Archive for the 'Day Jobs for Superheroes' Category

Dec 13 2011

How Can Superheroes Maintain a Day Job?

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.

Here are some ideas–feel free to mix and match as you see fit.

1. The superhero’s job gives him a very good reason to take up and leave at crucial moments.  For example, Clark Kent has a great reason to run towards disasters–he’s a journalist looking for the biggest story in town.  Matt Murdoch (Daredevil) or another lawyer might have some good reasons to do so–some supervillains have deep pockets and any disaster scene is liable to have tons of victims that will need a great lawyer.  Successfully suing a billionaire villain (or, umm, the police for failing to take reasonable precautions to keep him in jail) could be a huge payday.


2. The superhero secretly prepares some exciting projects for work that he can unveil whenever he needs to get his boss off his back.  For example, it might be a problem that Clark Kent missed a deadline on mortgages in Metropolis, but his editor would probably look past that if Clark Kent pulled a Pulitzer-grade story out of his brief.  “Sorry, chief, I was busy triple-checking the sourcing on this Luthor confession.  We got him on tape!”  A superhero might be able to sit on a huge breakthrough in his work for a long time–for example, a journalist might spend months checking a story because rushing to print with a libelous claim against an extremely wealthy businessman could be disastrous for the company.


2.1. The superhero is valuable enough at work that his bosses and coworkers look past his tendency to miss work and/or come in late and/or incur mysterious injuries/illnesses.  For example, he might be in a white collar job where uncommon bravery is a major advantage but not many people have it.  (I mean, really, how many journalists are there that would be excited to rush to the scene of a superpowered brawl in progress?  How many lawyers would be excited to interview murder suspects in extremely shady parts of town?)  His skills as a superhero might be really useful–for example, he probably has some degree of investigatory prowess, fast reflexes, familiarity with crime/criminals, toughness, an attention to detail, unusual confidence, determination and/or well-placed contacts in various industries and positions. For example, someone like Clark Kent is probably careful enough to make a good forensic accountant (although most taxmen would obviously not make very good superheroes).


Continue Reading »

6 responses so far