How to Be a Superhero Part 2

drawing of LIGHTNING BOLTS Being a superhero involves a series of choices.  In our first article on How to Be a Superhero, we addressed the question of whether or not to be evil.  Whatever you decided, that’s your personal business.  But we will proceed as though you chose to be good.

Other Decisions You Must Make as a Superhero

Cape or no cape?

Everyone who has watched the movie The Incredibles has heard the diatribe of superhero suit designer Edna Mode on the danger of capes for superheroes.  Edna’s famous conclusion, “No capes” must be heeded.

Yes, there is some danger attendant to wearing a cape.  And if your powers include flying, pitfalls include being sucked into a jet aircraft engine intake cowling.  Then again, if your powers include flying, you may well be invulnerable, in which case it’s, alas, the plane’s problem.

But even if you are not invulnerable — and if you’re reading this, chances are good you aren’t — the dangers of capes must be offset by a very important factor.

Capes Bring Respect

Imagine Dracula without a cape.  A pale skinny guy with long funny-looking teeth who looks like you could kick his ass.  How much respect is this guy going to get? 

But with a cape, Dracula is much scarier.  A cape cloaks both his fangs and anorexic physique as he approaches his unwitting victims.

In the DC universe the top superheroes wear capes.  Superman and Batman not only wear capes but also use them as 1) respect getters, 2) an invulnerable shield in the case of Superman, and 3) a general means of striking fear into the hearts of evildoers.

Non-cape Wearing Superheroes

Respected superheroes such as Spiderman and The Flash admittedly don’t wear capes. We can only imagine how much additional respect and fear-generating awe they might have garnered through cape wearing.

Wearing a Cape Is a Personal Decision

If you look like Spiderman or The Flash, you may safely dispense with a cape.  

But if your physique is especially frail or husky, a cape may be an excellent choice.  Let’s put it this way, if you’re reading this you probably need a cape. 

Cape Selection

Get one that doesn’t drag on the ground or hang above your belt.  A cape that doesn’t reach your belt may save a little money but looks ridiculous.  Get a cape that reaches about mid calf. 

Keep your cape width within the bounds of good taste.  You don’t want to look like you are swaddled in a gigantic tarpaulin.  Remember we are talking respect.  

When selecting a cape, keep in mind the phrase, “Big hat, no cattle.”  An oversized cape may suggest compensation for some sort of inadequacy.  You don’t want to come off like the pencil-necked geek in the giant pickup truck with the giant tires.


If you are a superhero you basically are wearing underwear already.  If you feel more comfortable wearing underwear underneath your suit, please select a color that does not bleed through. 

A definite no-no: an underwear waistband that sticks out above your pants.  Remember you are a superhero not some kind of gangsta wannabe.  

Boxers or briefs?  Again a personal decision.  Usually.  But underneath typical superhero tights, boxers really are not going to work.  Think it through.

If you are a beautiful lady superhero, you can wear boxers, briefs, small cape — pretty much whatever.  If you are not particularly athletic, please go with boxers.

Today’s article has spent far too much time on two basic superhero wardrobe choices.  But for superheroes who rely on blog posts for clues, this advice no doubt has inestimable value in your quest to understand the basics of how to be a superhero.

How to Be a Superhero: Tips If You Have a Super Power

How to Be a Superhero

photo of a nerd for Do You Have a SuperpowerDo you have a super power?

Don’t do anything until you read the following tips:

1. Do not jump to conclusions

It’s possible you may not actually have a super power.  If you were bitten by a spider, make sure to check that it wasn’t just a regular spider.  Do you merely feel super?  That is no guarantee but it is a good sign.  If you have a superpower, great responsibility is yours.

superhero spiderman
Bitten by a Regular Spider? You May Not Have Received a Superpower

2. Do not tell anyone that you have a super power

If you do have a super power, it is extremely important that you keep it a secret.  If you don’t actually have a super power, it’s also pretty important to keep it secret.  It is your duty to protect friends and loved ones by assuming a secret identity.

3. Decide how to use your super power

If you decide to use your super power to fight crime and help people, you will be categorized as a superhero.  If you decide to use your super power for evil, you are a super villain.  Simple.  But if you use your super power sometimes for good and sometimes for evil, well, you’re probably still going to end up being considered a super villain.  People have very high expectations of superheros: they expect them to be good.  All the time.  If you’re still not sure whether or not you really have a superpower, let me suggest being good, at least for now.

4. Don’t get the suit right away

Superhero suits, especially high-quality ones, with mask, boots, cape and utility belt, are quite expensive.  Yes, a suit is important to protect your secret identity.  You may think a superhero suit is a must.  But if you put it on your credit card assuming your superpowers will allow you to crush coal into diamonds, or find treasure with X-ray vision, and it doesn’t pan out, you may get a call from your credit card company and it will get very complicated explaining the situation without revealing your secret identity.  So don’t get the suit right away.

5. Anticipate skepticismphoto of a critical person

Police and law enforcement types may not welcome your help.  This is natural.  Even if you have a suit, they may not be prepared to partner with you.  The police may question whether or not you really have a super power, whether you should be involved in fighting crime, whether you can find riches quickly, or even whether you should be running around loose.

6. Practice

Start out by helping people in small ways.  If your power is super strength, try helping an old lady with her groceries.  Do NOT try to carry four bags.  Old ladies can be quite grumpy when you drop even some of their groceries.  If you have the power of telepathy or super hypnosis, do not start trying to use it on girls.  Just take my word for it.

7. Introduce yourself to other superheroes

Most superheroes join leagues.  If your town doesn’t have any superheroes, you can search for them on the web.  Again, don’t jump right into telling people that you have super-powers.  Also, keep in mind that some people merely BELIEVE that they have super powers.  This can lead to disappointment when joining a league or confederation that contains such delusional individuals.

8. Try to get a sidekick

All really good superheroes have sidekicks.  Remember: your sidekick does NOT have to have superpowers.  Jimmy Olson, for example, has no superpowers.  It is MUCH easier to find a sidekick without superpowers.  And it’s not that hard if you’re willing to treat for lunches. Make sure to swear your sidekick to secrecy.  This is surprisingly easy, too.

Your Sidekick Should Be Smaller than You Are, But Not Too Much Smaller


9. Don’t quit your day job

Fighting crime on a freelance volunteer basis doesn’t pay that well.  If you made the mistake of buying a suit too early you may be tempted to switching over to being a part-time super villain, but as discussed above, that can get complicated.

That’s it!   Hope these tips have helped.  Good luck with your new super power!

Check out:  9 Largely Ignored Superheroes