A well-known rule for psychologists and internet enthusiasts is “an average person with anonymity will act like a dirtbag.” I personally believe that an average person with anonymity will act like themselves and almost everyone is a huge jerkwad, but this is a post about superheroes.
Let me illustrate this simple law of human behavior:
Now let me propose a clear and obvious corollary:
This is what really gets me about superhero stories. For some reason, superheroes usually have greatness thrust on them. Superheroes will be irradiated, bit by spiders, etc. etc. but villains earn their powers. The archetype for super villain is a vain individual of extreme intelligence working alone. The mad scientist has made a comeback.
I’d wager that taking 10 random people and giving them all superpowers would result in about 9 (maybe more!) “super jerks” — people that don’t leave tips, kill drivers that cut them off, steal, and generally create mayhem. People who talk in theaters and always get what they want.
Because if you had the power to blow out the sun (yes, I am going to keep referencing that) you wouldn’t work. You wouldn’t help people. You’d take a nap. I betcha money.