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Wizarding Superheroes

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Taure, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    How would you go about telling a superhero story within the wizarding world?

    It's a common trope of the superhero genre that the hero is an ordinary person until one day they are bitten by a spider/their latent mutation activates/they are exposed to radiation etc. and now they have powers. Let's call that the "Spider-Man model".

    There are plenty of stories which fall into the "Iron Man" model, where the hero has no unique powers compared to the general population, and is simply much more talented than normal people. I.e. stories where Harry is just super good at magic.

    But how would you translate the "Spider-Man model" of acquiring new, unique powers to a world where everyone already has a wide set of flexible and powerful abilities?
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    The closest thing I can think of to this is October by Carnivorous Muffin... I'd argue that this version of Harry is not just super good at magic, he's something else entirely. This story makes it less of a super-hero trope and more of a variation on Harry actually being a version of Death (probably) though, so it only partly counts.

    However it does bring up what I think is the easiest way to make Harry into a super-hero analogue. Use the Deathly Hallows combined with the fact that he miraculously survived the Killing Curse to make him into something 'more' than a simple Wizard, the uniting of the Hallows combined with his past serving to act as the "Spider Bite" that you mention. I have plans to do something vaguely similar in a fanfic one day.

    An item like the Alchemist Stone could also be used in some fashion, perhaps. If the Stone itself could be combined with a person then perhaps you could get a Steve Rogers type superhero. Very difficult to replicate, since no one knows how to make another stone, and even if they did they might not know the process to combine it with a person.

    An upgraded horcrux-style spell of some kind could perhaps provide a more traditional 'Lich' type superhero, where everytime they die they simply return to their phylactery and easily possess another prepared body. This might not technically be a superpower but it's also more than simply being better at magic than most of the population. Then again perhaps this is the best analogue to Tony Stark - you're super good at magic and invent something that no one else can replicate.

    Magical Catastrophes could lead to a Hulk-analogue that no one can explain or understand, but I'm at a loss as to what kind of magical catastrophe would warrant the creation of something similar. It would need to be unique and perhaps difficult to replicate.

    And so on - but I think you might be asking how to present them to the Wizarding World moreso than how to come up with origins? In which case I'm not really sure. But giving them unexplained abilities that are difficult for even wizards to replicate would make them 'different' enough to be talked about, though perhaps not quite worthy of the superhero moniker.
     
  3. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Heir DLP Supporter

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    Quintaped!Hulk!

    I am so here for it
     
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    These are all good ideas. However, I was less meaning "what events could trigger their powers?" and more "what could those powers be, given that wizards can already do more or less everything?" -- which you also touch upon.
     
  5. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    If I was going to try and write something like this, I'd spend some time in-story clarifying the limitations of standard magic in order to give the 'superhero' the ability to bypass them.

    Travel around the world, for example. IF you impose reasonable limits on apparition such as (1) a wand in hand is required, (2) you must have previously been to the place you wish to visit, and (3) the further away you wish to apparate the more difficult it is for whatever reason, and (4) make Apparition barriers a standard thing for areas like Diagon Alley THEN if you have a character come in who can 'teleport' anywhere they want on Earth, at any time, regardless of barriers and whether they have been there or not, then suddenly this becomes a sort of super-power.

    I expect you could do the same for most other forms of powers. Clarify the limitations of magic for standard wizards (which could be pushed by wizards of Dumbledore's calibre but not broken), then have your superhero break those rules.

    But apart from travel and perhaps physical ability (which most wizards do not have above their muggle counterparts) I'm not sure what else would truly fit as a super-power (unless you want to incorporate magical cores and other wizards can 'run out' of magic or some such).
     
  6. 9th Doctor

    9th Doctor Seventh Year

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    I’d lean to making something stable like the Animagus transformation with only one animal have the ability to take multiple forms. Possibly the cutting edge of the obliviate spell- when it was first discovered, the person casting it must have seemed to have superpowers of a more subtle and insidious sort.

    But honestly when I think superheroes I also think of the Scarlet Pimpernel. I’d probably do something along those lines with Harry being in the public eye and seen as a sort of foppish joke like Lockheart, and behind the scenes leading a crusade against extremists.
     
  7. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    You could have people manifesting magical creature like abilities - a wizard with healing tears, perhaps, or a witch who can mimic the effects of phoenix song; someone who can petrify/kill just by looking at you, or can fly without a broom or casting a spell.

    You could also rework existing unusual abilities, like being a Parselmouth or a Metamorphmagus.

    In fact...one way of doing it might be to start from the canon position of unusual but recognised talents like that, but then something causes Muggles to start manifesting those abilities without any other sign of magic?
     
  8. Agayek

    Agayek Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    Uhhh...

    So maybe I'm just crazy, but isn't Dumbledore's biography basically "How to be a Wizarding Superhero"?
     
  9. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Unspeakable DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Thinking of style and tone I agree with the 9th doctor to an extent. I think zorro, Batman and pimpernel style heroes work better where, due to the sheer volume of fantastical abilities in HP, it could be difficult to make the reader get that 'super' feel from the ability alone. I think it would have better odds when the super hero part comes from the methodology.

    Their having some super-wizard tier skill based ability with animals, or casting mutiple spells with one wand, or flamboyantly tricky magics would be ideal (double points if every charm is prefixed with the name of their animal animagus form).

    If I was trying to write a more super than heroic style thing, I would pursue a feel similar to the league of extraordinary gentlemen. I think the gothic style of monster and vigilante could be twisted into a wizarding 'superhero' story quite well, with a inferi or a quintaped replacing frankenstein or a werewolf.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  10. Glimmervoid

    Glimmervoid Groundskeeper

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    As a general rule, human magic in HP works on human scale and concepts. It is humanistic and cares about those things human cares about. So how do you get spiderwizards? How about exactly that - a wizard's who's magic is mutated in such a way that is stops caring about human concepts and starts caring about spider concepts?
     
  11. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Supreme Mugwump

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    Dumbledore sort of fits, but more in the sense of Hawkeye, Black Widow, or (maybe) low-end Captain America. He's beyond the reach of most people, but he's 'peak human', rather than superhuman. Which is fine - you could do something along the lines of Ciaphas Cane (or, for a more fanonical setting, Mister Black), where they just end up in the right place at the right time, and they're pretty enough to take all the credit.

    If you wanted to keep it 'wizardy', you could maybe base their powers on an authorial level on having greater senses. So they're amazing at brewing potions because they have hue-perfect sight and know which leaves would be the best to add. Or they can tell what the spell someone's about to cast is by sensing the movement of mana through their personal ley-lines.

    If you wanted superhuman, then breaking the laws of magic like Ched suggested sounds like a decent plan. Maybe they can wield two wands at once, or they can cast wand and wordlessly, or they can transfigure things into gold/food. Maybe they have more than one animagus form, or they can just ignore low level spells; or they're a universal Polyglot, and their words are always understood.

    The 'simplest' power I can think of is that they don't cast spells. Not in the sense of being a muggle, but that they don't need to cast a spell to turn someone into a newt - they just need to think it. They don't need to cast a spell or use a broom to fly, they just start noclipping. Magic comes as easily as breathing to them, and existence warps around their desires. But, on the other hand, omnipotent characters aren't always interesting.

    The other method you could go with is making the powers separate - Draco now has portals to the laser dimension in his eyes. It's not a spell, or any form of magic, it's just a superpower. Neville now had moist skin and a long tongue, which explains why he's not good at casting spells. Although the problem you hit on here, like all HP/Worm or HP/X-Men crossovers is decided on which takes precendence. Should superpowers always be stronger than magic, or always be stronger than non-specific magic, or always be weaker than magic?
     
  12. Anarchy

    Anarchy Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    It's all about branding.

    Of course, you can play around with wizarding tropes. Theoretically, the can pretty much do anything. But practically, most wizards and witches kinda suck. So you can have your highly trained superhero have some signature moves. Like HP always wins with a disarming charm. Perhaps this superhero has his own spell he invented, something super flashy, that he always uses to take down an enemy, no matter the situation. I think it works best with canon and extended canon if they have some sort of gimmick, rather than just going full AU with mutations and stuff.

    The only real HP superhero story I read was years and years ago, probably 10 years ago. I think it was called Downfall, though I could be wrong. Regardless, the hero's name was Downfall. It was actually a persona, and all the people in the DA would use that same persona, essentially being a masked vigilante that hunted down Death Eaters.
     
  13. CareOtters

    CareOtters Dark Lord DLP Supporter

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    Well trigger events tend to be emotionally volatile, often physically intense and harrowing scenes. The wizarding world is full of potential for dangerous situations and encounters which could lead to a nascent superhero awakening an ability. The existence of magic works neatly as a catalyst for this trigger, developing into a specialised ability.

    As an example, in response to the trauma of being penetrated by Snape like a thin-bottomed cauldron in Ministry regulated destructive testing, a first year Harry could trigger the ability to spontaneously grow a fully functioning womb. All the way up his butt. Naturally the opening arc would come to a climax (pun very much intended, you're welcome) when an adult male SI would explode fully formed from Harry's urethra.

    Ashamed of his sordid affair with Snape, Harry would give birth in secret, perhaps in the Restricted Section of the Library. His unholy lovechild would enter the world surrounded by knowledge, by books. Therefore the only reasonable thing to happen next is that the SI triggers a tinker-class ability, specialising in the ability to build printing presses in settings which appear as superficially medieval as Hogwarts.
     
  14. Celestin

    Celestin Master of Death

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    A Zorro/Batman masked vigilante, simply more skilled with magic than most, is how I would do a wizard superhero.

    But if I were to do a superpower in a world of wizards then I would go with in a different direction than giving him a more powerful or unique magic. Instead, after being hit by the Killing Course, I would give Harry an immunity to all kind of magic though without removing his ability to actually cast the spells. It gives him equal advantage in battles, he doesn't need to block any curses for example, but at the same time, there is a big disadvantage that if he's somehow hurt by indirect use of spells, he can't be healed like a wizard. He gets his superpower and a superweakness at the same time.
     
  15. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    There are already wizards and witches with superpowers. Like Tonks or Queenie Goldstein.

    But for Harry I once had an idea where an accident with the Mirror of Erised gives him the ability to see what people really want. I think that this would allow him to get the upper hand in many situations.
     
  16. gorgonfish

    gorgonfish Second Year

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    What about "radioactive spider" accidents in the Department of Mysteries during the battle at the end of 5th Year? It could be a Mass Super-Empowering Event for Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny, Luna, and the Death Eaters too. There are rooms dedicated to the study of love, time, space, thought, death, prophecy and quite a few unexplored rooms for any other concepts the author wants to use.
     
  17. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I think what Taure is really looking for though isn't HOW to create these superheroes but what, specifically, would their powers be?
     
  18. Anarchy

    Anarchy Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    Draco's power is the same as Iron Man's and Batman's - money
     
  19. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Make him a villain, the wizarding version of the Green Goblin.
     
  20. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    Student spills an experimental potion over Professor Lomgbottom one day, and suddenly he can control plants, exude pheromones, and wants to save the planet from humanity. And yes, he absolutely dresses like Poison Ivy.
     
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