As part of the Smithsonian's class on Superheroes and their Impact on Popular Culture, this was the final assignment, built up over the course of the five-week program.
Ever dreamt of creating your own original superhero with his or her own special set of superpowers? Youre not alone. In this companion to The Rise of Superheroes & Their Impact on Pop Culture, we will lead you through the process of envisioning your own superhero, using your culture and contemporary social and political issues as the seeds of inspiration.
From there you will devise an alter ego and backstory for your superhero. Who are they when theyre not super? And of course, your hero will need a foil, a super villain. What powers does your super villain possess? And how do they reflect the conflicts in todays world?
Turn to the next slide for instructions to get started
The Superhero Sketchpad Keep it open as you progress through the course, toggling between your Sketchpad and edX to complete each activity. But, before you begin, you should name your Notebook. We recommend the following format:
If you havent done so, go back to Slide 1 and enter your name and email in the fields marked Click to add text. Simply click inside each field and begin typing.
And last BE CREATIVE! Smithsonian wants to see your original ideas. Its fine if you base your hero on an existing superhero, but we also encourage you to think differently. Are there gods and goddesses from your own cultures mythology that might represent a new kind of superhero? Use them! Are there stories from your own experience that would make your heros narrative more human? Use them too!
If you arent an artist, thats okay. Weve created some alternatives to illustrating your character, as well as social media groups, where you can meet other members of the community who might help you realize your original idea.
The Secret Origin Of Comic Books
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Golden Age of Super-HeroesWEEK 2:
New Genres and The Beginning of the Silver AgeWEEK 3:
Superheroes of the Silver Age and The Age of MarvelWEEK 4:
The Bronze Age to TodayWEEK 5: slides 5-12slides ???slides ???slides ???slides ???
WEEK 1Upload an image of your mythic god/goddess and use it to replace the placeholder image on the left. Then, enter the characteristics about your god/goddess and your rationale for choosing this mythic figure.
CREATE YOUR SUPERHEROS MYTHIC INSPIRATIONNAME OF GOD: Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto
CULTURE OF ORIGIN: JapanPERSONALITY TRAITS: Goddess of dawn, mirth, and revelry
RATIONALEShe helped to coax Amaterasu out from a cave, is a part of the missing sun motif for Japanese folklore, and is all about revelry and happiness
Write a few sentences explaining a contemporary social or political issue that will influence the conflicts your superhero will encounter. If youd like, add an article describing the issue from a recent news publication. FIND A CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL INFLUENCE
DESCRIPTION OF ISSUE:LINK TO RELEVANT ARTICLE:The idea of toxic masculinity. The notion that all men must be super masculine in order to be true men, by bottling up emotions or passing up on emotions that would be otherwise too feminine to be felt by men. These conflicts are less a physical threat like pollution, but it provides danger in many forms to people worldwide.
Your superhero needs at least one superpower! It can be something that the original god possessed or something you create on your own. Do keep in mind how the power will aid your hero in the conflict you identified. If youd like to add an image that illustrates the superpower, feel free though its not required.
CREATE YOUR SUPERHEROS SUPERPOWERS
DESCRIPTION OF PRIMARY SUPERPOWER:
DESCRIPTION OF SECONDARY SUPERPOWER:
INSTRUCTIONSKamen Rider transformation The ability to transform into a costumed figure known as a Kamen Rider. With this comes enhanced strength, agility, and physical capabilities, as well as various supernatural abilities tied to the source of power. In this case, the ability to transform into Kamen Rider Tempo, a music-themed Kamen Rider.Musical empathy can sense the emotions of others, but can only interpret it as music, i.e. slow orchestral music for sad emotions.
To balance your superpower(s), youll need at least one weakness, though you may add a second. Once again, describe each below and add a visual representation if youd like.
CREATE YOUR SUPERHEROS SUPERPOWERS
DESCRIPTION OF PRIMARY WEAKNESS:
DESCRIPTION OF SECONDARY WEAKNESS:
INSTRUCTIONSTied to belt the belt-mounted Tempo Driver that allows them to transform into the Kamen Rider figure is the source of the power. Destroy it, and the power is lost.Never Off the musical empathy ability is unable to be switched off. Will hear music from people's hearts at all times, at low volumes, until concentrating on one.
Its time to start putting it all together! Highlight the SUPERHERO NAME and replace it with your characters original name. Then, go to Insert > Photo > Picture from file to add the digital sketch of your superhero. Last, insert text to re-enter your SUPERPOWERS AND WEAKNESSES and to write your characters ORIGIN STORY.YOUR SUPERHERO BIOGRAPHY
ORIGIN STORYSUPERHERO NAMESUPERPOWERS AND WEAKNESSESKamen Rider TempoHenshin belt, Musical empathyA young musician finds a strange belt while cleaning the performance space, and on the way home, is cornered by thugs. Uses the belt to transform and defend themselves, but the thugs are awakened as monsters with dark music in their hearts.
Highlight the ALTER EGO NAME and replace it with your original name. Then, insert text for PERSONALITY TRAITS, OCCUPATION, AND BACK STORY. And last, if you want, you can Insert a sketch of your alter ego character. This is optional. If you dont have an alter ego sketch, feel free to highlight the image icon and delete it.YOUR SUPERHEROS ALTER EGO
OCCUPATIONYUUKI AKIYAMAPERSONALITY TRAITS
BACK STORYOptional. You may delete this if you dont have an image of your alter ego character.Quiet, withdrawn, but not without confidence. Very introverted, comes off as standoffish, but full of emotion.Orchestra manager, musicianYuuki is a young genderfluid individual who has a passion for music. Biologically male, they have questioned their gender for many years, and upon reaching adulthood, have begun experimenting with presenting as both. The only place they feel truly comfortable in either gender is in the orchestra. They welcomed Yuuki in with open arms, and Yuuki threw themselves into the thick of the orchestra, falling in love with music.
WEEK 1Upload an image of your supervillains inspiration by selecting Insert > Photo > Select from file and placing the image over the picture icon below (you can delete that if you want or just cover it up. Then, insert text for the characteristics of your villains inspiration and your rationale for choosing him/her.
CREATE YOUR SUPERVILLAINS INSPIRATIONNAME: Aika (name of race in Japanese, adopted by leader as personal name)GENDER: N/ANATIONALITY: AlienPERSONALITY TRAITS: Evil mastermind who has observed Earth for centuries, targets humans with strong emotions to learn and evolve
RATIONALEKeeping the emotion theme and having emotions used in a negative way reinforces the need for emotions in general.
Now you will create your supervillains biography. Highlight the SUPERVILLAIN NAME and replace it with your characters original name. Then, go to Insert > Photo > Picture from file to add the digital sketch of your superhero. Last, insert text to define your villains SUPERPOWERS AND WEAKNESSES and to write his/her ORIGIN STORY.YOUR SUPERVILLAINS BIOGRAPHY
ORIGIN STORYSUPERVILLAIN NAMESUPERPOWERS AND WEAKNESSESAlien anatomy, feeds on emotions of humans to grow and evolve. Race of aliens who focus on one emotion and funnel it from as many humans as possible. Relatively weak on their own, stronger in numbers and after evolutions.A race of aliens from beyond the edges of the solar system, the aika were once thought to be friendly, and coexisted with humans for many years, until many of them were forced to leave, due to abuse from humans based on their nonbinary gender roles. A singular Aika rose up and formed a militant society that began to wage war on Earth.
WEEK 1Write your build up, conflict, and resolution below by inserting text for each of the three categories.CONSTRUCT YOUR STORY
RESOLUTIONNot long after Yuuki has found the Tempo Changer, they are faced with their first encounter with the new race of aika a monster who devours the sense of wonder from children as they enter an amusement park. After brief investigation of the area, Yuuki enters the park (their sense of wonder gone due to having seen the park many times), and encounter the monster.The Aika of Wonder attacks Yuuki, and while they are able to transform into Tempo without issue, their attacks begin to fade and wane in power. Before the finishing blow is struck, the Aika flees to find another source of power. Returning to the orchestra, Yuuki rehearses a piece they've done a thousand times, but they find new facets of it once they have stopped to listen to it. Discovering that wonder is not linked to new experiences, they stake out another amusement park.The Aika of Wonder, having found more emotions to feed on, is