Maybe They’re Born With It.
Most heroes that are born with their powers or into some great heritage are boring as hell to me.
It’s the one thing I regret implementing in my previous comic, Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, but I started that comic as a much younger man and would have done things differently if I’d started that story today. Luckily, I learned that lesson and have since applied it to things here at STAR POWER. Danica isn’t the long-lost relative of some great space hero, or the bearer of a bloodline destined to carry The Star Power, or gifted with amazing abilities at birth. She was given The Star Power, and all her admirable attributes are things that are attainable by anyone.
That’s why I dislike heroes who are born with their powers or into a gifted bloodline/heritage. Their extraordinary qualities aren’t things you can aspire to. You can’t look at a hero like that and aspire to be born to different parents, or work to get those super cool powers that are only gifted to people with a certain birthright. To me, that adds to the narrative that heroism or other extraordinary qualities are assigned to you at birth, and the truly special heroes among us are literally of a certain breed.
Danica may be able to do crazy sci-fi things with The Star Power, but the truly heroic aspects of her character are things we can all aspire to: doing what’s right because it’s right, showing compassion for one’s friends and enemies, and an enthusiastic curiosity about the world(s) around her. We may never actually be able to shoot lasers from our hands or make light swords, but we can work to be compassionate and stand up for those who can’t do so for themselves.
In my opinion, it’s also more fun to daydream about the circumstances of heroes who are given their powers instead of the ones born to them. The Star Power, in the spirit of the Green Lantern rings, could be bestowed upon anyone, no matter the circumstances of their birth. Heroes who exist outside of a birthright or heritage feel more inclusive to me. They provide the message that “anyone can be a hero” as opposed to “only people of these certain breeds can be heroes.”
(As an aside, I’m not counting my favorite superhero, Superman, as a hero “born with his powers.” He was born a regular old Kryptonian and he gets his powers from being an alien on Earth.)
This isn’t meant to be a blanket statement about heroes of special heritage. Some of those stories and characters can be quite interesting and compelling, but I don’t like it as the default choice for character-building. Maybe they’re born with it, but those who aren’t should have equal opportunity to showcase their heroism.