Some smarts. If you can’t think at least a few steps ahead of your nemesis, you’re toast. You want to aim for Iron Man / Tony Stark intelligence rather than, well, Thor. Don’t get us wrong, he’s hot and all, but we suspect he might really struggle with a crossword puzzle.
A witty one-liner. Like Spiderman’s ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ or even just Captain Marvel’s ‘Shazam!’, a memorable catchphrase is essential if you really want to be taken seriously.
A fine costume. For a true vigilante look, your disguise should ideally a) hide most of your face and b) include a pair of tight pants, for aerodynamic purposes. Extra points if you have a good legs. And on that note…
Muscles. Male or female, it’s a fact that most superheroes are pretty ripped, with the exception of self-made superheroes like Crimson Bolt from Super (2010). If you’re struggling with the six-pack thing, invest in some shapewear and work your guns instead.
Sick fight skills. We’re talking martial arts, proficiency with weapons and the confidence to take down a few baddies at once. Or at the very least, the ability to throw a punch at your nemesis and then do a runner to get yourself out of trouble.
A sense of humour. Superheroes are doing super serious work, but there’s got to be some good-guy-bad-guy banter; the ability to crack a joke in the heat of the moment. Hellboy, Mystery Men, Iron Man, The Avengers, The Incredibles and of course, Kick-Ass all sussed this out early on.
A decent sidekick. Some of Hollywood’s most famous include Batman’s Robin, Spiderman’s Alpha, Han Solo’s Chewbacca, Frodo’s Sam. A sidekick – whether furry or costumed – gives your brand some cachet, and better yet, they can double as designated driver of the Bat Mobile / Millennium Falcon / your chosen wheels when necessary. Win-win.
A high pain threshold. Because let’s be honest, you’re going to get thumped regularly. A good first aid kit in the bathroom can’t hurt, either.
A mission. Every superhero has to believe in something and want to fight for it. Even if everyone else thinks your mission is totally bonkers, hopefully they’ll respect your passion anyway and just let you get on with the business of saving the world.