A publication of the Superheroes Development Fund

Introduction

Congratulations on taking your first step to being a hero!  Even the mightiest avengers of evil have to start somewhere, and by picking up this informational pamphlet, you are embarking on a magical journey of self-discovery and possibly radiation exposure that is both rewarding and just conflicted enough to generate tortured dialogue between the big explosions everyone paid to see.

Now that you have decided to become a hero, you need to figure out what kind of hero you want to be.  These are the main options:

Neighborhood Hero

You converted an abandoned brothel into a Boys & Girls Club. You saved a historic non-brothel building from demolition.  You weatherize the homes of senior citizens.  These activities are all very commendable, but not quite what we’re looking for.  If your life as a hero were a comic strip and the action sounds emanating from your main activities are things like “MENTOR!” and “WEATHERSTRIP!,” then the Superheroes Development Fund is not for you.

Accidental Hero

In some ways, this is the lowest form of hero the SDF works with and the only one not traditionally considered “super.”  Armed only with fists, a sympathetic raison d’être and optional traditional weaponry, accidental heroes usually stick to vengeance against street toughs, though Rambo went up against police forces, armies and, in the unreleased Rambo V, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.   Be prepared for all manner of scrapes, bruises and other ouchies, as you will have no super powers aside from boundless rage.

Genius Hero

Think Batman, Iron Man, or Jonas Salk if polio was a 50-foot-tall monster.  The genius hero has no powers of his or her own, instead using smarts and an expansive laboratory budget to build the tools necessary to fight evil, making them the most deliberate of the heroes.  These heroes don’t need to expose themselves to risky DNA-changing agents (see below), eliminating painful side effects like uncontrollable rage (The Hulk) or embarassing facial hair (Wolverine).  However, this path is not without its pitfalls.  Most people who attempt to be genius heroes blow themselves up in the lab before they start. Others run around like idiots in an “exoskeleton” made of hubcaps and phone cords.  If you don’t have the scientific chops, this isn’t for you.

Some other Genius’s Hero

Like the genius hero, but the genius doesn’t do the hard work.  Think of Captain America or the Six Million Dollar Man.  Usually, you need to start with the genius first and find the hero later.

Freak Hero

These days, the media portrays hazardous chemical exposure as a bad thing.  It wasn’t always this way: back when America thought that we could power our Frigidaires and wood-paneled Zenith TVs with nuclear plants ”too cheap to meter,”  some of our finest heroes drew their strength from exposure to toxic substances.  This doesn’t mean that you can just knock on the door of your local nuclear plant and ask to take a dip in the spent fuel pool; all of the good chemically-enhanced heroes are exposed to whatever makes them special by accident.  On the positive side, the powers you could get are limited only by your imagination.  On the negative side, you don’t get to choose.  Nobody wants to be Serious Side Effects Man.

Superman

Ask your mom for your birth certificate.  Is the location listed under ”Place of Birth” on this planet?  We thought so.  Sorry.