal. He and his friends only win through sheer determination and their desire to protect the people of earth and their friends.

    Now, I agree that weaknesses like kryptonite and yellow (Green Lantern’s weakness) are a little bit dumb, but the possibility of death should always be available.

  39. Marissaon 09 May 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you, B. Mac, for clarifying on the Dr. Manhattan part. 😀

  40. Chulanceon 10 May 2009 at 7:03 am

    Watchmen is very good but it’s rated R for a reason very graphic and not just violence. Yes I realized I could never do a novel with how creative I wanted to be limits restirct my imagination.

    Well I mean to me it isn’t at the end he’ll be the strongest he’ll win most of his fights maybe a major villian or two might beat him once due to some help. Well he can fake being in danger like some other famous anime/manga people like Kenshiro and Tenchi.

    I would keep reading I love strong people. Well I’m just saying if you criticize it’s all fighting you should watch more than five or six episodes because it wasn’t even a martial arts thing in the first thirteen episodes.

    Well they have other ways Broly gets stronger the more he fights so he can NEVER loose a physical fight luckily Goku blasted him int othe sun. All saiyans can transform to get stronger or if they loose they get hundreds of times stronger so what dosen’t kill them makes them way stronger so if they loose they still win.

    Well yes, but anime/manga? I am older than 13 and so are many of my friends who like overpowered people. I plan to make an anime around 400 episodes so I can’t START them off omnipotent like I have a person who can control and generate water. He can’t generate ocean amounts of water the largest is the amount in an average sized pool later he will be able to surround a galaxy in water to drown al inhabitants who need to breath.

    Well I know all types of fans and you guys assume people are weak based on movies correct? Wolverine is immortal, can regernate from anything, super senses, increased strength and speed, unbrekable claws he’s limited. Spiderman can lift 15 tons,dodge almost every weapon, unlmited webbing and has beate Irnoman, batteled the entire Fantastic Four and and severly injured Hulk when serious and tapping into the magical energy all spider-like beings wield.

    Batman has almost every weapon in his belt from nuclear bombs to teleportation devices, to gloves to contain godly energy. anti gravity ect. Sueprman and Sentry are great heroes.Also DBZ is one of the best manga’s it outside tons of manga when it was still being made and it is still great. I personally think Naruto is nothing to DBZ no single character can destroy an island.

    I’m going to be a mangaka and I’m doing pretty good almost got a writer. Well the anime sells very well the new boxsets.

    Watchmen had lots of action Dr.Manhattan had more than two fights he just insta slaughters his oppponent he instantly disintegrated somone he’s the only one with powers and he’s god how can normal humans fight him?

    Tenchi is an action hero like Goku and some action heroes have godly powers in manga I can name thousands.

    Tenchi: He has a weapon that lets him redirect any attack if he foguht Superman he would use a kryptonite beam. Wolverine he would use a beam to supress his powers ect. He can become omnipotent,omniscient, and omnipresent. TTGL is so big the earth is an atom to him and he was tossing galaxies at his opponent like shurikens plus he controls fate and reality. Haruhi controls reality and Goku can beat up people who easily destroy the universe.

    Tenchi sells VERY well. Again David your basing this off the cartoon Justice League Unlimited who’s characters are much weaker than their comic book coutnerparts. Flash runs MUCH FASTER than the speed of light in the comics and does not get trapped in speed force.

    Goku does not run out till he’s beaten which dosen’t happen often. He wipes out entire armies without breaking a sweat. He rarely looses and he’s NEVER DIED. Both times he commited suicide to save others the first time he held onto his brother and let them both get impaled by the Special Beam cannon the second time he teleported Cell to the afterlife where he could explode without harming anyone except king kai, and the third time he gave his life energy to the universal spirit bomb to destroy Omega Shenron.

  41. Stefan the Exploding Manon 10 May 2009 at 8:18 am

    If you’re reading or watching Watchmen for the action scenes, I think you’re kind of missing the point…

  42. Chulanceon 10 May 2009 at 8:27 am

    No, that’s not why I read/watch Watchmen. I love the storyline, plot, ect. I’m just mentioning the action scenes.

  43. Mr. Briton 10 May 2009 at 9:33 am

    I would disagree that Dragonball Z is one of the most popular or best anime/mangas. It’s very well known but it has a large number of failings. DBZ suffers from poor, predictable plotting, too much filler fight scenes and unattractive artwork (I admit that last one is a personal thing but I know people who agree). The ‘big three’ of that genre of manga are without a doubt Bleach, Naruto and One Piece. Every single one has serious limitations on their character’s powers and this makes them better shows.

    By all means write an overpowered character, but it will seriously compromise your publishing/airing potential.

    Also, I think writing 400 episodes is a mistake for two reasons.

    1) Assuming you get published/aired, audience feedback will provide a major feedback to the story. Characters you like and have written major roles for may meet with criticism and have to be changed, forcing you to change large chunks of your story, something that can be very time consuming and annoying. You are better off planning a loose synopsis and working out each episode at a closer date.

    2) 400 episodes is incredibly ambitious. The entire DB franchise has (around) 200 at the moment and the most popular animes at the moment are at around 100-200. I think you would be safer writing maybe 26 episodes, about two seasons worth, and leaving some small plot threads to pick up should it prove popular enough to continue. People will be very wary of taking on something that will not have a conclusion until its 400th episode.

    Sorry if this seems rather negative, but I really think it’s time to worry when you plan on having a character who can drown an entire galaxy.

  44. Chulanceon 10 May 2009 at 9:53 am

    Well that’s your opinions I’m not lying when I know tons of people who enjoy it a lot tons of sites about it and know more people thatr dislike naruto than like it. My favorite anime/manga is One Piece, or DBZ. Well that’s your opinion about it faliing because of poor predictable plotting if you watch in order it’s not predictable. Yeah watch Dragonball Kai which dosen’t have too much filler content.

    Some Filler however is really really good like extra fighting. Bleach,Naruto, and One piece? There are many who have other favorites such as DBZ ,TTGL,Tenchi Muyo.Inuyasha, but their the current Big 3 see their still making it when DBZ was being made it was one of the big three anime/manga’s it’s still very popular considering no new episodes are being made.

    Yeah okay Luffy has a technique to instantly paralyize people, Naruto has sage mode he can fall of cliffs onto spikes and fell no harm, gain MORE chakra while others loose chakra, has an attack to moleculary destroy the opponent, can tap into Kyuubi giving him inifnite power not to mention tails. Ichigo he can move at super speed ripping arms off in his new Hollow/Vizard form,total regernation, super strength, and speed. Luffy has Gears making him extrely fast and DB level strength soon he’ll have DBZ level strength.

    The main characters of that show always surpass their limits dude. TTGL has gods and it’s really popular so was Tenchi Muyo.I’ll get published/ aired and as for audience feedback? I’m not prepared to change anything maybe only minor things. all characters I have written major roles for will keep their major roles despite if people hate those characters.

    I’m an ambitious person again your wrong the entire DB franchise having 200 episodes that’s not true DBZ alone has 296. It has 513 episodes if you include movies it’s 526 and if you include the three species it’s 529. One peice has around 399 episodes.

    My first season was going to have around 20 episodes and the second maybe 40 something.

    Yes he can drown a galaxy and I plan on his girlfriend eating one. See they train to become really powerful they start out at semi-realistic levels for example he was barely able to trap a man in a water cube and drown him. I have one guy who can cotnrol mass he’ll destroy an island later on which will cause the public to develope hate against people with abilties

  45. Mr. Briton 10 May 2009 at 10:17 am

    Sorry, you’re right about the number of episodes, I don’t know where that came from.
    I still stand by my points but that shoudln’t stop you by any means. My taste in anime/manga is impossibly unique and I think you’d struggle to find someone with the same three favourites; Gantz, Ouran High School Host Club and Monster. Still, I like to think I have an idea of what makes them successful and I have never liked overpowered characters, especially those with galaxy destroying abilities. These shows tend to either completely ignore death or ignore the repurcussions. If you can make sure that people feel the results of their actions, then you should be able to circumvent a few of the problems with overpowered characters.

  46. Chulanceon 10 May 2009 at 10:28 am

    No problem, it’s really hard to find the exact number of episodes. Okay well I mean I want readers to see the characters get stronger it will be a long time before they get galaxy destroying abilties. Mine is just characters who fight and are really strong so the big three,DBZ, ect. Yes you would I know friends who like Ouran I’m thinking of watching it.

    We have very different tastes. Well they’ll get galaxy destroying and other things. What do you mean by ignoring death? Some characters will still die and what do you mean by ignoring reprocusions? I want to make sure pepole feel the results of their actions as there will be consequences but tell me what you mean?

  47. Davidon 10 May 2009 at 12:13 pm

    well if you flood a galaxy with water and thats a big if
    one dont forget all the blackholes in the galaxy or the super black hole in the center of the galaxy thats like thousends of bottomless sinks

    also all the stars would eather go out or ignight the oxagen in the water

  48. B. Macon 10 May 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Hi, Chulance. I think our contributors have done a lot to explain why they think it would be very difficult for your story to get picked up. I hope you prove me wrong, but I can’t come up with any reason that your story could possibly make it. I don’t think that we can do anything more for you or your story.

    Here are some final tips.

    (1) When you argue to a station or a publisher that there is a big market out there for your work, I’d recommend focusing on what has already made the best-sellers list. What you and your friends like is kind of irrelevant. It doesn’t matter how many of your friends like DBZ more than Naruto; Naruto manga sells and DBZ manga does not. If you can’t come up with any similar stories that have sold well, your story is probably dead on arrival.

    (2) Only the Simpsons– the longest-running US cartoon show– has gotten even close to 400 episodes. I’d really recommend taking this one season at a time.

    (3) Overpowered characters are distinctly less interesting. You’re probably thinking “well, that’s just your opinion.” It is an opinion, but it is shared by most consumers and editors. Companies don’t want to deal with anything that looks like it won’t sell, and overpowered characters typically don’t sell. In terms of sales, Superman gets ruined by Spiderman and Wolverine and often Batman. DBZ hasn’t made the best-sellers list for manga even once.

  49. Mr. Briton 10 May 2009 at 12:27 pm

    By ignoring deaths, I mean anime that has amazing attacks but they never kill anyone. They’re described as incredibly dangerous but they never use their powers in that way simply because it would be too easy. If you’re going to make a superpowered character, you have to use those powers.
    Ignoring the repercussions is the other end of the spectrum. Killing is mundane and how it makes you feel is totally ignored. Gantz is partly guilty of this. At the beginning, the main characters are normal people and they do question their ability to kill but, by the second fight, they happily slaughter aliens. It doesn’t matter that much in Gantz because it’s not exactly the deepest anime 😛 But it can be annoying in some that try to take themselves too seriously. Monster is my favourite example of it done well. It’s this incredible, psychological battle to kill a killer while remaining a good person. I realies it’s not you’re style of manga/anime but it is very good and I’d recommend it to anyone 🙂
    Regarding Ouran, I know people who like it as well, I have yet to meet someone who likes Gantz, Ouran and Monster though. The first is full of violence and fanservice, the second is a romantic comedy and the last is a deep psychological thriller. They’re all very good at what they do though.

  50. Ragged Boyon 10 May 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Mr. Brit said “I think you’d struggle to find someone with the same three favourites; Gantz, Ouran High School Host Club and Monster.”

    Ha, I love Gantz. The anime was lame, but the manga is amazing. Never heard of OHSHC, but Monster was pretty good, too. I also like Afro Samurai and Samurai Champloo.

  51. Ragged Boyon 10 May 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Chulance, you know beforehand my dislike of superpowerful characters. I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Brit. DBZ, is well-known, but also widely disliked for all the reasons Brit explained. I wouldn’t want to discourage you from writing your amazingly powerful character, but I must ask you. Is making your all of your characters ridiculously powerful worth the amount of effort you’ll have to put into writing the story? Assuming that you spend months (maybe a year) writing the story and you actually do get it made into a show, what would be the point if you’re writing into a market that most people obviously dislike?

  52. Mr. Briton 10 May 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Yeh, Gantz is brilliant, although all my favourite characters keep dying. Still, what can you expect from a manga like that?

    OHSHC is a sort of semi-parody of romance and high school cliches. It’s quite hard to explain but it’s like the polar opposite of Gantz. I’m not sure you’d enjoy it as it really doesn’t fit with the other ones you’ve mentioned. But hey, I could be wrong 🙂

    If we’re listing other good anime/manga then I’d say: Hellsing and Fruits Basket. Especially the former. That’s how vampires should be done. No sparkling in sight.

  53. Ragged Boyon 10 May 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I don’t care much for vampires, but I think Hellsing portrays them well. I didn’t care for Fruits Basket.

  54. B. Macon 10 May 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I initially liked Fruits Basket, but it got weird.

  55. Davidon 10 May 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I have never heard of these programs. 🙁

  56. Marissaon 10 May 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Don’t worry, David, I’ve only heard of them because a few characters from those series’ are in my RPG. 😀

  57. notsohottopicon 20 May 2009 at 2:21 pm

    An example of an incredibly powerful character would be Haruhi Suzumiya…
    She is unaware that she is God. Therefore, everyone around her must keep her entertained in order to avoid her from accidentally destroying the universe due to boredom. She doesn’t know she is incredibly powerful, and in contrast, feels very insignificant about her own existence.

  58. Sandmanon 07 Jun 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Ok what do you think of my main, Jack Walker. Originally he can absorb energy and later project it. At first he uses this power to become invisible and totally silent, and later to create ice. Now weaknesses…I figure just the limitations on his power should be enough. I mean if you stick him in a cold dark room there’s sweeet fa he can do.

  59. Mrs. Marvelon 09 Jul 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Here’s my question: what if you had a character who was already dead… sort of. He’s a zombie. He’s very different from a normal zombie because he fell in a mysterious chemical, so he can do thinks like a normal human but his features are different now. He has the appearance of a zombie and he can lose limbs but he doesn’t have any desire to eat human flesh. His family and girlfriend think he’s dead, he sleeps in a graveyard, he has a crush on one of his teammates and all he wants is to blend in but he knows he never will. What weakness can I give him?

  60. B. Macon 10 Jul 2009 at 12:14 am

    Poor physical coordination… a vulnerability to fire… slow speed… his team might be cautious about deploying him in public because they don’t want to start a panic… I imagine his new body would take some time to get used to… etc. I think there are a lot of ways you can handicap him in battle.

  61. mrs marvelon 10 Jul 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I think vulnerability to fire and caution to make an appearance in battle are good ways to make him believable and relatable. Thanks. One last question (sorry)… I also have a girl character who has the ability to tie, swing, and grasp with ribbons. What weakness should I give her? She is not overly silly but mostly sarcastic and has many witty remarks… unlike the zombie. Like the rest of the heroes, she is a teenager.

  62. B. Macon 10 Jul 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I don’t think she really needs a specific weakness. Unlike the zombie, she doesn’t seem to have strong healing powers, so she can just be beaten normally, right? (If ribbons are her main weapon, I suspect that it would not be too hard to beat her).

  63. mrs marvelon 10 Jul 2009 at 5:21 pm

    then I have to make her alittle stonger. Thanx

  64. Psionycxon 30 Aug 2009 at 10:35 pm

    It’s also always worth asking the question: do superheroes have endless energy?

    I mean think about it, normal human beings get tired from exertion. Depending on their physical condition some do so quickly and some slowly, but even Lance Armstrong can’t cycle forever without resting.

    When you step outside the super genre into fantasy role-playing such as D&D, spellcasters and psionic manifesters are usually bound by some sort of system that limits just how much power they can throw around without needing to rest. So while in practical terms they have “super powers”, those powers are not unlimited, even without a single finite limit like Hourman has.

    So the same thing applies when discussing super powers. Does using them tire the hero out? Do their powers start to get weaker as they get fatigued?

    There is precedent here. In the early days of the Fantastic Four comics both the Invisible Girl and the Human Torch could temporarily exhaust themselves using their energy-based powers. Sue would often become exhausted, even fainting (it’s was the 60’s, the writers had old-fashioned notions of women) if she had to use her force field to deflect some powerful force. Likewise, Johnny could literally “burn out”, using up the biochemical energy that fueled his flame powers. In addition, Johnny was also vulnerable to flame retardants, water and removal of oxygen from his vicinity.

    So even great powers may have upper limits. I’ve often wondered at how much energy the Sun must put out in many comics universes to fuel the awesome powers of heroes like Superman. This while most space probes with big solar panels are producing a couple of hundred watts of power at best! I’ve also often wondered at how Superman’s power levels never seem to vary even when he is not exposed to sunlight, such as at night or underground.

    If you want to be more “realistic” (as much as you can be in a superhero story) then such energy limitations may be a quick answer. Maybe the hero can expend their power faster than it naturally replenishes and they can exhaust themselves just like normal people? Maybe they need consistent exposure to an external energy source to use their powers? A solar-powered hero really should need to actually be exposed to sunlight for their powers to work for example.

    Finally, as already noted, certain other powers may be affected by other things. For example, on Babylon 5 the powers of telepaths could be supressed by drugs called “sleepers”. On The 4400 there was a drug that neutralized the neurotransmitter that gave people their powers. A psychic hero might be susceptible to anything that effects their nervous system. Even something as simple as getting Tasered might temporarily put them out of commission.

  65. Marissaon 30 Aug 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Yeah, Psionycx, that’s kind of what we’re getting at. One of the main points that B. Mac has suggested a few times is that your character will probably not succeed if it’s overpowered. ‘Overpowered’ means, in B. Mac’s definition at least, any level of power that makes it hard for the writer to challenge the character. Characters are less likely to seem overpowered if they, as you were saying, had realistic capabilities that they couldn’t exceed. If they tired out like normal humans.

  66. Ghoston 31 Aug 2009 at 4:45 am

    hey Psionycx,
    F.Y.I modern solar panels are only 15% effcient, hence space prode only generate a few wats an hour. The sun however generates 3.86*10^26 watts per second or more simply in one second the sun creates enough energy to fullfill the entire earths energy needs for 500,000 years. So powers that are based on the sun are kinda limitless

  67. RikuTomoshibion 31 Aug 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Just a quick question…I have a character that’s basically made of dark energy, which is sort of like a sentient goo. He’s a shape-shifter, so he can turn parts of his body into blades, hooks, or whips. Right now, his only weakness is he can’t change into something big unless he has enough mass. What else would make a good weakness?
    Also, if you could give me an idea for a weakness for a living skeleton, I’d appreciate it.

  68. Ghoston 31 Aug 2009 at 9:39 pm

    In physics dark energy is a hypothetical type of energy that is believed to be the cause for the universe expanding and act against dark matter which causes the universe to shrink. Dark energy or DE also is not very dense, so flight or gliding might before possible, and make up about 74 % of the universe so you character would have a pretty constant energy supply. Given that information, I would say you should reverse the weakness you have. Since DE cause matter to separate and is in constant supply, make it neccessary for him to always burn off energy or he rapidly grow or could possibly explode.I am not sure if making his power his greatest liability counts as a weakness, but its all i could think of.

  69. Dallason 01 Sep 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Hey, guys. Just me again– it’s been a long time.

    My character (Vir) is completely human. He doesn’t have any superpowers, unless you count massive amounts of will and awesomeness. So he’s susceptible to bullets, bats, oncoming trains, etc. I need a few suggestions on how he (a moderately poor seventeen year old boy) can improvise ways of dealing with and utilizing his weaknesses.

    For example, in the chapter coming up, there’s a three-way gunfight between two gangs and the cops. Vir is on top of a building watching it all. He has no way to get down, so he just wings it and uses a gangster to break his fall for him.

    How do I go about not making him a Mary Sue? He’s already been beaten up, so it’s shown that he can succumb to physical stuff. Any suggestions would be great, guys.


    PS: Sorry for my dyslexia. (EDITOR: I’ve proofread this comment, but it might show up in the future).

  70. Ghoston 01 Sep 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I kinda depends on your character and the situation. How tall is the building, becuase that would impact whether or not he could jump into a dumpster, dump truck, or something semi soft(like gansters but i wouldn’t suggest is) What kinda architecture is the building, because buildings built in the early1900 tended to have lot of decorations that could be used to climb down(look up neoclassic architecture). Also, what kinda gear is your character equiped with, becasue a little knowledge, a nylon rope, and a locking d-ring can make something he could repel down the side of the building with(a harness called a swiss seat).

  71. RikuTomoshibion 01 Sep 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I know how dark energy works, thanks. It’s just that since it’s science FICTION, I’m taking a small liberty. But the idea is actually pretty good. It would make things more interesting, say, if he were to be taken captive or tied up or something. But frankly, I’m looking for a weakness in the already set parameters.
    But if I were to change his substance from dark energy to something else, what would be a good idea to use?

  72. Dallason 01 Sep 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Well hes really unprepaired, He wasnt expecting to run into any trouble, he was actually jsut coming back from getting his mask made.
    and no its more of a apartment building. Hes wearing no shirt (he takes it off cause it catches on fire) and some torn jeans.
    But later on in the book when he gets his chaacter settled, i think i mihgt take ur suggestion and give him a like rope and a clip that he can maybe repell on

  73. Ghoston 01 Sep 2009 at 4:52 pm

    well I wasn’t sure if you were using DE as I understand it or you had your own concept of what it did your fictional universe that did not apply at all to reality, so I added the info just in case.I understond fictinal liberties. My characters are infected with a nanotech that simulates a virus and changes the phyiscal characteristics.

    To answer your question better I would need to understand what you want your character to do(powers) and how they do what they do. For instance, with the DE is your character made of it or do they simply channel it. Or posibbly a comboof both. If your character is made of DE then they would be unable to interact directly with anything made of matter because DE repels matter. So no driving, talking on the telephone, touching another person, and if he is seriously injuried( and your character still has a physical body of sorts) a doctor couldn’t help him.

    If you want to stick with what you explained earlier (which I understand to be a character kinda like Dr. Manhattan or Cpt. Atom, but with shape shifting ablities instead of energy projection) then a weakness could be that over exhuastioning could lead to the character losing cohesion.

  74. Ghoston 01 Sep 2009 at 4:53 pm

    What city is the story set in

  75. Ghoston 01 Sep 2009 at 5:03 pm

    also dallas, how old is the building and how tall. Does it have a gutter he could climb down? Is it close enough to another building so that he might be able to wedge himself between the two and shimmy(is that spelled correctly) down. Could he use his ripped jeans as a rope. lol that would be funny if his first apperance as superheroe X was in nothing but his mask and underwear! he could still feel like a failure even if he did save the day. Anyways just some suggestions.

  76. Ghoston 01 Sep 2009 at 5:33 pm

    oh oh oh, I got it dallas.
    – hero takes off his pants throughs them over a power line at the top of the building and uses the to slide down the wire to gound level where he saves the day-

    No all jokes aside I do have a question. If your character is so unprepared for this gun fight why his he trying to get invovled. As some one who has been in combat, I would have to have some really good motivation to attempt to some crazy stunt to get off the top of a building just to show up for a gunfight without even knife. Althought, you could use scene to show your character the dangers of running into something when he is not ready.

  77. Dallason 01 Sep 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Well, really, he sees 2 hummers filled with a bunch of gangsters and one of the main badguys heading in one direction. he follows, witnesses a car accadent where the humemr flips over. People start shooting, he watches behind a corner, the cops show up like right beside him and he climbs the fire escape to get out of sight.
    2 cops see him and try to chase him, he ends up on the top of the building. Guns pointed, he letss them semi-arrest him, then goes all awesome on their cop asses, incapacitates them, and needs to get away, the fire escape is broken in the process of climbing (note how the cops notice him)

    and its in a major metropalis called Recadentia.

    Hahaha, when the cops corner him and start to arrest him, Vir’s going to say
    “Listen, do you want to sit down, talk about this situation and maybe settle our differences?”
    “What? No, mister masked man, you’re under arrest.”
    “Yeah, me neither.”

  78. Ghoston 01 Sep 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Ok dallas,
    So my recommendation is go to gooogle or yahoo and search images for ” new york city brownstones” and just look at the buildings with all the crap sticking out of them and if you want you can that type of architecture in you book and have Vir free climb down from the roof(which would be plausible, dangerous, and exhausting) or simply have him jump from the roof to the fire escape of the next building over(this would require alot of testicular fortitude, lucky, and a good running start). If you chose the jumping one you could always make his aim a little off or have him mees up the landing and injury some ribs. Finally, if you are going to have him take down the two cops he might as well collect some usefull equipment(cuffs, asps, kevlar vest, pepper spray)

  79. Dallason 01 Sep 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Good idea, maybe the cuffs mainly. I was thinking for an easier way of a bulletproof vest… Its improvising remember, you know thoes counter tiles that come in sheets
    they’re thin, very licht and apperantly stop bullets.

  80. Ghoston 03 Sep 2009 at 8:22 am

    Hey dallas,
    I dont know anything about the tiles, you would have to explain it to me, but why improvise what you can “burrow” from bad guys and dumb cops. Besides, the kevlar will be lighter than a bunch of tile armor, and it may make more sense to your readers from a practicle stand point.

  81. Ghoston 03 Sep 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I have seen it done both ways (I have an extenstive collection of superhero books), like Superman being called Kal-El while in costume, and clark kent when he is not. However, most of the time the narrator just refers to the hero by their real name. Your point of veiw will also determine what your hero is called. If you’re using 3rd person limited point of view and switch to a character that isn’t your hero then he should be refered to as Vir, and while you are narrating from the Vir’s point of view you should use his real name. For example:

    – Ken crouched on the fire escape and watched as the muuger approach the two elderly women talking a short cut through the alley. Within seconds, the three muggers descended on women, pinnig one to a wall and slamming the other to the ground.
    Grabbing hold of the guard rail, Ken leapt from the fire escape and onto the attackers below.
    (change point of veiw to mugger)
    A movement from above caught John’s eye as he pinned one of the women to the wall. Looking up, John spotted a black figure flying throught the air. for a second he did not believe his eye. The Vir was only suppose to be some urban legend cooked up by the cops to scare young punks off the street.-

    I know its rough but i hope you get the idea about 3rd person limited. Of course, If you are use 3rd person omniscient then you should probably always refer to your hero as Ken. Hope this helped.

  82. Lighting Manon 03 Sep 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I’d have to disagree on that point, actually, based primarily on why multiple perspectives are shunned so often; orientation.

    If Ted is interacting with Orson Scott Cardigan, the billionaire industrialist that works every night as Mor-Man to fight against the evils of alcohol and equality, at a business party and just as Ted delivers a retort to Orson that implies he knows that he is a supervillain, the front wall of the Richie Inn explodes and a half dozen mercenaries pour through like so many Vienna sausages.

    Of course, wouldn’t you know it but that’s the moment when the front doorbell rings? Of course, it’s Sherry, the cute but socially neglectful secretary, Allen, the friendly neighborhood comic book shop owner and a hundred and sixty seven angry penguins? But, they brought pizza! So, the reader puts down the book for the rest of the day, carefully marking the page first, of course.

    Later, he returns to the book, Ted is trying to find Beth, his beloved high school sweet heart amongst the rubble, luckily she was in the bathroom vomiting up the remains of the day so Kevin Spacey wouldn’t feel lonely, she steps out of the smoke-filled hallway and shouts to Ted, declaring her undying love for him while using his name at the end of every sentence so we know that she knows who he is, because readers doubt that sometimes. All the while, the real reader is confused about how she recognized him in his toga, giant orange sombrero, and gold fish shaped nipple tassels.

  83. RikuTomoshibion 03 Sep 2009 at 6:54 pm

    sorry. I thought you were lecturing me for having a scientific inaccuracy. But he’s actually made of the stuff, so the input is actually much appreciated. Though, to tell you the truth, the latter idea sounds the best to me, so maybe I could change him up a bit. Also because, if I kept him the way I had him before, he wouldn’t have a mouth, so he wouldn’t be able to talk…which for me would be more difficult to write than it should be.
    Thanks again for the idea!

  84. Ghoston 03 Sep 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Lighting man,
    I do agree with you in a way. Mulitple POVs should not jump around multiple times in a scene, and even when the technique is used an author must do so carefully. However, I don’t believe that as a technique it is shunned. In my opinion, Multiple POV storys are very common and popular in the marketplace today. For example:
    -any novel by Dan Brown
    -the Artemis Fowl series
    -any novel set in the star wars universe
    -The quantum prohpecy series
    -several novels written by Dean Koontz
    -Enemies and Allies by Kevin J Anderson
    -The night angel series by Brent Weeks
    -Both sequels to Eragon
    -Several books by Michael Crichton

    These are just several successful examples of multiple POV stories that I could think of. Like I said earlier, I believe the ability to use multiple POVs well in a story depends entirely on the authors skill. If done correctly, this technique lends itself greatly to stories that have alot of important characters and in creating suspense by creating mini cliffhangers when switching to another character.

  85. Ghoston 03 Sep 2009 at 7:30 pm

    No problem. Having taken a class or two on communication theory, I understand that text does not relay the the same information as a verbal conversation. So no harm no foul. Actually, after I read your response I thought that I had offended you. Anyway, glad I could help, and if you need anymore you know where to find me.

  86. Ice boyon 03 Sep 2009 at 11:11 pm

    how about for a boy with cyrokenises?

  87. Marissaon 04 Sep 2009 at 12:03 am

    All it takes for the reader to re-orient themself, Lighting Man, is to reread the last page they read prior to closing the book. And honestly? This happens whether it’s a different point of view or not.

  88. Ragged Boyon 04 Sep 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Ice Boy, I think the most obvious for a kid with cyrokinesis is heat and the need to be hydrated. I can’t think of anything deeper than that. As long as he can be adequately challenged it really doesn’t matter if he has a particular weakness or not.

  89. Ghoston 04 Sep 2009 at 2:43 pm


    Just to follow up, I know about the Sun’s total output. However, that energy output is being spread out into space in an expanding sphere. So yes, if you could sweep up a significant portion of that output then you would have a lot of energy on your hands. But the actual amount of energy hitting a surface area the size of a human body is comparatively small, even if that surface had a 100% absorption efficiency.

    This means that a solar-powered super can’t just be passively absorbing energy. They would have to be actively drawing it in from the environment. To me this has always raised the question: should it be getting darker in Superman’s vicinity whenever he uses his powers?

    It is in this way that we go back to the finite versus infinite power source question. Going back to the solar panel analogy, just because the Sun is putting out 3.86*10^26 watts per second of energy doesn’t mean that the solar panel on the roof of a house can absorb that much power. And even if the technology were more efficient it still couldn’t tap into all, or even a miniscule fraction of that power because most of it is flowing out in other directions and will never come into contact with the solar panel.

    Even with an active absorption mechanism there are still questions, such as how efficient is it, from how far away can energy be drawn, what quantities can be drawn in at one time, does doing so impose entropic effects on the absorber, etc…

    Regular human bodies do not self-produce energy. We consume energy from external sources (food). But even so, the biochemical processes involved in releasing energy from sugars, carbohydrates and fats do produce wastes, fatigue chemicals and such. Michael Phelps readily admits to consuming around 10,000 calories per day! Yet even he is not tireless. Nor would he be even if he could consume calories somehow even while he exerts himself. Fatigue chemical buildup, strain on the physical structures of his body and excess heat would eventually wear him down.

    So while a super might be able to tap into a theoretically limitless energy source, just as an ordinary person could consume food containing vast amounts of calories, it does not follow logically that they have ALL of that energy at their disposal, nor that they could physically utilize an unlimited amount of energy without physical ill-effect.

  90. Ghoston 05 Sep 2009 at 10:48 am

    Ice boy,
    I assuming that when you say “cyrokenises” you mean that your character can freeze things with their mind. So for a weakness you might want to consider where the energy from the things they are freezing goes. In the real world, heat is a from of energy, and “cold” is the absences of this energy. Also, The law of conservation of mass and energy states that matter and energy can not be destroyed (as far as humanity currently understands thing) they can only be transfered. So in order to freeze something, like water, in a freezer you have to remove heat from the water, not introduce “cold” into the water. So freezers freeze things by absorbing heat and caring that heat outside to be absorbed by air.
    So maybe your character, like a freezer, absorbs the heat into himself and its causes him to slow over heat, Or maybe he has to transfer the heat else where. I think you should focus on what happens to the heat energy in order to develope a waekness for your character.

  91. Ghoston 05 Sep 2009 at 10:49 am

    Umm… who posted under my name?

  92. Marissaon 05 Sep 2009 at 11:44 am

    Ghost, I’m not sure who that was. We could IP track them I think, but that may be a little much for just one mistake.

  93. Ghoston 05 Sep 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I just wanted to write a response to them, but I wanted to know who I should address the comment to. No biggie

  94. Lighting Manon 05 Sep 2009 at 12:44 pm

    “All it takes for the reader to re-orient themself, Lighting Man, is to reread the last page they read prior to closing the book. And honestly? This happens whether it’s a different point of view or not.”

    Yeah, I hadn’t slept, so I was hyper, didn’t make my point well at all, and it doesn’t make sense in the slightest, then I got distracted trying to be funny and it went over like an ignorant pigeon eating squab. I apologize for the lengthy meandering idiocy of it, quite sincerely to everyone.

  95. Ghoston 05 Sep 2009 at 12:51 pm

    No problem lighting man. I actually prefer a little verbal jousting, it keeps the mind sharp and is more entertaining than shower jousting

  96. Moondragon007on 27 Sep 2009 at 4:33 am

    “How do you weaken a guy who can freeze time and rewind time? I need help for weaknesses.”

    Don’t any of you people watch Heroes??? Hiro, at least at the beginning, was notoriously inaccurate with his time-traveling (in the 2nd season he sent himself back to Feudal Japan). On the other hand, I suspect that’s why they took away Hiro’s and Peter’s powers in the 3rd (4th?) season – they were way too powerful for an ensemble show.

  97. B. Macon 27 Sep 2009 at 9:33 am

    Yeah, I’m sort of wondering about Hiro. If he can’t freeze time anymore, what can he do? Teleport, perhaps. That’s way underpowered relative to (say) Matt “I’m in yr head stealn yr mindz” Parkman.

  98. Moondragon007on 27 Sep 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Worse, it appears at the moment (I missed the premier, gonna hafta download it off the NBC website) that he can’t use -any- power without his head possibly exploding.

    I disagree about teleportation being underpowered; it’s a cheap way to get places, and it’s an instant escape hatch. That’s why Star Trek: TOS went to such pains to set up situations where Kirk couldn’t just beam back up to the ship.

    In my opinion, Heroes is just plain Superheros Done Right. No flashy costumes, no cheesy superhero names, no comic-speak dialog, just ordinary people with extraordinary abilities trying to live their lives till fate intervenes.

  99. Moondragon007on 27 Sep 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Oh, and he can stillfreeze time; what he’s lost (for now) is the teleportation and the time traveling.

  100. Moondragon007on 27 Sep 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Jeez, I wish these forums had an edit feature!!!!

  101. Jackon 20 Oct 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Hey, I looove Heroes

    And Hiro has ALL his powers back he can freeze time, teleport, and time travel.

    Yeah, what’s the point of taking your character’s powers for one arc and then bringing them back?

  102. all_fitchon 02 Nov 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I too am having problems with a weakness for my character, who I don’t classify as a “super hero,” but just a man who has to be a hero when called upon. But what i really wanted to say is that I don’t feel that Superman’s weakness is gimmicky at all. You asked why anyone would be vulnerable to his own planet… well, there are many natural things in our own planet that will kill us. Something as simple as a plant actually can kill us. Superman is vulnerable to a radio active material from his planet and if I’m not mistaken, we can die from the radio active materials as well, so it being a gimmick doesn’t really make sense.

  103. Lighting Manon 08 Dec 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Superman’s weakness becomes gimmicky in that, out of all the billions of things that could crash land on Earth from his home planet, excusing the earlier issues where he had twelve cousins, dogs, cats, monkeys, horses and I think a time machine once, crash land on Earth from Krypton, it is a radioactive rock that the mere presence of renders him temporarily deathly ill.

    If five hundred years from now, Earth blows up and we’ve got a colony on Mars, if they get any thing from Earth bumping them on the heads, what are the chances that it’d be Uranium? Pretty small, I’d guess.

    Now, that one continuity that I can’t remember, it might be Smallville or the old animated series, helped defeat this problem by suggesting that Krypton died due to all of its mass being converted to Kryptonite, and then Jor-El making it asplode while trying to fix it which lessens the problem greatly.

  104. Toastyon 14 Dec 2009 at 6:17 pm

    hey b. mac,
    Just wanted to run ally’s weaknesses by you, see if I can get some additional input on it.
    The basis for his powers is that he’s a digital construct composed of the electrical impulses of his former body bonded to the plasma remains of his disentigrated body.
    In a way, he does have internal limits due to the fact he can only do so much with his powers as long as he knows the science behind it roughly. It’s a big part of the beginning of his story as mentioned in the other comments. He’s got a robust amount of powers, superstrength, energy projection and construct generation to name a few… but at the same time, being a digital entity leaves him open to EMPs, if he’s caught offguard eletricity does more damage then if he’s prepared to absorb energy, though even then it still does damage. He’s hackable, he still has to follow the laws of physics so he’s still easily knocked around if caught off guard. He’s also been caught off guard by quick flashes of light like you mentioned for senses.
    Is there anything that sticks out that I’m not thinking of for a weakness?

  105. Miss Mynaon 06 Feb 2010 at 12:46 pm

    There’s another really obvious weakness for super-fast characters. Throw a can at them.

    This sounds stupid, but– because they’re going so fast, anything that hits them would feel as if it was striking them at 100, 200, 300 miles per hour. If someone threw a pencil at you while you’re going 300mph, it WILL leave damage, and a lot of it.

  106. Miss Mynaon 06 Feb 2010 at 1:14 pm

    So I was thinking about this thread and I came up with a few more weaknesses. 😛

    My MC is the type of hero that uses a power suit, but the catch is that the suit is difficult to take off quickly. It’s a complicated power suit that’s about as hard as a kimono to get off properly. (You’d be SURPRISED how difficult those kimonos are.)

    Which means…

    –Electrical or EMP attacks used on her would short out the suit, but not HER. She’s trapped inside until she can either get it off or the suit powers back up. (Especially bad, ’cause one of the major villains happens to be an electrokinetic, ha. XD)

    –The suit, as it’s made of metal, has no real buoyancy. I.E., it’s a bad idea to try and fight underwater, as she’d probably drown.

    There’s probably a few more, I just felt like sharing that, lolz.

  107. B. Macon 06 Feb 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Yeah, I don’t think that the air contained inside a suit like Ironman’s would last all that long. Maybe a few minutes. I think Ironman eventually got around that by coming up with a model of his suit that’s specialized for the water (able to withstand tremendous pressure, able to generate breathable air from water, etc). He still gets beat by pirates at one point, though.

    Those sound very interesting, Miss Myna. Would you like to share a chapter?

  108. Miss Mynaon 06 Feb 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you 😀 And yeah, especially if the suit is almost skin tight- or close to it- carrying around oxygen would get rather cumbersome, and kind of weird too. “Oh, I’m only carrying this oxygen tank on the off chance I get trapped underwater.” XD Yeah.

    I’d like to share a chapter, but I haven’t written the story yet, I’m still putting it together. DX Your site has inspired me a lot though, so I have to say, thank you muchso~

    And I absolutely need to show this to a friend, she’s also writing a superhero story. 😛

  109. B. Macon 06 Feb 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Plus, a compressed oxygen tank is likely to be HIGHLY explosive. I wouldn’t want to carry that (especially into battle!) unless I absolutely had to.

    Thanks for telling your friend. It’s always more fun with more people.

  110. Arkaeuson 18 Feb 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks a bunch for this one!! I’m creating a superhero and I had issues with finding a valid weakness… 🙂

  111. Allisteron 20 Feb 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Hi! I’m having a bit of trouble. My superhero has the power to harness electricity and his villian controls fire. I know theres a ton of weakness for both powers, but i need on thats unique and surprising to the reader and its easy for the enemy to get their hands on.

  112. B. Macon 20 Feb 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Hmm. With the fire guy, using water is cliche (although you could probably come up with a unique way to bring in the water). As a somewhat fresher alternative, you could seal off the room and wait for him to burn up the oxygen. Alternately… I think 50-pound bags of soil cost $5 at Home Depot. It wouldn’t cost too much money to buy enough soil to set a trap that could bury him or at least thoroughly coat him in wet soil or sand. Either one would probably interfere with the oxygen he needs for his body to make fire.

    For the lightning guy, the only two things coming to mind are water (horribly cliche) and variations on lightning rods. I imagine that the hero will take precautions against getting shorted by a spray of water. So you could have the villain take a hostage and spray HIM with water, so that the hero can’t use his powers without electrocuting the hostage. Alternately, you could have the villain lock the hero in a room and wait for him to suffocate. I don’t think that electricity would be too useful for breaking out of a prison.

  113. Salvadoron 22 Feb 2010 at 8:50 am

    I am making a super hero novel as a course work. and i have my super hero set and kind of introduced a problem.. was wondering if someone has any ideas to help me out or know a better name for my character. his name is Lightning Devil. He can teleport and read into peoples past. a newly aquired power is the fact that he shoots lightning from his eyes, however he cannot control it. ( he got his powers in an experiment with extreme high magnetic waves) if you could help me with anything would be gratefull. even any tips for the plot or such. thanks

  114. B. Macon 22 Feb 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Hmm. I tried looking through the Wikipedia page for lightning and a few phrases stuck out at me for name candidates. Do you like Staccato or Fulgurite? (One is a type of lightning and the other is a byproduct of lightning).

    What do you have in mind for your plot? Unless the piece is unusually long, you probably only need to focus on a single goal for the main character. So what kind of goals would this LD fellow have? Possibly something to do with a troubled backstory, if he’s going to use his past-reading power. So, for example, maybe he has unresolved business with his parents. Or maybe someone around him has some nasty skeletons in the closet and he’s getting drawn in (voluntarily? or not?).

    He or somebody around him is probably a scientist, if he’s near an accident when it happens, so you could do something with that. For example, maybe the scientist had to rip off some shady people for the funding for this experiment, and now they’re angry. Sort of like Doc Brown in Back to the Future, or the opposite of Joker duping the doctor in Arkham Asylum.

    What’s the personality of the main character like?

    How do you plan on working teleportation into the story?

  115. Hopefulon 14 Jun 2010 at 11:49 am

    I need an opnion on a weakness.
    The hero has the power to turn his flesh, bones, internal organs,ect. into diamond. Every thing but is nervious system is a diamond. Meaning that if he gets shot, to him it will feel like he got shot, though their is not real tissue damage.

  116. B. Macon 14 Jun 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Hmm. That will make his life unpleasant, but will it actually make his quest harder to pull off? (IE: does the prospect of imagined pain somehow make it possible that he will fail even though he is very hard to actually harm?)

    Some consequences I suspect would arise would be…

    –I think it’d help a lot if the character is a solo hero rather than a single guy on a team, because the element of pain is something that would really benefit from the attention of the reader and probably the perspective of the character. I suspect this would be hard to pull off if the character isn’t the point-of-view.

    –The book’s camera is going to zoom in pretty tight on this character and his state of mind. If you’re doing a more psychological work, I think that’s appropriate. If not, making his primary issue mental (imagined pain) rather than physical (actual physical danger) may be problematic.

    –I’d be more optimistic about this succeeding in a novel than a comic book.

    Good luck.

  117. Hopefulon 14 Jun 2010 at 2:18 pm

    You’ve actually commented on this character in the list of superpowers, Black Diamond. When I thought about it the imagined pain would not work because he is not the POV. Do you think that heat could work? As in because his diamond form is not permanent, his diamond would turn to ash at lower temperatures. Around 120 degrees.

  118. Ragged Boyon 14 Jun 2010 at 7:34 pm

    “Do you think that heat could work? As in because his diamond form is not permanent, his diamond would turn to ash at lower temperatures. Around 120 degrees.”

    I’m sorry but I don’t understand what you mean here. Is 120 degrees a low temperature in your opinion? Why would he turn to ash? I understand that you’re going for a weakness, but I think turning to ash is a bit much. A weakness needs to weaken, not totally (and permanently?) impair the character.

    Personally, it’s reason like this that I don’t like invulnerability as a power. It’s just a nuisance coming up with ways to hurt them.

  119. B. Macon 14 Jun 2010 at 7:55 pm

    On a minor scientific point, I think 120 degrees is a sort of low temperature when compared to what diamonds can usually take. (Diamonds are formed at ~2000+ degrees Fahrenheit).

    That said, I agree with RB on the main point, that 120 degrees is high relative to human life, probably too high for criminals to use much. If the threshold were something closer to 100 degrees, a crafty antagonist might be able to mess him up just by cranking the heater. And the hero might get worked up enough over the course of a battle that his body starts to overheat. With 120 degrees, the only two situations that come to mind are 1) fire-based weaponry and/or blazing rooms and 2) extremely warm places, like Death Valley. (Or maybe his body creates a LOT of heat when he exerts himself and he’ll gradually get into the ~120 degree danger zone if the fight goes too long).

  120. Herojockon 16 Jun 2010 at 3:13 am

    Regarding electricity based powers, one weakness not mentioned (I think) are insulated materials. What if the villain was made of plastic, made of diamond or wore a plastic suit? It would be hard to electrocute the said criminal. Glass is a good insulator, what if a villain made maze or prison of super thick glass. That would make it hard for the hero to break out of.

  121. Hopefulon 18 Jun 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Maybe, the heat could weaken his structure making it more plyable going from diamond to steel strength and allowing him to feel the pain making him more cautious.

  122. Hopefulon 19 Jun 2010 at 10:29 am

    I’ll lower the temp to 1O5 or lower. I like the self generated heat idea to.

  123. Payne86on 05 Sep 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I’ve read quite abit in this site, I love it. I am having a problem giving my characters a weakness. I have a super duo, 1 has super strength, super flight, and is invulnerable to bullets or knives..etc. The 2nd is a human with a nano-bot suit on that enhances his abilities to physical perfection. They villains are 1 large super strengthed guy, 1 super agile girl, and finally a guy who stole the nano bot tech to make his own. Any weaknesses to them that you can think of??


  124. ShardReaperon 05 Sep 2010 at 9:15 pm

    The nanobot would have to be weakened by electromagnetic pulses. The other guy would need one of those powers removed to have any weaknesses, or you could be like Superman and have him be weakened by a glowing rock.

  125. B. Macon 05 Sep 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I’m not concerned about the hero with the powersuit. I think you could challenge him pretty easily, because he could probably be physically overwhelmed. I feel the other hero may make your life harder–particularly his invulnerability. If he’s immune to knives and guns and is just generally very, very hard to overcome, I think it’d be hard for (say) the agile villainess or the nanobot villain to challenge him.

    I’m not sure how invulnerable the character is, but I would recommend making him vulnerable enough that he could be beaten without a gimmick like Kryptonite. If you think that a weakness is necessary, clumsiness looks plausible.

    Also, I notice some overlap between the superstrong hero and the superstrong villain (and between the nanobot hero and the nanobot villain, but that overlap makes thematic sense). It might help to give the superstrong villain some other power so that the fights have more variety. (Maybe psychic powers? I think those would make it easier to challenge the physically invulnerable hero).

    Lastly, how much difference is there between the superstrong, supertough hero and the hero with the powersuit that gives him physical perfection? One way to help distinguish their fighting styles would be to make the supertough hero sort of clumsy.

  126. Payne86on 06 Sep 2010 at 10:40 am

    I like that idea, for the psychic power weakness. I can work the clumsy in as he has a hard time judging scenerios with his strength. The super strong hero has strength close to supermans level.and the strong villain is closer to the hulk using his anger to fuel his strength. (He doesn’t turn into a hulking beast, he is just usually very angry.) The nanosuit hero and vilain are very similar in the fact they share the same suit. The difference is that the villain has messed with the original nano suit and made it posses more strength and endurance. I also thought about giving him the psychic powers thanks to his suit upgrade. The agile villain is more for a love interest between a hero and herself. She wears egyptian costume and uses 2 sycles. There is also a crime gang in it as well. The tri star gang with a ninja costume and the leader reminds me of shredder from tmnt. Haha. I haven’t developed powers yet so he has no weakness either.

  127. Ghoston 06 Sep 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I wouldn’t give the power suit villain any telepathic powers because I think that might be a little overkill. Instead, you might want to consider making him more powerful but at a cost. For example, maybe he has removed some of the fail safes on his armor so his attacks are more powerful but the recharge time in between attacks is longer.

  128. Ragged Boyon 06 Sep 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Or maybe the suit has an overdrive function for powerful attacks but physically hurts the hero or the suit overloads and needs down-time.

  129. Ghoston 06 Sep 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Yeah thats what I was trying to get at ragged boy.

  130. Battlecladon 01 Oct 2010 at 3:10 pm


    Firstly thanks for such a handy resource as this site. Now moving swiftly on I am creating a superhero who goes by the same name Battleclad.

    As the name implies he wears armour, in his case powered battlesuit. He has one solitary active power that he is immune to. His blood on exposure to the air (not too sure on this trigger and open to suggestions) heats up to around 900°C which he utilises to power a prototype battlesuit of his own design intended for military use. The project was shelved until a suitable portable power source became available. Anyway I digress, his other power is that his body is oxygen independant, a change triggered by his reaction to the isotope.

    His battlesuit on the other hand is of course a containment suit as well, so I know full well he’d be at risk of breaching.

    I could go into the powers of his suit but that’s a non-issue at the moment, I will however mention that the incident that altered him also caused him to lose an arm which he replaced with a cybernetic replacement.

    So at the moment I see his weaknesses as the following:
    Cold – While his armour is resistant to the cold it is not immune to cold based weapons.
    Magnets and metal powers – it’s a metal suit and a metal arm.
    Acid – It’s metal and he’s human.
    Heat exceeding 1200°C

  131. Battlecladon 01 Oct 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Oh right and any other causes of human death are fair gain, except fires and the heat caused by explosives. Although the blasts are still viable causes of injury.

  132. B. Macon 02 Oct 2010 at 10:13 am

    Hello, Battleclad. Some thoughts and suggestions.

    –I like the name Battleclad more than Jonathan/Jon Incarna. First, the “clad” syllable is interesting because it suggests that this is more of a confining containment suit than, say, Ironman’s. (He can’t take it off, right?) I think that’s more dramatically intriguing than something like “Battlemaster,” where the only issue at play is the character’s martial competence. Second, I like the rhythm of the hard sounds in Battleclad, whereas Incarna is a lot softer. It’s also sort of a strange name, and I feel that the strangeness would be more effective if the name had a more clear meaning. (For example, like Incarna, Spartan is a last name I’ve never encountered in real life, but something like John Spartan in Demolition Man has a very martial, austere feel to it). I’m not sure what sort of feel I’m supposed to get off of Incarna.

    –What’s his personality like? What are his most important traits?

    –Minor plot question. His suit is a shelved military prototype, right? How did he get it? (IE: how’d he get the plans from the military? Did he make it himself? Where’d he get the parts?)

    –You could compare his suit to maybe like a geothermal power plant built on a source of massive heat (his body). However, I would recommend adjusting the trigger from the air making his blood get extremely hot to his body being hot all the time, and the suit harnessing enough of that heat so that he doesn’t cook himself. (If his power only activates when exposed to the air, his power wouldn’t activate while he has the suit on, right? That might make it hard to explain how he powers the suit while he’s wearing it).

    –What are his main goals?

  133. Battlecladon 02 Oct 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Well Incarna is something I made up, I felt it worked as a surname. Although the name is hardly set in stone.

    Also during the time between now and the post I decided to change the suits origin slightly to being designed for military and fire-fighting use (the latter is kind of almost self-powering). As for how he gets the suit, Jon (or whatever his name winds up being) was one of the testers and part of the initial design team of the shelved suit. Although he was later dropped from the design team when his expertise were no longer needed and kept as a tester due to his familiarity with the suit. So when he gets his powers he heads to design lead, who became a good friend of his for help creating a version of the battlesuit. I feel that’s a more plausible explanation anyway.

    Thus his version of the suit was based off the prototype but relied on drawing his power into it. I am leaning towards there being two prototypes and that one of them was scheduled for dismantling for use on another project. However key components weren’t going to be salvaged and those were taken for his suit. Also if he can’t remove the suit that is too similar to
    for my liking. Hence wanting a activator of some kind, although I suppose I could have him need to wear the under-armour at all times.

    As for his personality he’s a self-sacrificing, stoic individual who presents himself to others as a shy conformist, while operating to his own goals.

    As for his main goals, they were originally to provide soldiers and fire-fighters with better protection. His reasons for becoming a superhero were more accidental, once he became permeated with the isotope that causes him to radiate heat (I figured this worked perfectly with him trying to get the project to be continued), his thoughts were on preventing himself from causing any more loss of live (the same explosion that empowered him killed the rest of his design team). However once his arm was replaced and he was safely contained in the battlesuit, the fire at his destroyed lab had spread. Feeling he was responsible he decided to do something about it.

    Like most heroes he’ll struggle to do anything about it but he’ll manage somehow (how I have no idea at this point), however stories will spread of him. After which he’ll decide to use his powers and the battlesuit to prevent disasters and crimes in his home city. Seeing as he can’t do anything else at that point.

  134. ShardReaperon 02 Oct 2010 at 8:04 pm

    The meteor event released radiation that has given some of the galaxy’s inhabitants special powers. As such, being around planets that are heavily irradiated can enhance their powers. At the same time, too much exposure to the irradiated air can cause their abilities to overload and go out of control (the exception being those that can absorb energy, including the radiation). Does this sound like a fair weakness?

  135. B. Macon 02 Oct 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I think that sounds promising, ShardReaper.

  136. Herojackon 04 Oct 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Here me out, here me out…

    I think Superman’s main problem is that he has a long list of unrelated, hyped up powers, a single effective weakness and poor villians. Superman can be tidied up, but to do that threatens his status as DC’s number one. If Superman is slower than Captain Marvel or not as strong as Thor, there will be riot. The Superman fails to appear that Super and then people will ask, what is he about again?

    Is it possible to have your cake and eat it?
    Take a hero with ‘Invulnerability’, Speed and Strength.

    What if the hero could withstand you tank shell without a scratch. Move faster than a bullet train and easily throw cars. But the villains in the upper tier of the rouge gallery had special weapons that could pierce the skin. Or could shoot a corrosive venom that can damage the skin, eyes and if swallowed spelled death?

    Surely the problem with Superman and heroes like him. Is that their top tier villains are on equal footing with them rather than being superior. Take Darkside for example, in the latest direct-to-video film It took 15 minutes for him to give Superman the odd scratch and spill a little blood. (check out the latest Superman/Batman apocalypse now film) Yawn. I’d rather see Darkside have burned a hole through Superman’s chest and have me thinking, damn how is he going to defeat him. Then have Superman rely on his speed and intelligence to work the Boom device and save Supergirl in time. Instead superman defeated him by just moving faster. Leaving me to wonder, why did it take 15 minutes to do that in the damn first place.

    Am I on the right track or speaking crap? is it possible to have the hero come across as godly to mortal men and their weapons. But force them to take strategic measures and put more effort into to defeating their greatest opponents in style?

  137. B. Macon 04 Oct 2010 at 2:20 pm

    “Superman can be tidied up, but to do that threatens his status as DC’s number one. If Superman is slower than Captain Marvel or not as strong as Thor, there will be riots.”

    I think that’s probably right, but it strikes me as sort of sad. I don’t understand why reducing Superman’s powers so that he’s weaker than some other heroes in some ways would compromise his position as a main character in the universe. It’s not like (say) Spiderman or Wolverine are the best at everything they do. In fact, I don’t think they are the best at ANYTHING they do*, except for perhaps cameos. And, hell, Batman doesn’t even have superpowers besides possibly resourcefulness and his mental skills and his utterly determined Robin-mocking.

    *Which is ironic, because one of Wolverine’s most common lines is “I’m the best there is at what I do.” But he’s not close to the strongest or fastest or invulnerable or most mentally capable** or scrupulous character in the Marvel universe. He’s not even the most Canadian!

    **I don’t think that Superman is frequently portrayed as a genius, but he’s rarely if ever portrayed as dumb. In contrast, I think Wolverine and Spiderman are a bit more fleshed out in that direction, especially Ultimate Spiderman.

    “is it possible to have the hero come across as godly to mortal men and their weapons. But force them to take strategic measures and put more effort into to defeating their greatest opponents in style?” For sure. I think your example about venom would be effective (although it’d be hard to hit someone as fast as Superman with venom).

  138. Herojockon 17 Oct 2010 at 8:22 am

    A hero I have been working on is a walking talking magnet. His fast, strong and can fly. The colder he is the stronger and faster he is. The hotter he is the weaker and slower he is. He can redirect/block electricity and lightning, but the heat from lightning can kill him. Repeated strikes *will*. Although he can move fast, the heat generated will weaken him and thus has a limit to how long he can move at speeds. I like the idea of him being able to fly into the mesosphere (coldest region on earth) to get stronger or heal.

    Opinions? I admit the flying into the mesosphere can come across as superman-ish. But his voice, origin, background, personality, role in the world, abilities are different of course.

    His a work in progress…


  139. Rachel Mon 17 Oct 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I think that has a lot of potential. What is his “overload temp”? What kind of villian is he going up against?

    Heh-heh, You could have the main baddie set up shop in a volcano!

  140. Dillanon 17 Oct 2010 at 3:21 pm

    @herojock I think you make an exellent point on superman, however i like the versitility of his powers but i do admit his weaknesses are lame and generally easy for him to over come when “the hero must save the day”.Also his villains are usually equal in power or skill to him instead of superior making them minor threats in terms of truely testing him as a character. I mean im a fan of darkseid but superman has been known to defeat him with questionable tactics.I like characters ,both with and without powers but that being said if the characters powers makes everything a breeze than they instantly become less interesting. As long as they’re is some chance at defeat .Great characters to me are made by the obstacles they have to rise above regardless of power,skill,or ability

  141. Dillanon 17 Oct 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I forgot to menction I like the concept of your character he seems interesting.

  142. "James Carter"on 23 Oct 2010 at 8:10 pm

    What about superheroes whose exposure to a substance makes them become superheroes, but a finite balance is needed. Too much and their powers become unstable, (or dangerous to others) and remove it completely, and they no longer has powers? So in addition to regular bad guy hi-jinks, you have the heroes needing to avoid TOO much contact this substance which they may have work with (especially if one of them is a scientist, trying to discover a new element or what it does that they discovered) or decontamination…?

  143. B. Macon 24 Oct 2010 at 12:20 am

    The logistical concerns might be interesting, James–how does the hero keep coming up with the substance, particularly when the villain and/or antagonists have him on the run?

    In terms of rareness, the first option that comes to mind is something extremely rare, on the order of Kryptonite. In terms of story potential, I think something a bit less rare would probably have more story potential, something like like uranium (or radioactive materials in general) or another highly controlled substance. I suspect it’d be easier to work radioactive materials into a plot because they’re sort of built into real life already. (Medical and security x-rays, aviation, medical diagnostics, power plants, etc).

  144. "James Carter"on 24 Oct 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I was thinking on something on the order of (Marvel’s) Vibranium, hence his “Shockwave” powers (see my post on the naming of characters)
    He’s a scientist. He’s trying to discover its properties.

    Another hero X-Zorb got the power to turn energy and damage into strength and healing, maybe energy blasts or something. How he got exposed to it, I’m wondering. Maintenance man or something? Someone in the lab who wasn’t supposed to be? A fellow scientist? I’m still debating on that one…

    Another superhero weakness Mirror, whose ability is to reflect attacks both physical and energy, but she has a double secret identity — one from her being a masked magician both to maintain anonymity to protect her public identity and the fact that she’s revealing the secrets of the industry (and no one’s happy about this), and that she’s a superhero (another, different secret identity)

  145. Lt. Hangon 14 Nov 2010 at 1:57 pm

    So, I have a superhero (not so super) character named Dax. He used to have several physical powers (pretty much like Superman without the heat and X-ray vision), but he lost all of them except for durability. He has a mechanic shoulder and a partially mechanic thigh, both on the left side of his body.

    He also got several physical disabilities when he lost his powers permanently: he has a ridiculously low tolerance to pain (to the point a small bump on a hard object can make him scream), reduced muscular strength (if compared to a common man of same age) and can’t breathe without his mask (in this case, he is completely unable to breathe) or in low pressure environments such as airplanes (in this other case, he IS able to breathe, but often shows symptoms of hipoxia and/or faints).

    My question is: how would a villain with no superpowers (like many of my villains) use these weaknesses against Dax in a frightening way? I’ve thought of slapping him, throwing rubber balls at him, inflicting light bruises and papercuts, reducing air pressure enough to knock him out, and many other things, but all of them make the villains look silly instead of evil. Any tips?

  146. B. Macon 14 Nov 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I feel like guns would be pretty effective (if conventional). Getting shot HURTS. If he’d scream due to a small bump, I’m thinking anything ranging from an actual bullet to a blank to “nonlethal” bullets for riot police would pose a major problem for him.

    Depending on the level of brutality you’re comfortable with, you could use a bludgeoning weapon. Baseball bats and other bludgeoning weapons would almost certainly not feel silly.

    It seems like his breathing situation is sketchy, so another approach would be using gas and/or staging a fight in an area where the quality of air is pretty poor (mountains/high altitude, industrial wastelands, using explosions and/or fire and/or incinerators to cloud the air with ash, etc).

  147. Lt. Hangon 14 Nov 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Hmmmm. Guns are a good idea… He wouldn’t be able to do anything if shot. I guess a sharpshooter mook, or several mooks with common guns, would be enough to get enough time for the villains to carry out their plans.

    Bludgeoning weapons would be quite useful in those “a hundred mooks versus one hero” fights, or even “gang versus hero”. He’d have to think much more before engaging in any fight, and would have to plan his actions a lot better than just “walk in there, kick evil guys and get out”.

    Point taken on the air quality topic. I guess Dax wouldn’t be able to do much in these situations, or even if one villain started smoking… The Evil Headquarters will definitely be in Ciudad de México (yay for high altitude and highly polluted air).

    Thanks for the help!

  148. B. Macon 14 Nov 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I like the idea of using Mexico DF. I think it’s more plausible as a recurring scene for block-to-block superbrawls than New York City. 😉

    Also, it reminds me of the scene in Super Troopers where the cop screams “You boys like Mexico?” 🙂

    Sniper mooks sound fun, too. I hate using video games for writing inspiration, but snipers made for surprisingly nasty foes in Arkham Asylum.

  149. Comicbookguy117on 01 Mar 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I know this thread is for discussing the weaknesses of our characters, but I have a quesation about a recent chaaracter’s strength/motive for fighting crime. Ok, so we all have heard our parents say that they’d do anything for us, but they don’t normally get a chance to prove it. So I’m thinking that after this character gets powered, they come to the conclusion that the world is just too dangerous a place. They decide to fight crime and other forms of evil in order to raise their child in a worthwhile environment. I realise this motive may be cliched but I really do think it fits with the character. So what do you guys think? I mean in regards to becoming a superhero, how extreme does a motive have to be?

  150. Tempoon 21 May 2011 at 11:40 am


    I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a superhero story for a while now, more for my personal enjoyment and writing practice than anything. My character Tempo’s power is time manipulation, and I fully realize that if left unchecked, that would get VERY boring. My ideas for limitations:

    1. It only lasts a short while, comparable to how long you can hold your breath.

    2. It requires some concentration to get going, so it won’t lead to super-reflexes very easily.

    3. Just because he’s moving faster than everything else does not mean that light touches feel like punches.

    4. No time travel, no rewind.

    1 and 2 would probably start to fall away a bit as my character gets better at using it. Any thoughts?

  151. B. Macon 22 May 2011 at 1:20 am

    It sounds interesting. I think #1 is a really useful limitation, so I would recommend against letting him get TOO proficient at the ability. (Maybe he gets capped around 5 minutes or 10?) I think #4 is a really helpful way to keep the stakes high.

  152. Paper~Craneson 24 Jun 2011 at 8:07 am

    I have a question! I’m currently trying (but failing) to write a superhero novel. My hero can manipulate and distort shadows as he pleases. The catch is- he can only use his powers when shadows are present and they are only as strong as how much shadows he actually has to use. Does that sound like a good weakness?

  153. Mynaon 24 Jun 2011 at 8:09 am

    That weakness makes sense, but considering that there are shadows EVERYWHERE there is light, there is no limit to the shadows he could use anyway…

  154. B. Macon 24 Jun 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I agree with Myna that you could probably come up with a more interesting limitation. This article might help, particularly #2.

  155. Paper~Craneson 17 Jul 2011 at 7:25 am

    Ah, so let’s say that controlling shadows means that his sanity could slowly be eaten away by something inside of him. Like, the thing that enables him to use his powers could kill him if he uses too much? And put that with my previous limitation thing. So would that be a more plausible solution? Since shadows are generally considered evil and maybe he only got his powers from evil or something. *flails* I’m not really good at brainstorming.

  156. B. Macon 17 Jul 2011 at 8:09 am

    “Ah, so let’s say that controlling shadows means that his sanity could slowly be eaten away by something inside of him. Like, the thing that enables him to use his powers could kill him if he uses too much?” Yeah, that sounds like it could be effective.

    “And put that with my previous limitation thing.” Well, like Myna mentioned, there are shadows pretty much everywhere, so I’m not sure how easy it’d be to work that into the story. (The only scenario I can think of is that a villain well-prepared for this particular protagonist might have a room that’s well-lit at every angle). Alternately, maybe his powers would be less effective outside when the shadows tend to be smallest (around noon). Alternately, if his powers are tied only to shadows and not to darkness in general, maybe he can’t use his powers in a completely dark room.

  157. Wingson 17 Jul 2011 at 8:33 am

    I like the sanity loss as a weakness for an umbrakinetic. What do his powers come from: magic, mutation, aliens, etc.?

    – Wings

  158. Mynaon 17 Jul 2011 at 8:44 am

    I agree, the losing-his-sanity thing sounds like it could be very fitting (especially with the nature of his power) and it would serve as a nice contrast to his personality. Unless he’s naturally insane. xD

    I also like the idea that he’s less powerful in the day, but more powerful in the night, it’s very good I think and it’s easy for readers to understand and connect with his power.

  159. Paper~Craneson 17 Jul 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks, guys! I always have a problem getting the right weaknesses for superpowered characters. And I’m still deciding where his powers should exactly come from without seeming to cliche. (Like from radiation or another planet) And since he’s not insane, it would definately contrast with his normal personality. And I really like the idea of only being able to control shadows and not darkness in general. That would make a really good weakness. 😀 Like I said, I’m not so good with brainstorming. xD I’m really glad I found a site like this that can actually answer my questions as they come up. I’m really grateful for the help, seen as how my usual writing related website lacks superhero awesomeness. I haven’t seen much superhero stories on it. :'(

  160. legolosarrowon 01 Jan 2012 at 5:13 pm

    This was a good article…Anyways, I have a couple characters I’m still trying to find weakness for, though I do have a few ideas, and I’m wondering what you think.

    FrenzyFire(Super Strength,Fire)~When he gets angry, his powers get stronger, and stronger, then after being angry for rougly 30 minutes, his powers start getting weaker, and weaker, and weaker, until he’s a regular guy.(From regular guy, his powers take an hour and a half to recharge)

    Sonicboom(Speed, sound)~Hard to find footing on certian substances(sand,liquid etc.)his soles get worn out after about two, maybe three runs(This will be fixed once he meets my super-intelligent charcter).Kind of an idiot…(Will be fixed as he meets other heroes and starts hanging out with them.)

    Shadow Assasin(Shadows, various types of weapons)~He doesn’t socialize well(He’s from Midevil times)he always kills those who work for the ‘Order of Light'(Order of Light=Very, very bad people)

    So, good, bad, or ok? If bad or ok, what can I do to make it better?

  161. Anonymouson 02 Mar 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Do the powers superhuman agility, reflexes and hearing work together for a character that attains their powers like characters from the X-Men or Heroes (just being born with them) :S

  162. Anonymouson 02 Mar 2012 at 3:43 pm

    was just wondering if being born with this combination makes sense

  163. Bad-Peopleon 07 Mar 2012 at 11:11 pm

    I once wrote a scene where my metallic powerhouse Vulcan was being trounced inside a sinking oil platform that was slowly flooding with water. I always looked at water as his weakness, even though he isn’t very big, he’s solid metal. Don’t worry, he solved the problem by punching a hole in the wall and flooring the villain with a cascade of water. Weakness into strength!

  164. goodness graciouson 11 May 2012 at 9:08 am

    My hero is an inhuman who can control energy. Forcefields and whatnot. Besides running out of juice, does anyone have a good weakness?

  165. Jllawon 10 Jun 2012 at 5:49 pm

    If a suprehero can turn into steel do you think it would be a useful weakness (a good weakness) to rust in rain and melt in extreme heat?

  166. B. McKenzieon 10 Jun 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Those strike me as pretty workable, Jllaw. The melting (or at least getting less resilient) in extreme heat sounds more believable to me than him rusting, though–rusting usually takes hours.

  167. Jllawon 11 Jun 2012 at 8:51 am

    k thanx i am working on a full team superhero novel

  168. Zangetsuon 11 Jun 2012 at 10:23 am

    Hello, everyone. I do have a question, regarding weaknesses for a particular power, Sound manipulation. Being that my character has it, I’ve been trying to find weaknesses for it.

    For one thing, I know for a fact Sound cannot transmit without a medium, such as water, air land etc. That said, I know vacuums would be effective as sound cannot traverse. Another weakness I had for Kai, my character, is the idea of sensitivity. Being that he’s got enhanced hearing, maybe there’s a possibility he’s vulnerable to loud noises.

    Thus, fighting in a noise-ridden area, like an active factory, might disorient him. Finally, another weakness could be destructive scale. He has an ability called “Sonic Wail”, which is kind of similar to Black Canary’s Canary Cry. Maybe it’s highly destructive and such using it on enemies has a risk of making them permanently deaf, or worse, killing them.

    All in all, that’s what I have. If there’s any other suggestions, I am open.

    P.S: I know this maybe out of place, but a superhero name, “White Noise” sound too cliche or corny?

  169. Revengelon 11 Jun 2012 at 12:41 pm


    For ideas for using the sound sensitivity against White Noise consider what’s been done with DareDevil from Marvel. Also don’t be afraid to think ouside of the powerset! Just because he has a sound based ability doesn’t mean he has to have a sound-based weakness.

    Take Iron Man for example. Tony Stark is an alcoholic and that’s dealt with in a brilliant fashion with “Demon in a Bottle”. One could argue that The Hulk’s weakness is his rage and lack of intelligence (depending on the writer at the time).

    Small aside – could the nemisis be a David Bowie fan named “Black Tie”? No? 😛

  170. Zangetsuon 11 Jun 2012 at 2:11 pm


    Well, if that’s the case, there was one weakness I considered: A phobia of dark spaces. This could go back to his childhood. When he was young, like age six,, he witnessed his father (who was drunk) assault and attempt to beat his mother.

    The trauma of witnessing the event, coupled the fact he was hiding in a closet, brings unsettling feelings. That said, every time he’s exposed into dark enclosed spaces, he risks suffering a mental breakdown, because how much the place reminds him of the hororfic event?

    Does that sound reasonable?

  171. Revengelon 12 Jun 2012 at 7:16 am


    Yes, I think that works! It’s something a reader can relate to even before the explination. Initially readers may think it’s the hero suffering from claustrophobia but then when/if you reveal the origin of the weakness…bingo!

    Keep up the good work!

  172. FistTimeWriteron 30 Jun 2012 at 6:27 am

    I have five teen characters with super powers but i can’t think of weaknesses
    i was thinking of doing weaknesses that are sorta obvious like with super strength maybe having a psychological weakness as in brain beat strength.
    can you help their powers are

    super strength and invunerability



    The ability to create and control fire

    Teleportation for up to 50 m

  173. Comicbookguy117on 30 Jun 2012 at 10:29 am

    Well, for me weakness is a weird term. When people think of weaknesses for their superhero character they automatically think it has to be something like kryptonite. You know something that completely dibilitates the hero. This is not realistic, unless the characters are not entirely human.

    So FistTimeWriter, if your teen characters are human than stamina/fatigue would definately play a part. The one with superstrength might wanna try to finish his fights as quick as possible in order to avoid muscle fatigue. His invulnerability will probably increase this threshold though. So he can go all-out for a while before getting tired.

    The telekinetic is using their mind as a muscle. So again, mental fatigue will be a problem for them. Just like any muscle however, it can be trained/worked out in order to increase its effectiveness. Another limit for this character might be the weight of the objects they can lift. Swords and people, no problem. But small cars and larger vehicles may require an great deal more concentration.

    No invisibility is unique in that it requires light to be bent around an object. So without knowing how this effect is achieved, I’m gonna go with it being mentally activated. That said, this character really wouldn’t need to work that hard to become invisible. They would need to concentrate on staying that way however. Think ouf it like holding an eight-pound weighted ball extended all the way to your right. It take take much to get it out there, but it starts to strain your arm after a while. Same thing here. This character needs to remain in control of their ability at all times when they’re invisible, lest they risk exposing themselves.

    The ability to create and control fire, also known as pyro-kinesis, is a specialized and focused form of telekinesis. This form form of telekinesis allows this character to excite molecules to the point of combustion. So they can make fire. The first issue is that there must be oxygen in order for their created fire to feed on. The second issue is that, as a hero, they must remain in control of the fire or they might burn down everything they’re trying to save. Plus fire causes heat, so this characters teammates must be careful around them so they don’t succumb to a heat stroke; especially if this character ever ‘lets go’ during an emotional moment.

    Teleportaion is the ability to move rapidly from one place to another without occupying the space between. This ability can be achieved in a variety of ways. So its gonna be difficult to anaylse this character without there specific form of teleportation. However, going off the basics. Typically a teleporter must be able to see where they’re going. They probably can teleport without this information, but it is incredibly dangerous as they could re-appear inside a wall or something. Also teleportation, as a rule, happens nearly instantly. So this character may have to think a few steps ahead of themselves in order to be effective in battle. If they need to accomplish a goal, it would help them to have three or ways to accomplish this goal in mind before trying the first one. Cause if that doesn’t work, they’ve already got other options to try.

    I hope this helps Fist, I’d like to know more about your characters though. I’m just curious.

  174. aharrison 30 Jun 2012 at 1:36 pm


    Generally, when I think about character weaknesses, I think about ways to inhibit them or put them in a “box” that it’s hard for them to get out of in order for them to operate normally and freely. Whatever it is that puts them in the “box” doesn’t have to be an actual limitation that hinders the powers themselves. Sometimes, a psychological factor can work just as well. I have a psychic who suffered a psychic trauma as a child that made her permanently and unpleasantly aware of the minds of others no matter what she does to block it out. She feels them like she’s constantly being watched. The more crowded the population of the place she’s in, the more pressure she feels. Over the years, it’s made her steadily more paranoid and reclusive. It’s made it very hard for to ever trust anyone else and almost impossible at times to even perform as a hero. It actually hinders her powers not at all, but it hinders her very much.

  175. FistTimeWriteron 01 Jul 2012 at 4:45 am

    @ Comicbookguy117


    as for more info

    the one with super strength and invulnerability. his invulnerability isn’t like he is impossible to kill more like a bullet from say 4 metres away only leaves a bruise and his strength has a limit as well.

    The one with telekinetic abilities can like you said in your comment only lift to a certain point.

    the one who can become invisible does it like a chameleon, projecting images from behind him.

    i said most with the pyro-kinesis one

    and the one who can teleport can only do it up to 50m away

    thanks for the help

  176. vvhs89on 01 Aug 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I have a hero whose DNA is mixed with that of an aquatic alien species. This gives her webbed toes and fingers, powerful legs (strong enough to propel her out of the water like a great white shark) and the ability to swim as fast as a mako shark (between 35 and 50 mph). For her weaknesses, because she has gills, she can only remain out of water for a limited amount of time. This is because her alien DNA draws in the moisture from the air and uses it to “breathe”, but because there is not much water in the air, she can only maintain this for a short amount of time (between 20 and 40 minutes maybe?) In addition, higher temperatures would cause the water in the air to evaporate faster, which would severely hamper the amount of time that she can stay on land. Does that seem plausible?

  177. Morpheus&Prometheuson 01 Aug 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I’m working on a story that’s is basically a darker, grittier, more realistic spoof of Superman. And in my story, there are only two characters with superpowers. There weakness? THEIR OWN POWERS. Their own superpowers are killing them! How does that sound?

  178. Janon 01 Aug 2012 at 5:49 pm

    @ vvhs89: It does. It’s easy to have weaknesses relating to normal things in nature; I have an electromagentic hero who, when wet, cannot use her powers, for obvious reasons. It should be the same with a hero with gills, but I’d be careful on making her too incompetent, it doesn’t seem like an easy way to live…

  179. vvhs89on 01 Aug 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I don’t think she’s incompetent, but that might just be because I created her. She can still fight when out of the water. Her legs, which allow her to swim so fast and jump out of the water, make for some devastating kicks. She also has claws, shark teeth, and the bite force of a great white shark. She can also dislodge her jaw, like some sharks can, to slightly increase the range of her bite. What do you think?

  180. Janon 01 Aug 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Where does she live when she’s not on land? How long does she have to be in the water to ‘recharge’? I know that 20-40 minutes is plenty of time for a fight to happen, but one usually doesn’t just rush in and start attacking. However, I wouldn’t recommend listening to me.

  181. vvhs89on 01 Aug 2012 at 7:00 pm

    She doesn’t have anywhere to live, she’s something of a nomad. She has to be in the water for at least twice as long as she was out of it. (this could be fixed later on by having somebody develop a device for her, something like a scuba tank, but with water. And it wouldn’t have an unlimited supply of water) Additionally, she cannot stay still in the water, she constantly has to move forward to keep the oxygen in the water flowing over her gills.

  182. B. McKenzieon 02 Aug 2012 at 2:23 am

    “I have a hero whose DNA is mixed with that of an aquatic alien species. This gives her webbed toes and fingers, powerful legs (strong enough to propel her out of the water like a great white shark) and the ability to swim as fast as a mako shark (between 35 and 50 mph). For her weaknesses, because she has gills, she can only remain out of water for a limited amount of time. This is because her alien DNA draws in the moisture from the air and uses it to “breathe”, but because there is not much water in the air, she can only maintain this for a short amount of time (between 20 and 40 minutes maybe?) In addition, higher temperatures would cause the water in the air to evaporate faster, which would severely hamper the amount of time that she can stay on land. Does that seem plausible?”

    That all is plausible, but what can she do? How often will incredible swimming prowess actually lend itself to interesting superheroics? (If you haven’t done so already, it might help to give her another power which would be more versatile–for example, water control).

  183. vvhs89on 02 Aug 2012 at 7:24 am

    Yeah that’s something that I was considering. I’ll definitely give her the ability to manipulate water. Although, do you think she should be able to spontaneously generate the water, or should it have to come from an already existant source?

  184. B. McKenzieon 02 Aug 2012 at 10:58 am

    “Although, do you think she should be able to spontaneously generate the water, or should it have to come from an already existant source?” I think it’d be a lot more consistent if she had to manipulate it from a preexisting source. Otherwise, her limitation that she runs out of water to draw from when she needs to breathe above-water probably would not make much sense.

  185. vvhs89on 02 Aug 2012 at 3:37 pm

    In retrospect, that seems like a pretty stupid question for me to ask. I don’t know why I asked lol. Also, I was planning on introducing her at a point just before the middle of my book, not at the beginning. Do you think that’d be a problem?

  186. B. McKenzieon 02 Aug 2012 at 6:07 pm

    “In retrospect, that seems like a pretty stupid question for me to ask.” Don’t worry about it. I’ve done much worse on that front…

  187. Slickon 02 Aug 2012 at 7:19 pm

    B.Mac, what if the weakness of a superhero is their own powers? I mean, their body is rejecting their powers like a disease, and the power is slowly killing them?

  188. B. McKenzieon 02 Aug 2012 at 7:40 pm

    “B.Mac, what if the weakness of a superhero is their own powers? I mean, their body is rejecting their powers like a disease, and the power is slowly killing them?” I like that. It might also help if the character’s use of powers aggravates the condition–that will help the character’s choices play a larger role in the story (and will make it more interesting when the character does decide to use his/her powers).

  189. vvhs89on 02 Aug 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks. Is there anywhere I can post what I’m working on?

  190. JL Tricksteron 03 Aug 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Wow this site looks like a great place for help!! Ok my question is my main character in the story has the power (or element) of fire, kind of like the power where you can shoot it from his hands and feet stuff like that type of power. I have other characters too, the others are electricity, water, earth, air, and energy sourcing.

    The weakness I’m thinking of for a bit too typical to use like water is strong against fire and such, is there anything else that could make them have a weakness that doesn’t sound overused? Because the setting is sort of fantasy like, and I have no idea exactly what their weaknesses could be. Also for the main character that has the power of fire I had an idea for, instead of the power of fire how about having the power to change into lava so he could really burn his enemies when fighting? Does that sound like a good idea?

  191. Edgukatoron 03 Aug 2012 at 10:54 pm

    The fire / water break is a little too common, but it depends on how you actually play out the powers. Scientifically, fire has certain prerequisites for it to work – heat, oxygen and fuel. People tend to rely on water to douse the heat, but what about the other two. Maybe, to generate fire maybe the hero has to expend something of himself as fuel?

    Or perhaps oxygen. Maybe the hero is safe against fire, but if he turns himself into the human torch he has difficulty breathing because he burns the air surrounding him.

    I always thought the pure opposites of fire / water and air / earth were a little bit forced, and it would be better to play out how the actual powers function.

  192. mythos manon 04 Aug 2012 at 1:13 am

    do you guys have any idea how to put a power limit on a superhero team?

    the teams powers are

    1. superstrong flight unbrakable skin
    2 armoured suit
    3 psychic
    4 animal mimicer
    5 warrior
    6 aa super sense/endurance agent
    7 precognition and levitation

    any idea would be appreciated, thanks

  193. Edgukatoron 04 Aug 2012 at 8:14 am

    @ mythos man

    I think the Avengers provide some ideas on what team balance means. It doesn’t mean everyone is equally powered (Thor, Iron Man and Hulk are far more powerful, in raw terms, than Cap, Hawkeye and Black Widow). But everyone in the team has to feel like they add to the team. (This is why some have criticised having Hawkeye in the movie. Cap and the Widow both seem to have well defined role in the team, where as Hawkeye has one pivotal moment that seems tacked on to make sure he had a role). BMac suggests keeping them roughly of equal power, however.


    Looking at your team, you have two psychic characters, and both of these can be very hard to write.


    It’s a good explanation as to why they can be hard to have as major characters.

    Also read

    This is a good overview to teams in general, and should give you a number of things to think about beyond powers.

    Characters 1, 2 and 5 both run the risk of becoming the tank of the team. What differentiates the characters beyond their abilities.

    Character 1’s ability to fly makes character 7 all the more redundant.

    Do you need 7 characters? I ask, because I personally have tried to write ensemble caste stories, and inevitably I end up finding two or three of them so much more interesting to focus on. This is a case where the story you want to tell should be more important than your choice of powers.

  194. mythos manon 04 Aug 2012 at 3:42 pm

    thanks alot Edgukator. i love the enviroment on this website where you a bunch people actually intrested in the superhero genre and offering helpful suggestions.

    “Characters 1, 2 and 5 both run the risk of becoming the tank of the team. What differentiates the characters beyond their abilities.” yeah this really made me think about what i should do character wise. yeah i think i will try to keep 7 team members ( like the justice league show) but really work on the character reluctance to use their powers and the unreliabity of their powers, what do you think?

    also what characters would you remove?
    again thanks alot i really appreciate it.

  195. Aj of Earthon 04 Aug 2012 at 4:00 pm

    hey guys =)

    @mythos man

    I think the idea of merging two seemingly unrelated characters would make for something original and fresh. Say, perhaps, merging 3 & 5 (maybe also 7?) to create a Psychic Warrior. I think it’s pretty expected that characters with psi are relegated to support and defense – so the idea of a melee character who’s able to wield offensive psychic abilities to whoop some @$$ in combat might put a fresh spin on it.

    As well as take an antagonist by surprise for underestimated said psychic.

    Also, maybe merging 4 & 6? If a character can mimic animals I think they would stand a good chance of accessing the heightened senses, reflexes and endurance that most animals (cats, wolves, birds of prey, etc) inherently posses.

    just my two cents. 😉

    dig it.

  196. Aj of Earthon 04 Aug 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Also, I agree with B.Mac’s article in that the best “weaknesses” are actually side-effects of a character’s powers. It’s much more seamless and less hokey that way; rather than something as specific and attention-drawing as say, kryptonite or the color yellow.

    Something I’ve always considered a great side-effect for Super Speedsters, but I never *ever* see is in relation to special relativity: Simply that the faster an object moves, the heavier it becomes. Which means that a speedster would need to exert themselves exponentially the faster they ran, to balance the sheer weight of themselves moving at such speeds.

    Can you imagine the amount of damage a speedster would cause to their surroundings, especially a populated city if given that consideration? Department of City Works would do nothing else than repair utterly destroyed streets and sidewalks, anytime a speedster just happened to be passing through.

    Heh, maybe a little technically nerdy but hey, I love Einstein. 😉

  197. B. McKenzieon 04 Aug 2012 at 5:27 pm

    “Can you imagine the amount of damage a speedster would cause to their surroundings, especially a populated city if given that consideration?” Alternately, perhaps the city in question uses top-grade materials because it knows that it needs to. Super-speedy characters might congregate in Metropolis (or wherever) because most places aren’t that accommodating. I think that’d be a fresh explanation for why so much superpowered weirdness tends to happen in a single city and/or why superheroes might be reluctant to handle things happening outside of their city.

    PS: If you’d be interested in doing an article on how you might be able to incorporate scientific consequences for a more realistic superhero story, I think that’d be interesting.

  198. Aj of Earthon 04 Aug 2012 at 5:55 pm


  199. mythos manon 04 Aug 2012 at 6:12 pm

    “just my two cents. 😉

    dig it. ” pure gold.

    “I think the idea of merging two seemingly unrelated characters would make for something original and fresh.”
    yeah i think thats a really intresting idea, say if the villian has defeated most of the team and the only way to stop his plot would be to combine or merge some of the team members.

    i guess each of the characters i want to keep because i sent awhile imagining them and without them it would feel weird.

    would it be a good idea to have the team operate like a agency that has two members pair off to investigate more secondary superhuman attacks and crimes while the others focus on more of a primary superhuman attack. and for them all to reunite in order to stop some master plan?

  200. Aj of Earthon 04 Aug 2012 at 7:19 pm

    @mythos man

    Hey, now that’s an interesting interpretation! I meant merging the characters more out of story, like in concept and development before you start writing… but your take, actually *fusing* the characters together through some in-story process to create an amalgam is really wild. I like that! It isn’t something I’ve really come across before. What would be some of the advantages or risks involved in that, do you think? Is that kind of thing reversable?

    What would the “trial and error” phase of developing that process have looked like? Not pretty, I imagine. Or sanitary.


    I like the idea of building a metropolitan setting with specific materials to accomodate the Supers like that. Lots of ballistic/elemental/general damage-resistance type alloys. It would probably make attacking the city that much more difficult for any prospective villain, though. They’d have to be top-notch, always, which is probably a daunting prospect for the average citizen trying to go about a normal work day (haha). But I think it’d be really interesting.

    Also, let me see what I can come up with for that article… Sounds fun. 🙂

  201. M. Happenstanceon 04 Aug 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Fusing characters in-story: It’s been done.

    On a more serious note, DC and Marvel have also pulled the fusing-characters-together shtick, creating the aptly named Amalgam Universe. Batman + Wolverine, anyone?

    I like the idea of a city made specifically for supers, but I’m not sure how they’d get the villains to cooperate. Why attack Metropolis when there are dozens and dozens of other places that aren’t nearly as well protected? Come to think of it, why attack Metropolis at all? Why not go somewhere that doesn’t have superheroes at its beck and call – at least, not any A-listers?

    Interesting idea, that. Rural superheroes, or at least more suburban ones.

  202. Aj of Earthon 04 Aug 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Lol Gogeta SSJ4. That’s some fancy transformation music you got there, fellas…

    But okay yes, I see fusing has been done. But perhaps not as often as the endless repeat of superpowers we’ve all become so familiar with but are trying to do justice with in our own ways. I think the fun and challenge is in attempting to develop a concept like that (superpowers, fusion, whatever) in fresh and inventive ways that sets it apart from the next.

    Perhaps utilizing a process a little more involved than a skip and dance? And with a result that isn’t such a perfectly omnipotent badass mutha? Because I mean seriously, how can we compare to Gogeta SSJ4?

    Lol, the mind boggles…

  203. M. Happenstanceon 05 Aug 2012 at 12:22 am

    Of course I know it’s all been done. I just couldn’t resist dragging Dragonball Z (though the clip was really Dragonball GT, which in turn is just Z all over again…) into this conversation. Not every day I get an opportunity like that.

  204. B. McKenzieon 05 Aug 2012 at 4:47 am

    “I like the idea of a city made specifically for supers, but I’m not sure how they’d get the villains to cooperate.” In the United States, most cities and states have the death penalty and would not be shy about using it against supervillains. I could see the rationale for a supervillain choosing to live in a Gotham with several superheroes vs. a Houston with 0-1. Getting defeated in Houston means there’s some chance of a lethal injection (or summarily executing captured supervillains and claiming instead that the wounds were incurred during combat).

    In contrast, a supervillain that gets caught in Gotham just wastes a few months going through Arkham’s revolving door. (For some reason, Gotham is COMPLETELY committed to the idea that everybody can be cured, even though they have lost more psychiatrists to insanity than they have lost patients to sanity).

    Another possibility would be that some of the villains are drawn to the heroes (a revenge plot) or vice versa (if the heroes are hunting the villains, it wouldn’t matter much whether the villain is operating out of NY or Houston).

    Another possibility would be that the supervillain would get better support in a particular city than in most of the rest of the world. For example, if mutants are a really visible and shunned minority, it’d make sense that a mutant might want to spend most of his time in a city with mutants. In The Taxman Must Die, most mutations are caused by chemical spills, so they tend to congregate in places the EPA doesn’t want to go looking, like the New York City sewers and industrial Florida.

    At a city level, you might have different areas of the cities coded differently so that there are parts of the town where masked crime is taken more seriously. E.g. in 80% of the city, killing somebody while wearing a mask (or doing something else associated with super-crime, like using military-grade weaponry) is automatically eligible for the death penalty, but in the remaining 20% of the city, it’s treated less seriously (e.g. the Arkham merry-go-round). This might allow a city to push most supervillain and superhero activity into a particular area where the buildings and streets can be reinforced. Realistically, these areas are likely to be relatively poor–the city would want to keep super-violence as far away from the economic hearts of the city as possible (unless, perhaps, tourists were REALLY into superpowered brawling).

    However, note that some superpowered menaces (e.g. Godzilla and psychotic and/or suicidal supervillains) would probably not be affected by such laws. It might be an interesting obstacle for superheroes–how do they safely fight crime in a part of town where their powers are liable to cause substantial damage?

  205. mythos manon 05 Aug 2012 at 11:48 pm

    hey how do you guys feel about a supervillain who employs other superpowered villains to work for him and because he has the power of canceling out other powers he can mouth off to his employees. like at the same time as being some of the most dangerous people in the world they also feel powerless and without respect because of their superpowered boss?

    also if you have any good names for such a supervillain i’d really apprciate it.

  206. M. Happenstanceon 06 Aug 2012 at 12:06 am

    A relatively powerless character holding the leashes to some substantially more powerful characters, you say? I think it has the potential to be really interesting, depending on how you play it. What’s his motive?

  207. mythos manon 06 Aug 2012 at 12:18 am

    he has this brother who he uses to test his machine. the building explodes and his brother becomes a superhero but he ( the power canceler ) ends up becoming the supervillian known as checkmate ( maybe).

    his brother is used to attetion and being the best. so when he loses his posistion in a prestigious science commitee and his brother becomes a superpowered celebrity he comes to the conclusion that he must become the best. but he realises he can’t be a hero because of his hate of his brother so he works his way up becoming the greatest villain of all time. what do you think?

  208. B. McKenzieon 06 Aug 2012 at 4:57 am

    “They’re some of the most dangerous people in the world, but they also feel powerless and without respect because of their superpowered boss?” This sounds promising, but what do they actually do about it? Personally, I’d probably stop reading if most of them sat and took it (rather than trying to undermine and/or betray him).

  209. mythos manon 06 Aug 2012 at 2:58 pm

    yeah. i’m thinking for the most of their lives, these “henchmen”, are used to being the top dog but once they get this boss their a bit confused about what to do. at first they’ll take it but eventually they will have to come to terms that they’re going to have handle him like a normal person and thats something they’re really not used to. they’re will be some loyalists body guard types too.

  210. Dragondevilon 21 Sep 2012 at 6:52 am

    My hero has energy blasts ,acc. healing ,precognition(danger sense),I am trying to come up with one more…

    *What possible Limitations/weaknesses can you suggest for Accelerated healing?

    *Any creative way to use Energy Blasts?

  211. Dragondevilon 21 Sep 2012 at 7:00 am

    *sorry forgot to mention this above ^

    *He also has the ability to ‘manipulate’ fire…(manipulate like pyro from X-men)
    Like he needs Inflammable materials to start a fire…

    *I felt that limiting his powers to only manipulation would help bring Interesting scenes in the story…

    *I thought of giving him the ability to breathe fire!

  212. Dragondevilon 22 Sep 2012 at 4:21 am

    Can anyone answer the above question?

  213. B. McKenzieon 22 Sep 2012 at 10:27 am

    “What possible limitations/weaknesses can you suggest for accelerated healing?” The least promising one, I think, would be time–if all he needs is time to heal any wounds, he will likely be more or less invincible, which would make it very hard to challenge him. Some alternate possibilities:

    –Healing requires a resource/material which is difficult to acquire (e.g. a highly advanced medical serum which is very expensive and/or ludicrously difficult to make). What would this character have to do to acquire this resource?

    –The healing has negative side-effects (e.g. psychological costs).

    –Healing temporarily disables his other superpowers.

    –He can’t heal his way through permanent damage, AND you’re actually willing to inflict permanent damage. (If not, don’t use a fake limitation).

    –The healing makes it harder for him to maintain a secret identity, if applicable to the plot. First, people might notice that he seems to get over injuries really quickly. But perhaps there’s also some component which makes it harder for him to regenerate in stealth situations (e.g. perhaps his healing power makes him reek of disinfectants).

    –Perhaps he can’t heal his way through some particular type of damage–e.g. maybe he has trouble with some of the following: ballistic attacks (bullets/arrows), heat-based attacks (lasers or fire), concussions/blows to the head, severed limbs, biological/chemicals attacks (poison, toxins, and diseases), etc.

  214. Dragondevilon 22 Sep 2012 at 11:41 am

    Thanx a lot for the Reply ! ^_^

    I am gonna go with…
    #”healing temporarily disables his other superpowers.”
    #”he can’t heal his way through some particular type of damage”

    What about my second question?

    * Creative uses for energy blasts…?

    *By the way,Do you think emitting heat from hand(not conjuring fire!) sounds workable?

    It can bring some Interesting scenes:

    *The villain traps the hero in his own house,no way to escape,the hero sees a can of AXE deodorant ….and guess ! He uses it as a Flamethrower!(rather than calling the AXE angels.. -_-)

    So watcha think?

  215. B. McKenzieon 22 Sep 2012 at 2:01 pm

    “Creative uses for energy blasts?” Hmm… it doesn’t strike me as the most versatile power out there. Perhaps it could be used as a type of propulsion. For example, whereas Iron Man uses his repulsors to help guide/stabilize his flight, perhaps your character could use energy blasts to launch himself/herself for an exceptional leap. If the character is mechanically-minded (or has a mechanic friend), perhaps the character’s blasts can be used to power something else.

  216. Dr. Vo Spaderon 22 Sep 2012 at 2:12 pm

    It may not be all that creative, but I’ve always enjoyed the idea of overcharging power-plants.

    @B. McKenzie,
    I have a character whose power I describe as ‘mental to physical metamorphosis through the use of spoken language.’ So she can create things, but the limitation is time – which you described as “least promising”. (The bigger it is, the longer it takes to make.) Is this a bad idea, and if so could I fix it? She ends up helping in a pivotal moment of the story, and I’d rather not scrap the character.

  217. B. McKenzieon 22 Sep 2012 at 2:19 pm

    So she can create things, but the limitation is time – which you described as “least promising.” I think it’s the least promising limitation for regeneration, but not for every power. For example, with a time-based power like time travel, I think time-based restrictions could be very promising (e.g. the ability to go back in time a few hours or the ability to see a few minutes into the future or the ability to predict immediate danger a la Spider-Man).

    In your case, if the character has ample time to prepare, can she be challenged? If not, I think it might help to work in another limitation.

  218. Dragondevilon 23 Sep 2012 at 7:58 am

    @Brian :
    “Do you think emitting heat from hand(not conjuring fire!) sounds workable?
    It can bring some Interesting scenes:
    *The villain traps the hero in his own house,no way to escape,the hero sees a can of AXE deodorant ….and guess ! He uses it as a Flamethrower!(rather than calling the AXE angels.. -_-)
    So watcha think?”

    …forgot this? 😛
    Which do u think I should go with:
    *Emitting heat/Manipulating Fire(Both?)
    *Ability to conjure/Breathe Fire (both?)

    #Do you think it would be a mismatch : if a hero has both fire power and energy blasts?

    @Dr.Vo Spader:
    Thanx for the over-charging powerplant stuff….(sounds cool)

    Your character’s weakness…some sugg:
    *Fatigue(Maybe she gets tired after using her powers,depends on the object she summons)

    * Maybe she cannot use her powers in certain places

    *Maybe she can summon only certain things: like,only living beings(Call KRAKEN!)…Or only non-living….or only metal.

    *Maybe she gets her powers from an alien device/magical artifact.


  219. B. McKenzieon 23 Sep 2012 at 1:28 pm

    “Do you think emitting heat from hand(not conjuring fire!) sounds workable?” It isn’t raising any red flags for me.* I don’t understand why the distinction would be meaningful, though.

    *Except that the visuals for a heat-based character will probably be pretty lackluster, at least on this power. If you’re doing a comic book, I’d strongly recommend using fire over just heat. In a novel, I think the fire-based imagery would still help, but it’s a much smaller issue.

  220. Agnion 24 Sep 2012 at 2:24 am

    I think it is difficult to give a weakness to a superhero which have healing power like wolvorine. If such a hero is injured we know that he will heal anyway. This reduces the suspense.

  221. Dragondevilon 24 Sep 2012 at 8:06 am

    *I just wanted it to be bit different…fire cannot be used inside water…but if a battle ensues inside water,the hero can overheat the water around it!
    *And I felt that manipulating Fire or Conjuring it may not match with Energy Blasts~
    *I wanted my character to have a different feel from other FIRE-based heroes~

    *I am working on a comic book…so i guess i gotta go with fire…

    So Here is the round up of the powers of my hero ‘Rakshak’:

    #Primary powers:
    *Ability to conjure/breathe fire
    *Danger sense
    *Accelerated healing
    *Energy Beams

    #Secondary powers:
    *Presence of Gills

    #It may seem like my character is a bit over-powered,but i think i have given the powers enough limitations.

    So what do you think?

  222. Agnion 24 Sep 2012 at 10:03 am

    Your ideas sounds good. But i think accelerated healing is a suspense killer as we know that any injury to the character anyway.
    By the way ‘Rakshak’ is a hindi word. An Indian language. Do you know hindi?

  223. Dragondevilon 24 Sep 2012 at 10:29 am

    Lol…yeah…I knew you were Indian too! 😉 (AGNI)

    I know accelerated healing is a suspense killer…but my character’s healing is limited.

    *He heals faster than normal humans,but that does’nt mean he is invincible.

    *He needs to concentrate in order to heal properly,which cancels out his other powers.

    *He needs somarasa(yeah the one from our mythology) for healing grave wounds.

    Think it is fair enough? 😀

    P.S. I am from Chennai.

  224. Agnion 25 Sep 2012 at 4:37 am

    Since my hero does not have any superhero, he has almost all the weaknesses of a normal person. I am trying to find ways to limit the weaknesses like adding a fireproof and bulletproof vest to his costume.

  225. X-Manon 02 Oct 2012 at 9:41 am

    My character Ronnie has the ability of elemental manipulation, it gives him control over elements such as fire, radiation, ice, light, electricity, etc. I’m having trouble coming up with a weakness, because i feel like he is overpowered. Any ideas?

  226. Manchester Blackon 16 Oct 2012 at 1:58 am

    If a superhero had the ability to manipulate kinetic energy, what would be his weakness?

  227. B. McKenzieon 16 Oct 2012 at 2:43 am

    “If a superhero had the ability to manipulate kinetic energy, what would be his weakness?” I imagine he’d face an interesting challenge against opponents and situations which didn’t mainly focus on kinetic energy. For example, how does he deal with a poison-themed villain or a psychic villain? What does he do if someone is drowning and there isn’t much kinetic energy to work with? If his powers only work in response to kinetic energy aimed at him, what would he do if villains started exploiting that by going after teammates and/or bystanders instead?

  228. Tuneon 28 Oct 2012 at 2:52 am

    Well my hero has some cybernetic parts inside of him that serve as a life support system (this has nothing to do with his actual ability), so having a villain with electricity powers can work against this character right? And my next question is can cyberpunk & superheroes go together? Because the story i’m working on has cyberpunk elements.

  229. Infernoxon 28 Oct 2012 at 8:29 am

    Cyberpunk and superheroes are, to me, a match made in heaven. It seems to be that cyberpunk worlds are the ones most in need of a hero. As for the villians’ powers, they sound workable. However, if his actual ability is something that can deflect electricity, like force fields, I would rework it. What is his primary power?

  230. Dr. Vo Spaderon 28 Oct 2012 at 10:18 am

    When I think cyberpunk, the Deckers from Saints Row the Third come to mind. Are they like what you were thinking? (YouTube has a trailer centered around them, if you have the time.)

  231. B. McKenzieon 28 Oct 2012 at 11:22 am

    “And my next question is can cyberpunk & superheroes go together?” In terms of plot, characterization, and mood, I think so. (I’d say The Matrix was a cyberpunk/superhero story). In terms of visual style, I really hope so, because one of the two main characters of The Taxman Must Die gets his trenchcoats and sunglasses from Matrix conventions.

    Here’s the Deckers trailer:

  232. Tuneon 28 Oct 2012 at 12:38 pm

    @Infernox The hero gains his abilities through alien DNA, which makes him half human & half alien, he was also naturally born with the power of precognition before he was infected by alien DNA. Even though he has powers, he still use gadgets that he creates. For example he has a special set of goggles that allow him to see at night & it also gives him x-ray vision and gauntlets that grant him limited technology manipulation since we are in the cyberpunk age.

    @B. McKenzie that helped alot

  233. Dr. Vo Spaderon 28 Oct 2012 at 12:42 pm

    When you think about it, a wrist-panel type device is just a smartphone built into a jacket. Random thought.

  234. B. McKenzieon 28 Oct 2012 at 2:19 pm

    “The hero gains his abilities through alien DNA, which makes him half human & half alien, he was also naturally born with the power of precognition before he was infected by alien DNA. Even though he has powers, he still use gadgets that he creates. For example he has a special set of goggles that allow him to see at night & it also gives him x-ray vision and gauntlets that grant him limited technology manipulation since we are in the cyberpunk age.”

    Hmm, okay, but what about the story is cyberpunk besides the technology level? Some possibilities characteristic of many cyberpunk stories might include…
    –The failure of utopian visions (e.g. The Matrix is set in the golden age of humanity, but it’s a hallucination).
    –Massive upheaval and/or breakdowns of societies (e.g. pretty much every cyberpunk story).
    –Megacorporations as antagonists and/or major players (e.g. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?/Bladerunner and Shadowrun).
    –Marginalized and/or overwhelmed characters a la Bladerunner. In superhero and detective stories, I’ve seen a lot of successful stories where the characters go on journeys dark enough that they are changed in unpleasant ways (e.g. Batman and Bob Moore, No Hero are very noir).
    –Subversion of technology for unintended purposes (e.g. Burning Chrome or Gibson’s works in general).
    –Dark, sinister and largely hopeless cities as the setting. Fairly standard for noir superhero stories — think Gotham City or Watchmen’s Manhattan.
    –Protagonists rebelling against authority in some way. One reason that I think The Taxman Must Die isn’t at all a cyberpunk story is that the two main characters are an accountant/IRS agent and a SWAT-esque mutant, both government agents in somewhat good standing. In contrast, I think X-Men, Watchmen, and other government/society-as-antagonist stories are more conventionally rebellious.

  235. hillcreatureon 03 Feb 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I’ve got a shape-shifting character (more Martian Manhunter than Plastic Man) and the whole concept that his powers swing on is that he’s not exactly solid. Something similar was done with the Martians in Invincible. Anyway, because he’s not exactly solid and he can easily change his shape, conventional weapons such as knives or bullets don’t work on him. I mean, it’s like trying to stab water. Not gonna happen. But any kind of energy beam-electricity, laser weapons, etc.-seriously messes him up. Plus, if he happens to be in a liquid state and part of him get’s separated…things could very quickly get messy.
    And also complicated.
    That’s my main problem, not over complicating this characters powers/weaknesses. But when you think about it, shapeshifting could have a ton more to it than just “he shape-shifted in a vase and tried to look inconspicuous.”

  236. hillcreatureon 03 Feb 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Ah! I’ve got it. Not Martian Manhunter but Inque, from Batman Beyond.

  237. Mageon 09 Mar 2013 at 10:41 am

    Well i’m having difficulties coming up with a weakness for the main hero. Basically, my hero’s mind is now inside a cybernetic suit of armor. His body has been destroyed. The only weakness i can think of are electromagnetic pulses.

  238. B. McKenzieon 09 Mar 2013 at 7:19 pm

    How did he get his mind inside a suit of armor, Mage?

    Some restrictions that have worked well in other series:

    –The superpower comes with limitations intentionally built in, like Robo-Cop being unable to interfere with officers of the company that built him. Hopefully something less goofy than Green Lanterns being (at one point) limited by the color yellow.

    –Electronic interference. Hacking, EMPs, sunspots and other environmental interference may cause problems for him.

    –A limited reserve of energy. Perhaps he needs time and/or a resource to restore his batteries.

    –Limited resources–perhaps his more powerful capabilities drain through a fuel or resource which takes a lot of effort to acquire.

    –The suit is not all that powerful compared to what many other characters have.

    –It is very difficult for him to do major repairs, and the few people that are capable of doing repairs on a suit this advanced will probably ask for something significant in return.

  239. JaynaLeronon 01 Apr 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I have an ice/water heroine who can fly. She’s mentioned that being super sad or suprised can temporarily weaken her powers. I need to come up with an effective ‘holding cell’ that some techy, illegally rich assassins could have. She also needs to be able to hear her partner who is nearby.

  240. JaynaLeronon 02 Apr 2013 at 4:46 pm


  241. Kavalieron 13 Apr 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I have a weakness you could add for speedsters (I learned this from “Heroes”). In “Heroes”, HRG says that speedsters don’t like the cold, as it slows them down, tightens their muscles, slows their heart rate, and levels the playing field. Very interesting twist…

  242. WinslowMudDon 14 Apr 2013 at 2:24 am

    Here is an cast of my major characters in my planned first book, World in Conflict: Awakening

    Alfred Winslow: Can control the location, vector, and shape energy takes. This does not mean that he can change what type of energy that it is he is manipulating, but that he can, if he concentrates hard enough, create constructs out of energy. He cannot create energy. If he comes into contact with the energy he is manipulating, he is put in the same danger any other person would be.

    Wilbur Mudd: Can absorb and disseminate energy. He cannot control the shape the energy takes beyond a few crude attempts, such as a sphere or a rectangular prism, but even those are incredibly difficult. He can also disseminate the energy in whatever form he chooses, be it kinetic, heat, light, or others. He cannot create energy, and if his reserves run out, he begins drawing on his own life force.

    Martin Harris: Has limited telekinetic abilities when using the drug called THETA. The use of the ability is limited to mostly psionic attacks and hardening the air around himself or others. These psionic attacks are mostly in the forms of “air cuts” or “air blasts.” The effects of THETA run out in less than twenty minutes, thought the actual amount of time depends on the user, unless they are one of the failures.

    Matthew Norton: Has the ability to create anything that he understands completely from pre-existing objects/materials. This includes knowledge of how the device would actually function, how it would be affected by real forces, and what its atomic structure is (both before and after transmutation). Having said that, he is capable of healing some wounds, but doing so would weaken whatever tissue he got the material from initially. I.E. If he healed a broken bone, it would be fixed, but the bone weaker. He cannot heal fatal wounds, as he would need a way to bring a soul back from beyond.

    Juniper Locus: Has the ability to read and control other peoples emotions. This enables her to tell to a certain extent what peoples motives are, but is limited to whether or not the intentions would be good or bad for her. Whenever she attempts to control other peoples emotions, it is very easy to notice intruding thoughts, and thus, she would be forced to implement these thoughts over time for any measure of success. That being said, she also has limited telepathy. All of her abilities are apt to cause severe bi-polarity as others emotions around her are just as likely to influence her mind as hers is to theirs.

    Also, as another note, all super-characters in my series with the exception of Wilbur, Alfred, and later on Xander and any Stillborn, are affected by what I call “Alphonse Radiation.” This causes passive radiation to be emitted on the scale of an x-ray machine (which can increase if a large number of supers congregate in one area) and even higher doses depending on how each character uses their abilities. Though it is never actually stated, using abilities granted by AR on anything over 200 kg, over a distance of over 100 meters, for over 30 seconds will result in instant death.

    A person of about 170 pounds wants to sneak past a few guards, which will take him about 45-50 seconds to do, and will have to cross about 15 meters.

    170 lbs= appx. 77 kg = .0001 grays/second
    30+ seconds = .1 grays/sec
    15 meters = (lets call it) .0000005 grays/sec
    residual radiation= .000000000001 grays/sec
    .100100500001 grays/sec
    time using abilty =30 seconds

    and the answer is!

    basically causing stage two of ARS

    P.S. sorry for the long post

  243. Raditzon 12 May 2013 at 8:08 pm

    My main character has the power of cold & ice manipulation and I know that anything heat related would be an obvious weakness but I don’t want him to be completely useless in a situation if he is exposed to the heat. What should I do?

  244. Raditzon 12 May 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I also wanted to know what side powers would work perfectly with this ability because it would make sense for someone with electricity powers have super speed.

  245. Proxie#0on 13 May 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I’ve been watching this website in the shadows for a while, and have found it incredibly helpful. I was just curious to know whether or not it is usually a “bad” thing to have an antagonist, or “cloak antagonist” (not really present much, but controls all antagonistic action) have no weakness, or at least no proven one. This is a romance/horror/suspense story if that helps. And I had my brother post one of my characters under his name before I remembered that I had my own computer heh. I think his name on here is…lemme check…Winslowmudd.

    Characters name is Audrey Malone, on this page:

  246. Proxie#0on 13 May 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Also, would it be bad to have a villain with no discernible goal, as long as his “minions” may have schisms based on interpretation of what “he” were to want?

  247. B. McKenzieon 13 May 2013 at 10:07 pm

    As long as the story works on the surface (e.g. what we can observe makes sense and is interesting), I think it’d be acceptable if there were an antagonist lurking beneath the surface. For example, if you’ve seen Iron Man 3 (spoiler), the Mandarin is 100% surface, and it works out very effectively (end spoiler). As for the weakness, it could be helpful if the villain had some sort of flaw the hero could exploit (e.g. a personality shortcoming or a proclivity to make some sort of mistake or unusual decision), but obviously you don’t need to give the villain some vulnerability to something like Kryptonite or fire or lemon meringue.

    “Also, would it be bad to have a villain with no discernible goal…” I could see this raising clarity issues if the surface of the story were insufficiently clear (e.g. there’s a completely cryptic villainous organization and we can’t even guess at what they’re trying to accomplish). Suggestion: if the story feels too cryptic, at least use a red herring motivation so that we can understand events as they’re (more or less) happening. For example, in the first Harry Potter book, we see Professor Snape casting a spell at Harry as Harry’s broomstick seriously malfunctions. All of the main characters quickly assume that Professor Snape (who has a really creepy vibe and really hates Harry) was cursing the broomstick in an attempt to kill him. We later learn that Snape was actually trying to SAVE Harry from the actual attacker for reasons that wouldn’t have made any sense at the time the attack happened. In general, I’d recommend giving readers some reasoning to understand what is going on, even if the reasoning later turns out to be incorrect.

  248. Proxie#0on 15 May 2013 at 7:40 pm

    “…could be helpful if the villain had some sort of flaw the hero could exploit.”

    I actually do have a sort of weakness for the villain, but it’s just that the characters don’t actually know what it is. The weakness itself is the “Tupla Effect.” That is the hypothesized ability of humans to, as a group (collectively), be able to “create” things from our subconscious or imagination. An example of this could be shown on one of the season finales of “Doctor Who.” * SPOILER* When the Master causes the Doctor to age 900 years in one moment, the Doctor has Martha go around earth. He has her spread word for the remaining humans to think of one thing at one exact moment, the Doctor. They do, and he instantly gets better, and even gains the ability of flight, force field generation, and telekinesis. (temporarily)

    This is a weakness for the villain because through all of his abilities and skills, he still relies on others knowing his existence, and how they think of him changes him. It still takes several people to make any difference, but it is a weakness.

    “I could see this raising clarity issues if the surface of the story were insufficiently clear (e.g. there’s a completely cryptic villainous organization and we can’t even guess at what they’re trying to accomplish). Suggestion: if the story feels too cryptic, at least use a red herring motivation so that we can understand events as they’re (more or less) happening.”

    His weakness also adds to his goal as well. Though the audience does not know it for sure, the villain does want people to know of his existence, but not enough so that they’d be able to weaken him. So in effect, he instills fear and paranoia to a point. If someone were to begin searching for more information on him, he would simply begin hunting and killing them. Aside from this, because of many different beliefs on his goals, they are very abstract, and would likely remain so until there was a goal “thought up” for him.

    As for the “group” that is the more present danger…They are a much more violent, and believe they are acting on the wishes of the villain. They are lead by a man who claims to have direct contact with him, but does not. This creates schisms in the group when it is found out. Their main goal is to find a way to get the villain to actually interact with them, via sacrifices of “vessels” or other, similar things. They prey on people similar to ones they know that the villain does though, which could put them in harms way should he ever turn his attention towards them. Think of a very violent fan-club that never actually met their idol.

  249. Tirgersson 26 Jun 2013 at 2:00 pm

    My main character has air/wind manipulation(Ex: they don’t need oxygen sometimes cause they can make their own air to breathe. make tornadoes, or use the wind to create fly, etc.)
    What would their weakness be?
    to anyone reading this please give me your comment on this.
    Thank u.

  250. Elecon 27 Jun 2013 at 1:32 am

    I’d recommend removing “they don’t need oxygen sometimes cause they can make their own air to breathe.” It’s something simple you could do to heighten tension in some scenes, and also give scope for pollution-related weakness (i.e. he is majorly weak against smog, and, as he can’t just “make their own air to breathe” it creates more suspense.

    Additionally, it generally gives more scope for creativity and weaknesses if the character can’t generate his own air, water, or fire or whatever, but has to manipulate those said substances around him (Laws of physics agree, here :)). Think Pyro (manipulates flame, but can’t create it) as opposed to the Human Torch (can create and manipulate flame).

    Hope I’ve helped :D.

  251. No-Nameon 28 Jun 2013 at 10:45 am

    Hey, I haven’t read through all the above posts, but, i have an idea for nerfed time travel powers. Firstly, the character can only travel back in time. This is for both of these weakness ideas. Anyways, the weakness ideas are as follows-

    1. The character can travel as far back as they want. HOWEVER the farther back they travel, the more distant they go from where they need to get. For example, say the character’s best friend is killed in NY. He decides, “Well, I’ll go back and kill the villains mother before this ever happened!” He travels back fifty years. And he’s on Pluto. Similarly, he could decide, “I’ll go back 48 hours, and get us out of the situation all-together!” He goes back 48 hours- Winds up in Alaska. He must travel cross-country back to NY to save his friend. As you can see, the farther back he goes, the farther he has to travel, to get to the location he needs to go to.

    2. He can travel back as far as he wants, and wherever he wants. HOWEVER, he can only observe, he can only watch. In theory he could change things, but if he did this, it would completely disintegrate the fabric of Space-Time.


  252. GirlWonderon 28 Jun 2013 at 6:00 pm

    What would a good weakness be for 2 superstrong villains that are fighting a team of heroes?

  253. Proxie#0on 03 Jul 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I have a character who is completely human aside from having a few abilities. I have a forum that has her personality here (, but that has a.)already changed, and b.)is subject to more change. Anyway, I’ll put out her abilities and their drawbacks, and would like some feedback, if possible.

    First, as a side-note, all of her abilities are empathetic in nature, and have to do with “feelings.”


    -Audrey has the ability to sense emotions (not thoughts!) that other people are feeling, and can tell “who” those feelings are directed at.

    -The drawback to this is that it does not give much information, and that she can become overwhelmed when it is in use, as well as the fact that some people can tell when she is “reading” them.


    -Audrey can see the past 24 hours of a persons life by…er…consuming a portion of their living DNA/Bodily Fluid. THIS DOES NOT MEAN CANNIBALISM! She just has to acquire a relatively small sample. (i.e. Scratching someone and acquiring blood sample, kissing, going “all the way”) The trip she goes on is always seen from the person shes seeing through’s perspective, as if she were that person.

    -The drawback to this is that she cannot “fast forward” or “rewind” the memories, so she only has one chance to see them. Also, she goes into a trance-like state whenever she begins a psychometric trip, and cannot move her body herself. She has little control over when this happens, so it has also hindered her love life. Time passes fairly quickly in her trance, and she can awake in a little over 4 hours. She can also be overwhelmed by the person shes seeing through’s emotions. If she is awoken from her trance, she gets sick, severity depending on how close she was to completing her “viewing.”

  254. Peter Ron 12 Jul 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Threaten to destroy the world unless the hero helps him to destroy the world… Seriously ignoring some details that happens sometimes.

  255. Rex189on 03 Nov 2013 at 2:08 pm

    What sort of weaknesses would a technopath have?

  256. Clip-Clopon 03 Nov 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I have a character with what wikipedia calls “healing factor”
    She can heal most wounds fast. However, it takes a minute or two, unlike wolverine. Her other power is faster reflexes. Some flaws and side affects include:
    She may feel sleepy or tired after healing a lager wound
    Since her powers partly due to mutated blood, she blushes quickly and fiercely, and gets flushed easily.
    I am thinking of putting that she is susceptible to lung-based attack (example: gas)
    And am seriously considering giving her asthma, only, I am afraid that it will seriously limit her fighting capabilities.
    Any help on weaknesses?
    Also, I want to give her another power (non-combative, though) that would be more useful. For example, night or infrared vision. Any ideas?

  257. B. McKenzieon 03 Nov 2013 at 7:46 pm

    “What sort of weaknesses would a technopath have?” He may have a lot of trouble contributing during battle. E.g. maybe he can escape a fight by turning off the lights, but unless his opponents are all using power-suits or electronic weaponry or cybernetics or something, he’s going to have a lot of trouble winning a fight. If you’re trapped in a room with The Hulk or an average group of gunmen, there are probably at least 50 other superpowers which would be more useful. If you need this character to be able to contribute during fight scenes, it may be useful to give him some sort of secondary ability which would be easier to use in combat (e.g. a weapon, gadgets and/or explosives, limited control of electricity, etc).

    Some other limitations you may be able to use:
    –Limited range (e.g. within line of sight).
    –Perhaps it takes him time to take over machines depending on how complex they are. For example, if it takes him 30 seconds to electronically hijack a powersuit, that’s more than enough time for the guy in the powersuit to shoot him to pieces, so he’ll have to come up with some creative solution (e.g. hijacking the suit with a wall or a floor providing cover).
    –Attempting to interfere with a very complex system may give away his position. E.g. I imagine someone like Lex Luthor would have security systems built into his computers so that he could locate someone trying to intrude.
    –Someone with a very advanced degree of technology might have defensive measures built into their technology (e.g. trojan horses which will create major problems for him).
    –Maybe he’s limited in how many machines he can take over at once. For example, if there’s 6 robots out to kill him, maybe he can only grab them 1 or maybe 2 at a time.

  258. Kevin Holsingeron 04 Nov 2013 at 9:59 am

    Good afternoon, Rex189 & Clip-Clop.

    The more complex the machine, the more concentration it requires to manipulate it. The most complex machines might leave the technopath paralyzed while the machines are being manipulated. Or the technopath could be mentally unaware of its environment during manipulation.

    Some evolution of the body is based on the idea of taking damage, and then changing to not take it again (not restoring the status quo). That’s how muscle-enhancement works. In effect, your healing factor could leave your character with no ability to ever develop its body beyond where it’s currently at. Start the character off with a weakened body, and that’s all it’ll ever have.

    Enjoy your day.

  259. Clip-Clopon 04 Nov 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Could you please explain?

  260. Rex189on 04 Nov 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I was thinking something along the lines of an experimental powersuit. Would that be doable??

  261. Kevin Holsingeron 05 Nov 2013 at 4:26 am

    Morning again, Clip-Clop.

    No problem. Exercise enhances your body by adaptation. Exercise in a new way once, and your body just repairs any damage caused. Exercise the same way twice, ditto. But keep exercising that same way, and your body stops trying to heal the damage and starts trying to prevent it. Muscles grow bigger, harder, stronger, more flexible, more durable, whatever.

    A possible problem for your healer is that her body spends so much effort healing damage that it doesn’t get the message to adapt in order to PREVENT damage. So she can exercise as much as she wants and will never be more athletic than before her healing factor kicked in.

    Since the average superhero leads an athletic lifestyle (run, jump, fight, etc.), a superhero who can’t adapt to said lifestyle can have problems.

    Enjoy your day.

  262. Clip-Clopon 05 Nov 2013 at 5:16 am

    Ahh. That makes sense! Thank you!

  263. Darth Cinemaon 12 Nov 2013 at 9:24 pm

    I need help!!!!!! Im writing a fanfiction set in the universe of Iron Man Armored Adventures called A Ghost among Men. It features a origional superhero i created called Obsidian, who is kinda a mix of batman and iron man. I am trying to come up with ways my villain can strike at my hero both psychlogically and physically. I already had him question his own judgement of criminals but im stumped as to what to do next. Please help me!!!!!!

  264. B. McKenzieon 12 Nov 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Sorry, DC. I’m not very useful when it comes to fan-fiction. “I am trying to come up with ways my villain can strike at my hero both psychologically and physically…” Perhaps fulfilling some request or goal of the hero that either corrodes/compromises the hero or advances the villain’s goals in some way. For example, if Iron Man desperately needs help with a weapon that can defeat some looming threat (e.g. an intermediate villain), perhaps the villain could (with an effective cover identity or with an ally/henchman that Tony trusts) provide some weapons which were likely to backfire in some way (e.g. get civilians killed, give Iron Man radiation poisoning, cause ABBA to start touring again, whatever).

  265. Kevin Holsingeron 13 Nov 2013 at 4:47 am

    Good morning, Darth Cinema.

    Well, since Batman and Iron Man (your inspirations for Obsidian) are rather aggressive characters (Batman psychologically, and Iron Man physically), it might fit Obsidian to have its enemy try to provoke it into being way too aggressive. Obsidian can become too violent and/or tyrannical, while having this fueled by too much paranoia or anger at something the villain has done.

    Enjoy your day.

  266. Darth Cinemaon 13 Nov 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Well i had him come very close to killing a minor villain and he is horrified that part of him wanted to kill. I just dont know how to continue. The villain wants to humiliate and tear obsidian apart. Im just finding a hard way to do that. Maybe him failing to save a civillian? I dont know.

  267. B. McKenzieon 14 Nov 2013 at 7:35 am

    “The villain wants to humiliate and tear [the protagonist] apart.” Perhaps a public challenge that the villain knows the protagonist will not be able to respond to? Probably NOT just grabbing a girlfriend or family member or something. I’d do something MUCH broader, like grabbing a former grade school teacher or a waitress that once served him or someone else with an incredibly distant connection to the hero in question. (If the public at large thinks “I could be next,” people may be too scared to get near him — in contrast, killing off a girlfriend or a family member is NOT likely to do so).

    Also, superheroes have probably thought about the possibility that their loved ones could be targeted or killed as a result of their own work. It wouldn’t be utterly shocking. Having your fourth grade teacher or car mechanic publicly executed (or at least publicly traumatized) probably would be. Also, if the circle of people in danger goes THAT wide, it’d be impossible to identify everyone in danger, let alone try to protect them all. (In contrast, the circle of loved ones is usually very small).

  268. Kevin Holsingeron 14 Nov 2013 at 7:57 am

    Good morning, Darth Cinema & Mr. McKenzie.

    Extending Mr. McKenzie’s proposal, using that wide of a circle also raises the question of how exactly the villain even knows who Obsidian’s fourth grade teacher was. The more obscure the figure from Obsidian’s life, the creepier the villain becomes for knowing about it.

    Enjoy your day.

  269. Darth Cinemaon 14 Nov 2013 at 11:23 am

    So killing an obscure figure from obsidians past? Sounds good.

  270. B. McKenzieon 14 Nov 2013 at 8:22 pm

    “Using that circle also raises the question of how exactly the villain even knows who Obsidian’s fourth grade teacher was.” If Obsidian’s identity is not secret from the villain (which I think is a somewhat safe guess in an Iron Man story), figuring out these sorts of minor targets would take a bit of patience but not any particular talent. E.g. “Obsidian, I’m with the New York Times and I’m writing an article on the role education plays in people deciding to enter a life of service. Do you have a few minutes?” The only thing here which would take much cleverness would be coming up with this information without the hero easily figuring out how the villain got it and/or giving the hero an opportunity to trace that back to the villain somehow.

    For example, if you know who Obsidian is, you can probably figure out who his parents are. If his parents are even remotely ordinary people, it would be easy bordering on trivial to get this sort of information out of them. E.g. Obsidian’s mother is at a convenience store and gets asked by another mother something along the lines of: “Hi, I’m looking to move into the area. I’ve heard the grade schools around here are pretty good. What do you think? … [thirty seconds later] Oh, no kidding! Which did he go to? How was it?” Once you know the school, I’m guessing that breaking into a grade school’s filing system or electronic records would be pretty effortless for a supervillain or his henchmen. Also, if I were the supervillain, I wouldn’t be particularly nervous that Obsidian’s parents would remember anything that could be used to easily identify the friendly stranger that had an utterly normal conversation in a convenience store. If Obsidian acts ridiculously fast, he might be able to get to the convenience store’s security cameras before the day’s events get taped over (usually 48-72 hours), but even then, all he has is a visual of someone that’s probably a low-ranking henchman/henchlady or maybe even a private investigator that thought she was researching a National Enquirer article about embarrassing childhood stories from superheroes.

  271. Gespenstjaegeron 14 Nov 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Was just wondering if the weakness for my superhero character is unique enough:

    Ifrit- Pyrokinetic that becomes enveloped with a massive flame when he activates his powers.

    Weakness: He can’t control the flame that envelops him, so he’s essentially a walking wildfire, causing tremendous collateral damage; he feels every second of the fire, so whenever he uses his powers he feels himself burning, but there is no physical damage to him just the pain. Also he burns of massive amounts of calories when he uses his powers, to the point where he can lose multiple pounds in the course of a single fight, which causes him to eat large quantities of junk food causing his weight to fluctuate constantly and making him generally unhealthy.

  272. Kevin Holsingeron 15 Nov 2013 at 10:31 am

    Good afternoon, Mr. McKenzie.

    For reference’s sake, do you have any idea how long schools would hold onto records like the ones you’re mentioning? I left 4th grade in 1988, and my homeroom teacher was long gone before I graduated 8th grade in 1992. I’m just wondering how far back it would be practical to keep records of who worked at a school and for how long.

    My thanks in advance.

    Enjoy your day.

  273. Kevin Holsingeron 15 Nov 2013 at 10:37 am

    Good afternoon, Gespenstjaeger.

    These might be nitpicks for what otherwise sounds like a pleasantly unusual character, but…

    1. If the character is consumed by fire, wouldn’t that burn up the oxygen he needs to breathe?
    2. I’m not absolutely certain about this, but if he’s not being damaged, why is he feeling pain? If he’s burning and healing said burns almost instantaneously, that’d be one thing. But if he’s not burning in the first place, I don’t know why his nervous system would be telling him he’s in pain.

    But as I said, that might be adding more science than is absolutely necessary.

    Enjoy your day.

  274. Gespenstjaegeron 15 Nov 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you for your response Mr. Holsinger, I will definitely take your points into consideration. Have a good day yourself.

  275. Gespenstjaegeron 15 Nov 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Could a superhero’s weakness be psychological, emotional, or social instead of a physical side-effect of their powers and still be a good weakness?

  276. B. McKenzieon 16 Nov 2013 at 12:35 am

    I think schools would hold onto their records for decades. My mother’s school has kept records of her employment and she hasn’t worked there for 15 years. (Even 30 years later, her school may be asked to verify that she had worked there by a prospective employer). My high school still has me on record, which would be useful if I needed to verify that I had my diploma or perhaps vaccination records or something. I suppose it might also help if a graduate sued the school for misconduct decades after the fact.

    If you wanted there not to be any records, it’s possible that the school lost its records in a flood or fire or hurricane or something. (It happens). If you’d like something more plot-relevant, if the character has ever been (erroneously) certified dead (because pretty much every superhero has had a fake death at some point), maybe the school expunged his records then? I don’t think government institutions actually do that, but it would be believable. Alternately, perhaps the character has consciously tried to wipe out most traces of his existence because he knows that anything which could be used to identify him might be dangerous.

  277. B. McKenzieon 16 Nov 2013 at 12:51 am

    Social obstacles: I think it’d be promising if a character’s superpowers create major conflicts with other characters. For example, in Bitter Seeds, the superpowers are fueled by blood sacrifices, so using superpowers is a controversial decision. Alternately, the character’s need to protect a secret identity from other characters could limit the use of his superpowers. Alternately, a character with unusually dangerous superpowers may face pressure from other protagonists to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Alternately, the character may need to hide the existence of superpowers to protect some masquerade (e.g. a coverup of an alien conspiracy or vampires or whatever).

    Psychological: The power causes some sort of generally undesirable mental or psychological change (e.g. Frodo is morally corrupted whenever he uses the ring in Lord of the Rings and turning into the Hulk causes Bruce Banner to become highly destructive, psychotic, and uncontrollable). Personally, I find the long-term changes like Frodo’s more interesting because it creates more opportunities for character development.

    Emotional: I think it’d probably be pretty similar to psychological issues. What did you have in mind here?

  278. Gespenstjaegeron 16 Nov 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Well I had an idea about a former military superheroine who would act as the tech-guy (gal) and tank of their team as she fights in a large, heavily armed suit of power armor, think War Machine turned up to 11. She would be very brash and confident and outgoing and she would be really respected and looked up to by her teammates and normal people, but its really just an act because her power armor also doubles as a life-support system due to the crippling injuries she accumulated during multiple battles against superpowered soldiers. So on the outside she’s really confident and stuff but on the inside she would be kinda messed up in the head (as well as her body).

  279. Gespenstjaegeron 16 Nov 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Continuation of above comment sorry for word wall. She would be extremely embarrassed if anybody found out because she thinks it would destroy her reputation and twist people’s perception of her into someone who is pitiable so she pretty much lives in her power armor to keep up the facade.

  280. B. McKenzieon 16 Nov 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Gespenstjaeger, I like the concept a lot, though I’d recommend giving the character some trait most military characters don’t have.

  281. Rin Satsuon 27 Dec 2013 at 5:08 am

    I’m creating a male counterpart to my female superhero in my new comic.

    He’s sort of a speedster in that his power is reducing the flow of time around his body, making him perceive everything around him as much slower, and everyone perceives him as moving faster.

    I’ve thought a weakness should be that he’s asthmatic, being like a cheetah in that he can move fast but only over short bursts, but I’d like some advice on possible additional weaknesses.

  282. Albino rihnoon 27 Dec 2013 at 5:48 pm

    If he slow time around him but if on effected by it then the atoms around him slow down to getting colder than ice is created and there for marketing it hard to run

  283. Squatchyon 27 Dec 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I’m making a series of short films involving mutants. It is set in a futuristic Earth where all adults are dead (all the kids killed them). The main characters are mutants, all given powers by the only adult alive. All of the mutants have one weakness. Their power is very limited. By that I mean If they push themselves too hard they will suffer very badly, if not die. Just by having powers it is killing them. What do you think of this weakness?

  284. Cat of Darknesson 29 Dec 2013 at 11:34 am


    It’s a neat idea, but don’t you think that it would be WAY too easy for them to fail during a battle? Here’s an example I typed up quickly:

    KID: You won’t win, ______!
    VILLIAN: You said that last time! I’ll rid the world of you, pest!
    [They begin fighting. Villain uses confusing techniques. Kid gets weaker as he/she tries to attack with all his/her might. Kid finally injures him/herself and falls to the floor)
    VILLIAN: [laughs] NOW YOU’RE MY SLAVE!!! [Evil laughter]

    See what I mean?

  285. Kirsten Songcalon 29 Dec 2013 at 1:38 pm

    @ Cat of Darkness

    I’m assuming that the villain will probably be a powered mutant as well (please correct me if I’m wrong Squatchy) so he/she will probably have the same weakness and limitations that the heroes have.

    @ Squatchy

    The weakness sounds alright but I have a couple questions about them. The weakness is that if they push themselves they run the risk of injury or death, right? So is the weakness a lack of sufficient Required Secondary Powers (Tv Tropes) past a certain point or something else? Also you wrote that just having powers they are dying, I think that’s going just a touch too far because then all the heroes will eventually die right?

  286. Squatchyon 29 Dec 2013 at 9:10 pm

    @Cat of Darkness & @Kristen Songcal

    The villain is also a mutant. Therefore as Kristen said, he will have the same limitations. The setting is in a place where the day you hit 21, you will be hunted down and killed. The only two to escape this fate is the main character, who is reborn into a younger body by rebels, and the main villain. This is when our main characters, Coof(good) and Jimmy(bad), gets their powers. Jimmy works for the government. Coof is trying to stop what the govt. is doing by becoming a hero.

    As for the weakness, I think that it could be considered a logical weakness, because when you lift something very heavy without powers, you get tired. So when a person lifts an even heavier thing with telekinesis, they are also bound to get tired, injured, or even death if the heart races too fast. As far as the disease(the powers), the only two that can die just by having them are Coof and Jimmy. This is due to the fact that the rebels did not get everything right and ended up poisoning them.

    Coof develops Power Granting and forms his whole team this way. He then goes in to a coma for a while. This does not mean they won’t betray.

  287. Squatchyon 30 Dec 2013 at 11:53 am

    What do you think? @Kristen Songcal and @Cat of Darkness or anyone else…

  288. Cat of Darknesson 30 Dec 2013 at 12:23 pm


    It’s a pretty cool idea. Sorry I messed up on the villain mutant.

    So…could you tell me who the rest of Coofs team are. Like their names and powers, etc. I would like to know and depending on their personalities, it would make the story better.

    -Cat of Darkness

  289. Squatchyon 31 Dec 2013 at 9:46 am

    @Cat of Darkness

    Names and powers are not permanent and are bound to change


    Eliseo- transparency, projective invisibility,

    Peter- healer, augmentation, shamanism, flight, releasing repression,

    Bridger- telekinesis, psychokinesis,

    Jacob- energy waves, energy sparks, energy beams,

    Tony- blinking, retrocognition, premonition, remote beaming, power channeling (secretly),

    Coof- power absorption, telepathy, power granting, luring, empathy, inspire creativity, sensing, memory manipulation, mind manipulation,

    Darien- technokenesis, super smart, temporal stasis, literary manipulation, knowledge absorption, omnilingualism,

    Marie- kiss of death, (need more but can’t figure it out)

    Drew (aka Untouchable)- cloaking, intangibility, x-Ray vision, glistening, eyes on the back of head, temporal stasis,

  290. Squatchyon 31 Dec 2013 at 9:46 am


    Isaac- voice echo and manipulation, audible indunation, psychic reflection, hypnosis, illusions, fear amplification,

    Jordan- strategy, same as Darien, enhanced intuition,

    Devan- thermal balls, bursting balls, camouflage, exoskeleton, Juggernaut momentum

    Brett- clinging, calling, elasticity, momentum

    Jimmy- enhanced senses, death touch, cloning, suggestion, sense projection, power absorption, shape shifting, age shifting,

    All of Jimmy’s team were originally given powers by Coof

  291. Cat of Darknesson 31 Dec 2013 at 1:56 pm


    Coof seriously got his team in trouble, giving Jimmys team their powers and all. I think that it is a very interesting touch, to be honest. Whatever their permanent names and powers are going to be, your book sounds like it is going to be great and interesting. Keep at it!

    -Cat of Darkness

  292. B. McKenzieon 31 Dec 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Hmm… Squatchy, that strikes me as a really large cast. I’d recommend merging and/or deleting characters until you reach something like 4-5 protagonists and 2-3 villains.

  293. Anonymouson 01 Jan 2014 at 12:16 pm

    What would be a good weakness for someone who can see the future?

  294. Amber Don 01 Jan 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Here are a few ideas

    1. They can only see the future based off how the pattern of events/ thoughts are now if things stay on that path

    2. The thing they see is inevitably going to happen in some way even if it something horible

    3. They can’t see the future on demand , it only happens at random

    4. They might not be able to see the full picture and it might be misinterpreted

  295. Anonymouson 01 Jan 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks, Amber D. I’m going with #4. Thanks again! 🙂

  296. Gabriel Nightshadeon 27 Feb 2014 at 6:28 am

    one of my characters can pass through walls, turn invisible, and partly solidify inside someone to control their bodies. what would be a good weakness for him

  297. Otsoon 28 Mar 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I don’t know if anyone brought this up, but some weaknesses for pyrokinetic heroes/villains (besides water) might be, for example, covering the floor with something flammable, or if they’re in a sealed room, releasing a flammable gas into the air (I’m not the best at chemistry, I have no idea whether there are flammable gases that would be safe to brethe, by the way). These would work well against a group with a pyrokinetic hero or even a lone hero, even if he or she is immune to fire, if there were hostages in the same are (so that if they set the gas/oil/whatever on fire, the hostages will get burned as well).

  298. B. McKenzieon 29 Mar 2014 at 2:01 pm

    “Releasing a flammable gas into the air (I’m not the best at chemistry, I have no idea whether there are flammable gases that would be safe to breathe, by the way)…” There are several flammable gases that are not poisonous, like acetylane (although some, like acetylane and hydrogen, could cause asphyxiation at high concentrations). Ethyl chloride is relatively safe to humans up to 6% concentration, albeit highly dangerous at higher concentrations. Alternately, a super-scientist could make his own gas for his needs (e.g. something which explodes or generates toxins when exposed to substantial amounts of energy but would be safe for everyone more than a few feet away).

  299. Gabriel Nightshadeon 23 Apr 2014 at 7:24 am

    One of my characters can pass through walls, turn invisible, and control peoples’ bodies. What would be a good weakness for him?

  300. Gabriel Nightshadeon 29 Apr 2014 at 5:07 am

    OK, so in my book, the main character, Victor, is the descendant of the “archangel” Gabriel and Ouranos, the Greek’s “father of the titans”; and he has all powers, but I need a good weakness so he is not so powerful.
    (I have “archangel” and “father of the titans” in quotes because both were “real”: for my story line I’ve blended science and religion, saying that the “gods” and all “divine beings” are only evolved humans that were/are worshiped.)

  301. Kevin Holsingeron 30 Apr 2014 at 3:52 am

    Good morning, Gabriel Nightshade.


    1. Abilities atrophy and vanish if they’re not used after a certain amount of time.

    2. In the Michael Crichton novel “Sphere”, there was a device that basically made anything you want happen. Problem was, if you didn’t have precise, Green Lantern-style control over your thoughts, your worst instincts were the first ones the sphere manifested. As your character sounds omnipotent, you could have a similar thing, with Victor’s worst instincts making him use powers that he doesn’t consciously intend to use, manifested in ways that would horrify him.

    3. Limit the number of abilities he can use simultaneously.

    Enjoy your day.

  302. Clip-Clopon 01 May 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I’m creating a character who has the power of telepathy. It doesn’t work if the subject is too far, say, two blocks. Do you think that is far enough? Also, I’m thinking of making her (the superhuman) have to look at the subject’s eye(s) before she can search through the subject’s thoughts and memories. However, I’m at a loss as to making this limitation have a scientific reason.
    So do you think that the first limitation was better, the second, or should I use both? Any suggestions are welcome, as long as they do not involve aliens and burritos 🙂

  303. B. McKenzieon 02 May 2014 at 2:36 am

    “One of my characters can pass through walls, turn invisible, and control peoples’ bodies. What would be a good weakness for him?” … When you say “weakness,” do you mean something along the lines of a weird vulnerability like Kryptonite or the color yellow? If so, I’d recommend taking a different approach (e.g. tighter limits to his superpowers, perhaps how often they can be used or what the costs are).

    Also, if the character can turn invisible and phase through walls, I anticipate that it will be very hard to make it matter if he loses, which would probably make his fights a lot less dramatic/interesting. (He can just invisibly leave the fight if he’s losing, right?). I’d recommend cutting the ability to phase through walls and possibly making his invisibility slightly imperfect (e.g. someone that looks very carefully may be able to notice something that looks like vapor or a shimmer or something — this will make it harder for him to use the power against someone that already knows he is there, which will probably help you make his fights more interesting).

    As for the ability to possess other people, I’m not sure what you have in mind there, but I’d recommend limiting it to one person at a time.

  304. Danteon 13 Jun 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I have three characters one is human so her weaknesses are obvious, but I also have a fire-breathing zombie and and medieval knight with laser sword from another dimension

    They want the first draft by Wednesday so any assistance is appreciated

  305. Danteon 14 Jun 2014 at 4:34 am

    my bad ..i wanted to know if there were any weaknesses that a zombie could have besides the traditional bullets. Because i can’t think of any thing

    thank you for all help in advance

  306. Danteon 14 Jun 2014 at 4:37 am

    But he is “trying” (not really) to to be a hero along with his angelic sister and other heroes

    Bare with me i just turned 13 yesterday and this stuff is new to me
    thanks :p

  307. Mynaon 14 Jun 2014 at 5:39 am

    In World War Z one of the zombies’ main weaknesses was ice? Fire is also a fair option.

  308. Mynaon 14 Jun 2014 at 6:02 am

    Though maybe not if his power is fire, haha

  309. Danteon 14 Jun 2014 at 7:49 am

    ‘Pperciate Myna 😀 you actually helped me with two problems because i couldn’t think of a powerset for Angel (his sister) and ice makes since them being polar opposites and all. Zombies beware my ice maker!!!

  310. Gormon 17 Jun 2014 at 10:27 pm

    What might be some ways to defeat a Sebastian Shaw-type character (ie, kinetic energy absorption)? I guess he’d be vulnerable to psychic attacks. Any other ideas?

  311. B. McKenzieon 18 Jun 2014 at 7:35 am

    Any form of attack which isn’t mainly based around force or heat. For example, if he is submerged in water, he might drown. Subjecting him to extremely low temperatures may also work. A super-scientist or anyone with scientific, military, or criminal connections might be able to use sedatives or poisons. A martial artist might be able to incapacitate or kill him by applying a trivial amount of pressure to an extremely sensitive area of the body. I agree with you that a psychic (or magical) character would also probably have a relatively easy time of coming up with something.

    If there are any limits to how much the Shaw-type character could absorb, it’s possible that a Hulk-style character might be able to overwhelm him, but I don’t think it would be the most creative solution.

  312. ANGELLOVERon 21 Oct 2014 at 7:18 pm

    hi angellover here. I wanted to know if there would be any legal shtick about my main characher having the same(mostly) power as Prock froom the awesomes on Hulu. Procks power is he can stop time for as long as he wants, but after 10 seconds it starts to really hurt and he slowly starts to die. my main character is a girl named cassie, an she has the same power as procks except she can freeze time for 23 seconds. she doesn’t tell her friends that shes dying because they wouldn’t let her use her power anymore. to overpowered? lame? legal shtick? tell me! please!!!!!

    I beg of you!
    Also, comment if u guys get the name angellover.


  313. Tyleron 02 Nov 2014 at 4:13 pm

    my superhero has a lot of powers like regeneration, heat vision, super speed, control of nature, animal shape-shifting, telepathy,etc. But the one he uses mostly is animal shape shifting, control of nature and super speed(but only when traveling to other places outside) I was wondering what could be a weakness for these 3 main powers he uses?

  314. B. McKenzieon 02 Nov 2014 at 5:22 pm

    “my superhero has a lot of powers like regeneration, heat vision, super speed, control of nature, animal shape-shifting, telepathy,etc. But the one he uses mostly is animal shape shifting, control of nature and super speed(but only when traveling to other places outside) I was wondering what could be a weakness for these 3 main powers he uses?” I’d suggest reevaluating power selection. I think that’s a bigger issue than weaknesses for the powers.

  315. B. McKenzieon 02 Nov 2014 at 5:38 pm

    “I wanted to know if there would be any legal shtick about my main characher having the same(mostly) power as Prock froom the awesomes on Hulu. Procks power is he can stop time for as long as he wants, but after 10 seconds it starts to really hurt and he slowly starts to die. my main character is a girl named cassie, an she has the same power as procks except she can freeze time for 23 seconds.” I think you’re okay here as long as it doesn’t bring a particular other series to mind, and what you have is generic enough that I don’t think it will. (Using a length restriction on a character that can freeze time is fairly common/generic — I think the example that would be best-known among editors would probably be Hiro Nakamura from Heroes).

    In contrast, if you were borrowing a highly distinctive limitation or weakness (like an alien being vulnerable to shards of his own planet or a rare mineral), I think that’d very very quickly bring Superman to mind in a way that would probably not be very helpful.

    In a case like this, where the character’s powers are similar to several other characters’, I’d recommend putting an especially high priority on differentiating them through other means (especially personality and other character traits, and possibly background and voice as well).

  316. Tyleron 04 Nov 2014 at 7:49 am

    Thanks for the advice I decided to keep animal shape-shifting, control of nature, and regeneration. I took out telepathy, super-speed, and heat vision. There’s no point of him having super speed when he could just turn into an animal that’s fast, or that could fly.

  317. B. McKenzieon 04 Nov 2014 at 8:25 am

    “Thanks for the advice I decided to keep animal shape-shifting, control of nature, and regeneration. I took out telepathy, super-speed, and heat vision. There’s no point of him having super speed when he could just turn into an animal that’s fast, or that could fly.” I think that sounds very intuitive.

  318. Jay Croweon 19 Dec 2014 at 12:11 pm

    The EMP Blast was actually what I’m planning for PROJECT{overman}’s weakness, as his powers come from technological implants.

  319. Crystal Longon 03 Feb 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I’m writing a story about a guy that has weapon proficiency powers, and another one that can create energy balls. I was wondering what weaknesses to give them. Any idea would be helpful. This is my first time writing a superhero story.

  320. Crosseon 18 Mar 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Alright, I have the weknesses for Damien down pat…but the reasoning for those weknesses being there is where I’m running into a few issues. Damien gains his abilities (enhanced strength, speed, senses, reflexes, mild regenerative increases, and extremly mild telekinesis [TK only really useful when he is placed in life or death scenarios, when his body forces itself past it’s normal limit]) temporarily from a drug developed by a pharmecutical company his brother works for (long story short, he ends up being a test subject to make sure the brother does his best work, and ends up fleeing the facility).

    The drug, PANACEA, was origionally intended for (and can still be used for) the treatment of most diseases and wounds (primarily radiation sickness, as that is the factor that forced scintists into the early start on stem cell research), as it is essentially controlled stem cell production inside the body. Now, this is where the weaknesses come in. The drug, as I said, is only temporary. It’s effects last between one to ten hours, depending on the dose one were to take. The intensity of the abilities also increases with dose. However, taking more than two doses at a time is inadvisable, and any more than three can have adverse health effects. This aside, PANACEA is also extremly addictive (one reason it is still not officially in the human testing phase) and can have withdrawal symptoms similar to opiates.

    Damien’s temporary abilities also have their drawbacks, or some do. The enhanced strength and speed are easier to control at lower doses, though are more effective at larger doses. Enhanced senses are aggrevating to difficult to use effectively, as those who do gain abilties from PANACEA tend to be unable to filter out excess input (yes, it is usually those with ADD that gain abilities from PANACEA). Damien’s TK, as was stated before, is almost entirely a defensive mechanism. The most he can do at will is lift a small pebble to distract an enemy.

    My question is…well. I understand that at this time, there is no known reason that one would need to self administer an opiate with stem cells, as there is not very much pain involved in the use of stem cells.

  321. Gold Pandaon 03 Aug 2015 at 9:10 am

    Im working on a character who uses his chi to control wind and light elemental energy. He does get tired if he uses to much energy. However does anyone have any suggestions for a creative weakness for him?

  322. Little did I knowon 12 Sep 2015 at 9:18 pm

    His weakness is fire because we all know that the wind makes the its flames stronger

  323. Nikion 12 Mar 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Weaknesses for gravity.

  324. B. McKenzieon 12 Mar 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Niki: “Weaknesses for gravity?”

    Repeating myself from a comment above: “When you say ‘weakness,’ do you mean something along the lines of a weird vulnerability like Kryptonite or the color yellow? If so, I’d recommend taking a different approach (e.g. tighter limits to his superpowers, perhaps how often they can be used or what the costs are).”

    In this case, I don’t think gravity control would make a character all that hard to challenge (it’s just another form of telekinesis)…

  325. Nikion 12 Mar 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Well, I havent fleshed out his story much yet and hes kinda in the background. Im just trying to come up with weaknesses for all of the villains and heros in a series (Protectors of the Cosmos)
    I already have some weaknesses, like a meteorokinetic has problems with her powers whenever shes inside (raining inside is unheard of). Or a speedster who can only speed for an hour before he blacks out from exrtion and G force, although the gravity is lessened somewhat by my gravity user. I also have a guy who can turn invisible by building his heartrate to a solid hum. His weakness is if he encounters a poison he cant turn invisible without the poison spreading and him dying. What I need weaknesses for:

  326. Leslieon 01 Sep 2016 at 2:56 am

    I am planning this character who has the ability to mutate her own DNA using brain impulses that control special cells. She can also give herself superpowers, like a mutant (fire blasts, wings, telepathy…) but I cannot come up with any weaknesses for her… maybe something that could temporarily inhibit her neurons?

  327. Vixis Shiar'Deluson 01 Sep 2016 at 7:54 am

    Think of how her powers work and see if there are any vulnerabilities in how they function that could be exploited. Like you were saying, you could find something in the way that her brain sends those signals. If it goes wirelessly (i.e. not through her nervous system), then you could essentially use the same vulnerabilities that radios or cellphones have (things jamming the frequencies that her brain transmits to activate or deactivate the powers). That could even bee something that forces her to make unusual choices in communication or ability usage and could “out her” as a superhero in the event she can’t turn them off.

  328. young grasshopperon 01 Sep 2016 at 9:05 am

    That sounds really cool. I’d bet a very intelligent antagonist could find a way to send counterfeit signals that could force her to mutate.

  329. Leslieon 01 Sep 2016 at 11:50 am

    @Niki (sorry for my English, not my first language)
    Inertia might be defeated by anythinglike strong punches, cannon balls, as they nullifies what inertia is as stated by physics laws
    Ice can be shattered by high-pitched sound waves, or strong hit
    Electricity does not run trough insulating materials, like glass or porcelain
    If your superhero can just manipulate earth, bringing him up in the sky might render him/her powerless. If he/she can generate Earth, they might generate a specific amount of it, or they can generate just some types of rocks that might have their own weaknesses (heat, freeze-thaw effect…)
    Plants cannot live if they don’t have enough sun or water, except for desert plants
    Phasing trough certain materials, like metals that have a special molecular structure, might be impossible
    Teleportation destination might be altered by some warping mechanisms
    Shapeshifter might have just some limited choices in what they can shapeshift into
    If your shuperhero control ghosts, they might be too concetrated on vengeance or they might be too lost to be of use. If he/she can turn into a ghost, then maybe after a certain amount of time trasformation becomes irreversible
    Poison is easily overcomed by antidots
    Sound, as for electricity, can be stopped by insulating materials

  330. Cat-vacuumer Supremeon 11 Sep 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Ghosts may not be able to go near dead bodies without being sucked into them, they might be unable to interact with solid things (touch & move them), and they might dissipate in strong wind or sunlight.
    Teleportation might need the user to remember correctly every single detail of where they’re going, they may need to see the the place, it might be hard to breathe afterward, and maybe produce a loud noise.
    Inertia-Umm . . . Gravity?
    Ice-Heat, dry air, dehydration.
    Electricity-Like Leslie said, insulators. Maybe a lack of control, needs low humidity (static works better in low humidity).
    Earth-Pollution: maybe when they touch polluted earth, they feel its pain or absorb the pollutant or something. Maybe they have a telepathic link with the earth that fluctuates, bringing them more power and loud voices of all the ideas about the earth.
    Plants-Plants often require specific conditions. Maybe this person needs a certain amount of light and water and not having this balance makes them ill? Maybe when they work with plants, they get sleepy.
    Phasing-Energy: maybe if there are electrical wires in a wall, the electricity stops them. Also, lack of control. Maybe they just start drifting into the floor. Getting lost in thick walls: maybe they can’t see while phasing.
    Shapeshifter-I like what Leslie said. Also, maybe they can’t shapeshift while injured IN ANY WAY: even a tiny scratch could seriously mess them up.
    Poison-Maybe they have to have the poison (it’s not easy to get certain poisons). Maybe they are vulnerable to the poison.
    Sound-Other sounds: if there are lots of sounds, maybe they overwhelm the sound controller.
    For all of them: concentration and control.

    Sounds amazing. What happens if her special cells take damage? Are there any side effects to the mutations (Loss of self?)? What if she just can’t concentrate (drugged, unconscious, sitting in a car factory)? What happens if she’s dreaming and does it by accident?

  331. Leslieon 13 Sep 2016 at 9:43 am

    @cat-vaacumer, I was in fact thinking that she has in fact serious identity issues, and as she wakes up most of the times she has changed appearance during the night, but my idea was to have her activate this process with the subconscious side of the brain, so I don’t know that if she can’t concentrate her powers won’t work, I haven’t thought about it. Thanks a lot anyway!

  332. James/Dakotaon 28 Oct 2016 at 4:30 am

    Hey, if anyone still needs weaknesses for a superfast character, we came up with a really important one.

    ~broken bones. So, if a character was running superfast and trips, he would go tumbling on for a really long time and probably break something. Our character Mercedes is probably going to have this problem, as he’s blind. Another thing is if they are stopped suddenly, like that scene in X-men Apocalypse where Apocalypse grabs Quicksilver’s leg with some dirt the sudden jerk would probably break something. Also, in that part Apocalypse breaks QS’s arm and leg, I think, and for the rest of the final battle he’s pretty much sitting out since you really can’t run that fast.

    Totally different note, B. Mac, we were wondering, if we give Mercedes his sight back much later on in his overall character arc, would that take away from his loss in the first place or not? And also what would be some effective weaknesses for his sisters?

  333. B. McKenzieon 28 Oct 2016 at 4:30 pm

    “Totally different note, B. Mac, we were wondering, if we give Mercedes his sight back much later on in his overall character arc, would that take away from his loss in the first place or not?” Yes, but either way he’s paying a serious price for losing the fight. Losing ones sight, even for several months, is a serious problem no matter how you slice it. If this is the direction you’re thinking of, I’d suggest either having the recovery come at a serious cost of its own (e.g. only 1 or 2 people in the world that can perform this surgery, and they’re both extremely costly* and/or uncooperative and/or supervillains and/or unavailable).

    *Preferably in some way more exotic than just money. E.g. “I need $1 million worth of palladium, an experimental nuclear reactor stolen, and a jail break.”

    Also, it might help to introduce the possibility early on that the loss of sight might theoretically be recoverable at some point. For example, maybe one of the city’s top eye doctors tells him that his condition should be treatable within 10-20 years, but the technology isn’t there yet. Later on, we could find out that there are solutions available now, but currently they’re in the “mad science” stage, and I’d always recommend making mad science much dicier and more memorably costly than showing a receptionist your insurance card. By definition, they haven’t worked out all the kinks yet and the people working in it are not at all ordinary, nor do they have to play by ordinary rules.

    “What would be some effective weaknesses for the sisters?” Based on their powers, it doesn’t sound like it’d be very hard to challenge them (e.g. unlike super-speed, they’re not an instant-win against unpowered criminals with guns). What sort of problems are you having challenging them?

  334. James/Dakotaon 29 Oct 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Actually, we weren’t planning on Mercedes go through surgery. His recovery of sight happens by accident–he didn’t actually want it back. He did in the beginning, but when he finally meets someone who can help him (Sara Carter, a mutant girl who can heal people) he’s already so used to using his echolocation (blind for at least a year) that he turns down her offer. Two years later he’s mortally wounded and when Sara heals him she also heals his eyes, too, so he has to kinda relearn how to see.

    “What sort of problems are you having challenging them?” Well, Ril seems pretty hard to beat. Honestly, if she’s surrounded by “unpowered criminals with guns” like you mentioned she could just scream and incapacitate everyone with her powers. And Sky likes to snipe people from the air with a bow, which is why she’s called Raptor. However, you shoot her wing that’s an incredible liability as she’d be unable to fly for a while, so there’s that option. Either we’ll kill her off later or make her lose her wings and get metal bulletproof ones. Or give her metal wings and then kill her.
    So we don’t have problems with Sky, just Ril. You’d have to kill her before she could scream, and since she can make you completely deaf and her completely silent, if she sneaks up on you you’re pretty darn screwed.

  335. B. McKenzieon 29 Oct 2016 at 7:32 pm

    “Honestly, if she’s surrounded by “unpowered criminals with guns” like you mentioned she could just scream and incapacitate everyone with her powers.” I’d recommend creating problems for her and/or forcing her to be more creative. E.g. I imagine it would be a hard power to target, which could create issues for her allies and/or innocent bystanders in the area. If she routinely uses this power indiscriminately, I’d suggest working in some sort of unintended consequence (e.g. a civilian suing her for hearing damage or property damage, and/or allies giving her so much distance that it creates problems for her in fights, and/or gunmen being more likely to take human shields when she’s around). Also, if she’s a major superhero in town, I imagine she’s going to eventually face some gunmen with ballistic-grade headphones (which cost about $20 on Amazon and which are required on most gun ranges). If so, I’d recommend forcing her to use a more creative solution than “scream louder”, especially if the gunman is a few feet away from an (unprotected) civilian.

  336. James/Dakotaon 30 Oct 2016 at 5:25 am

    “Also, if she’s a major superhero in town, I imagine she’s going to eventually face some gunmen with ballistic-grade headphones (which cost about $20 on Amazon and which are required on most gun ranges). If so, I’d recommend forcing her to use a more creative solution than “scream louder”, especially if the gunman is a few feet away from an (unprotected) civilian. ” That’s a very good point, especially since we make it clear that Ril isn’t trained in any form of hand to hand combat, unlike Mercedes and Sky. If she met someone with headphones, she’d probably try to take them off but wouldn’t know how to without proper HTH skills and most likely would get herself hurt or killed and end up with Mercedes or Sky having to rescue her. Thanks, B. Mac.

  337. James Dakotaon 31 Dec 2016 at 8:11 pm

    If I decided to make Mercedes only have one arm, would that and the blindness be too much of a handicap? (The missing arm was the result of Mercedes being overconfident and arrogant against a guy with a garrote in a confined space while blind and momentarily without speed). It comes into conversation a few times in a humorous manner.

    Merc: Let me help.
    Ril: The last time you said those words your arm was removed by a garrote. No.

  338. B. McKenzieon 01 Jan 2017 at 1:54 am

    “If I decided to make Mercedes only have one arm, would that and the blindness be too much of a handicap?” If this would be helpful for your mood/tone and/or plot, okay, but it’ll be a major impact. E.g. it could be useful if you were going in a darker direction and/or are building out a “anybody can fail/die” theme and/or Mercedes is thinking about retiring (or is being pushed by others to retire). If you’re mainly thinking about keeping the character challenged (rather than developing mood/tone/conflicts/etc), this probably isn’t necessary.

    “It comes into conversation a few times in a humorous manner… ‘The last time you said those words your arm was removed by a garrote.'” I don’t see a lot of comedic potential here. And, unless the character’s personality really calls for it, it feels like an unusually light/awkward/maybe flippant way to remind a teammate of losing a limb in combat. An alternate phrasing which doesn’t mention the grisly detail about the garrote might help, e.g. “The last time you said that, you had both arms,” but even then it sounds pretty dismissive/snide.

    Suggested rephrase:
    Mercedes: Let me help.
    Ril, wary: The last time you said that, you… *uneasy pause*
    Mercedes: Had both arms?
    Ril: Miscalculated. [Could be phrased more gently as “Got too optimistic.”]

  339. Byakuya91on 05 Jan 2017 at 9:21 pm

    I do request for some feedback in regards to a character I’ve been working on for close to four years, Derek Masters. In short, he assumes the identity of a western themed superhero.

    In terms of powers, he has the power to project force fields, specifically as bullets from his fingertips(he calls them Force slugs), as well as, conjure a lasso, along with being able to visualize auras.

    The primary weakness Derek has is that he needs to use his hands to project his powers. This he accomplishes via hand gestures which improve his concentration. If his hands were to be bound or injured, they limit what he could do. For instance, he couldn’t create a full body shield with one hand, or create stable platforms. Another weakness for his Force field powers is that they are mentally tied to his head.

    As such, if he withstands something large or strong, he’ll feel it. This to where he gets migraines and eventual nosebleeds.

    As for his aura vision, the weakness is that he cannot see the auras of non-living things. So obstacles, like droids/machines he cannot fully perceive. As such, he’s left vulnerable. The other shortcoming with his vision is that prolonged usage.

    Are these good enough? I think hand gestures is particularly strong, as if Derek is injured, it limits what he can do. Hence, why I work in fatigue/arm injuries.

    Because, if not; I can always go with damage absorption limit. Basically, Derek’s fields can only take a certain number of hits, before the crack/shatter. The backlash is something Derek can feel mentally as sharp pain.

    And as such, he can be stunned. I ask these questions, because outside of the powers, I’ve finally confident I’ve nailed him as a character. And in my view, that’s what mattered the most. As such, I can focus on fleshing his powers. A small part, but still an important one.

  340. B. McKenzieon 08 Jan 2017 at 8:36 pm

    “I ask these questions, because outside of the powers, I’ve finally confident I’ve nailed him as a character. And in my view, that’s what mattered the most. As such, I can focus on fleshing his powers. A small part, but still an important one.” I don’t see major issues here.

  341. Aleaon 27 Jan 2017 at 5:37 am

    I rally don’t know where to put this, so I’m sticking it here.

    So, I have a rather underdeveloped magical world that is similar to Harry Potter but still different. My main character is a girl named Cynthia Sylte who lives at 13 Widge Vale Lane, Norman Alley, New York. She is a bit of a chosen one, but unlike Harry she was chosen around age seventeen instead of age one. My problem is that Cyn has this illness that I’ve decided to call “moon-fever” that affects her every full moon. Because of this most of the magical inhabitants of her neighborhood think she’s a werewolf, but moon-fever isn’t the same as lycanthropy. I already know the symptoms and everything, I just don’t know how she got it. She has a dragon familiar named Pippin, if that helps. Any thoughts?


  342. young grasshopperon 27 Jan 2017 at 9:34 am

    It could be the result of a curse put directly on her or inherited from an ancestor, or perhaps as a small child she accidentally ate a rare and magical moon herb. With magical stories, there are many ways to make things happen, so just go with the cause that you think fits the story best.

  343. Aleaon 27 Jan 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks for the advice, I’ll probably go for the moon herb angle.

  344. Faithon 23 Jul 2017 at 8:03 pm

    so I have this super power that I was planning to use for one of my characters in a story but I’m having trouble thinking up enough drawbacks to the ability. I just don’t want my character to appear over powered. so far the power is the ability to manipulate solids to the characters will and the weaknesses I have are that the melanin in their hair thins out and that electrical devices short circuit to their touch. I was just wondering if I could get some suggestions for weaknesses that would make more sense for the ability?…

  345. Kindraon 20 Feb 2019 at 3:28 pm

    I tried to make sure that the elementals of my series all had multiple weaknesses each and that even those with the most potent form of their element (like the main character Arun) weren’t overpowered. My main problem though is the wizards since they’re able to use all eight elements regardless of their original, native element. Granted as far as I’ve written the one time a wizard uses an element that isn’t their native one they were exhausted and barely able to walk. However the use of other elements only becomes easier over time and by the time the series ends that same wizard is planned to have almost complete mastery over all eight elements to the point she can use multiple at once in concert with each other. I do mention it’s the first time that’s ever happened (a wizard mastering all eight so completely) so it’s not really ordinary but she still seems a bit op.

  346. Cat-Vacuumer Supremeon 06 Mar 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Is there a specific reason she can use all eight? (Genetics, magic artifacts, tons of practice, etc.)

    If you’re worried she’s overpowered – how would someone be able to beat her at the end? Who would be able to do so? You could take her abilities down a little – for example, only letting her use one element at once, or not knowing as many uses for elements she hasn’t used as often.

  347. Heat and Coldon 09 Jun 2021 at 2:53 pm

    Hi, I have a character who can fly and breathe fire. I don’t know what weakness to give her. Should I just do the average weakness of water and ice, or something else? Because I was thinking that I could have her actually weakened to heat because of her already elevated body temperature. Would this idea also work in reverse to someone who controls ice? Thanks.

  348. BMon 11 Jun 2021 at 5:45 am

    Instead of worrying much about weaknesses, I would suggest thinking about how a creative enemy or a battle environment might screw with this character. Water and cold temperatures might plausibly work. Depriving oxygen might also work (e.g. using forcefields or burying them in rubble). It’s probably a somewhat imprecise power so human shields (or just bystanders) or flammable material nearby might cause obstacles. Fire might not be terribly effective against some opponents (e.g. a robot) — maybe the character needs to take risks (like a ranged combatant getting closer than normal to overwhelm a robot) or otherwise get creative.

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