Here’s a thing that I’ve noticed and I’m not sure what to make of it.
So we all know superpowers right? Heroes, villains, entire populations. Just slap superpowers onto them and add that interesting spark of action that has ignited active imagination in so many of us. The concept of superpowers is just inherently cool because it speaks so strongly to people’s power fantasies without necessarily being (more socially oriented) power over someone. Superpowers usually don’t require a victim, so everything about the power is all about how it’s applied.
And that’s cool, you can write really intricate stories on how those powers affect those that have them, those that get involved with them, or you can just use it as the action counterweight to your story’s romance. But if you do decide to place focus on it, then something interesting happens. Either you’re making a story which carries superpowers, or you’re making superpowers that carry a story.
The latter is kind of a scary idea to me, because I see that happen to a fair deal of “everyone here has powers” stories. The powers are there to be cool, and that’s what drives the story. Cool things happening. Quite common in all those shitty “shounen” animations, and almost always makes for that kind of cheesy feel to the story. Doesn’t help the characters are almost always standard archetypes as well.
And here I am, wanting to write a story in which, effectively, all protagonists have superpowers. And those powers will be playing important roles in most of their arcs. I guess I’ve identified some of the pitfalls for such stories already, as described above, but I can’t help but feel there’s more to writing something good in such a context. What? I have no idea.
I’m just too afraid of becoming Shounen Anime: The Book, heh.