Sunday, January 09, 2011

Field Guide to Superheroes Vol. 2


The Field Guide Vol. 2 continues the definitive encyclopedia of superhero archetypes in modern comics.

Written by Jason "Dr. Comics" Tondro, who studied comics for his PhD in Literature, the Field Guide is a gold mine of ideas and inspiration for your next hero. After a discussion of each archetype generally, the Field Guide then gives a fully fleshed out hero, suitable for immediate use as a PC or important NPC in your ICONS campaign.

Rather than break archetypes down by power set, the Field Guide looks at the character's origin and role in the story. This makes the archetypes much more versatile and puts the emphasis on character, rather than power.

Here's a short list of the ten archetypes discussed in this second volume of the Field Guide to Superheroes.

  • The Descendant: A second generation hero carrying on the legacy of a mentor or relative.
  • The Divine Hero: An avatar of a living religion such as Christianity or Judaism.
  • The Embodiment: A living manifestation of an idea or natural force such as speed or justice.
  • The Ex-Con: A petty criminal turned hero.
  • Femme Feline: Dangerous, ambiguous and attractive, she represents the most popular variant of the animal hero.
  • Feral Hero: A Jeckyll and Hyde character, this hero struggles with a dark inner self.
  • Focused Hero: This hero has only one power which he has mastered completely.
  • Gadget Guy/Girl: Is a scientist who uses technology to fight crime.
  • Handicapped Hero: Has a serious disability which doesn't prevent him or her from fighting crime.
  • Jungle Hero: A caretaker of a hidden land.

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