Feb 14 2009
If your superhero has a secret identity, he probably has a day job. Here are some tips for picking an effective day job.
1. It will be easier to pace the story if the day job can set the hero against the villain. For example, if there’s a new supervillain in town, a journalist has to report what happened, detectives have to investigate his crimes, lawyers might be involved if someone got framed, etc.
2. Superhero day jobs are often investigative in nature. Journalists, detectives, lawyers, private investigators and the like are very popular.
3. Superhero day-jobs usually have a distant boss. For example, Peter Parker and Clark Kent do most of their work outside the office. (This makes it a bit easier for them to maintain some independence from their boss).
4. For dramatic purposes, it’s best to have a tough boss. That gives you opportunities for conflict and will help make the character relatable and likable. If the character doesn’t have a boss (because he freelances or owns the company), his obstacles will probably be less serious. (Alternately, he might have corporate obstacles, like Bruce Wayne having to fight to keep control of Wayne Enterprises, but it’s definitely not as as relatable).
5. It will probably be most dramatic if the job is stressful and high-stakes. Would you rather read a story about a superhero that was a professional knitter by day or a superhero that was a detective investigating a grisly string of murders?
If you liked this article, you will probably like Common Superhero Day Jobs.