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Real People Who Would have Been Supers In A Supers Universe


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Real people whose counterparts would be supers in a supers world.  

 

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Charles Lindbergh

    1.  Traumatized by a terrible crime, the kidnap and murder of his child.

    2.  Had the best cutting edge aviation technology of the time 

    3.  Had a flashy nickname "The Lone Eagle"

    4.  Eugenicist who allegedly also worked with Alexis Carrel a French surgeon who dreamed of improving humanity both through genetic improvement and cyborg replacement of body parts.  Helped him invented a mechanical heart valve.  

    5.  Denied the opportunity to join the military due to his Isolationist history, actually flew a few combat missions as a civilian.

 

aleister-crowley-and-the-paris-incident-

 

Aleister Crowley

     1.  Notorious occultist.  

     2.  Sometimes called himself "Master Therion", identifying himself with the Beast of Revelation.

     3.  Allegedly tried to summon a god into himself.  

 

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"Babe" Dedrikson

       1.  Fantastically versatile female athlete driven to prove herself the best at everything.

       2.  Capability almost as great as her ego.  

 

Unity-Mitford.jpg

 

Unity Mitford

 

1.  Wealthy British socialite.

2.  Nazi sympathiser

3.  Inflicted severe brain injury on herself in failed suicide attempt after the outbreak of war, allowed to return to Britain.

 

 

Princess-Lamia-(Medium).jpg

 

Princess Lamia bint Majid AlSaud

 

1.  Wealthy philanthropist

2.  Her name is Princess Lamia

 

   

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Howard Hughes - supposedly the inspiration for Tony Stark.

 

Elon Musk - first eccentric industrialist since Howard Hughes to fit the bill.

 

Which, of course, brings us to ... Tesla,  the quintessential mad scientist, reputed to control lightning with his bare hands, create force fields, interdimentional gates, intercontinental death rays, and an earthquake machine - his real inventions weren't a lot less fantastic.

(I guess he'd work as a villain, too.)

 

Oh, while nobody beats Uncle Al on the mystic side, Harry Houdini, either as a mystic or a super-skilled debunker (or both - shielding mankind from the supernatural terrors ...)

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Audie Murphy

 

Joseph Greenstein, the Mighty Atom -- inspiration for the Golden Age DC comic hero.

 

Uri Geller

 

Esther Williams

 

Katie Sandwina

 

  

6 hours ago, Opal said:

Howard Hughes - supposedly the inspiration for Tony Stark.

 

No coincidence that Tony's dad was named "Howard." ;)

 

In the comic series and movie, The Rocketeer, the title character's jet pack was a prototype designed by Hughes.

 

6 hours ago, Opal said:

Oh, while nobody beats Uncle Al on the mystic side, Harry Houdini, either as a mystic or a super-skilled debunker (or both - shielding mankind from the supernatural terrors ...)

 

Also a superb physical specimen in peak condition.

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11 hours ago, dmjalund said:

may I add Christopher Lee

  And Brian Blessed.     My God....just using them as the basis for agents for a British MI-13 team during the ‘60’s & ‘70’s.  The book practically writes itself!
    For Bruce Lee in a comic book, check out the 1970’s editions of Shang Chi Master of Kung Fu drawn by Christopher Golden or Doug Monch

    For Harry Houdini in a comic book try Gotham by Gaslight.  An Elseworlds series set in Victorian era Gotham with Batman chasing Jack the Ripper.

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Hedy Lamarr

1) Incredibly talented actress

2) Inventor, self taught mostly, who worked for Howard Hughes at one point, also helped invent the Frequency Hopping Spectrum to jam Nazi torpedos (Tech would later be incorporated into Wifi)

3) During World War II, the Office of Strategic Services invented a pyrotechnic device meant to help agents operating behind enemy lines to escape if capture seemed imminent. When the pin was pulled, it made the whistle of a falling bomb followed by a loud explosion and a large cloud of smoke, enabling the agent to make his escape. It saved the life of at least one agent. The device was codenamed the Hedy Lamarr.

4) Incredible Recluse particularly later in her life

 

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5 hours ago, Hermit said:

Hedy Lamarr

1) Incredibly talented actress

2) Inventor, self taught mostly, who worked for Howard Hughes at one point, also helped invent the Frequency Hopping Spectrum to jam Nazi torpedos (Tech would later be incorporated into Wifi)

3) During World War II, the Office of Strategic Services invented a pyrotechnic device meant to help agents operating behind enemy lines to escape if capture seemed imminent. When the pin was pulled, it made the whistle of a falling bomb followed by a loud explosion and a large cloud of smoke, enabling the agent to make his escape. It saved the life of at least one agent. The device was codenamed the Hedy Lamarr.

4) Incredible Recluse particularly later in her life

 

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Sniped by Hermit!

 

She was the inspiration for the chief villain in the Agent Carter miniseries.

 

Dean Shomshak

The Onion did a story about Stephen Hawking as a superhero who turned his wheelchair into a flying battlesuit. He gave a statement about possessing powers as vast and incalculable as the Universe before blasting off into space to battle the Galactons.

 

Dean Shomshak

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I'm tempted to say that Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans would end up being similar to their fictional counterparts. Not because of their portrayals but because of the stuff they've done outside of that.

 

In RDJ's case, visiting lots of amputees with new, advanced prosthetics. In some kind of Super-hero universe, I could see his influence in that field being able to get all sorts of hyper-advanced prosthetics, to a "winter soldier" level, ending up making lots of people into cyborg super-heroes.

 

In Chris Evans case, his crusading against the resurgence of actual Nazis, which, in a super-hero universe, means that he's going to end up as a super-hero, fighting the forces of, for example, the Red Skull.

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17 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I always thought Hawking's disease would better fit the motivation for a supervillain. Bitterness, jealousy, need to overcompensate, that sort of thing.

That has been a persistent theme in the genre, or at least, an old theme.  Heroes tending to be physical paragons, villains tending to be deformed (they went over that in Unbreakable, IIRC).  Part of the visual and allegorical (and 'for kids' in the sense of not expecting kids to be sophisticated thinkers) nature of the medium:  good & evil are not just in the characters' words and deeds, but obvious from their appearance.

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51 minutes ago, Opal said:

That has been a persistent theme in the genre, or at least, an old theme.  Heroes tending to be physical paragons, villains tending to be deformed (they went over that in Unbreakable, IIRC).  Part of the visual and allegorical (and 'for kids' in the sense of not expecting kids to be sophisticated thinkers) nature of the medium:  good & evil are not just in the characters' words and deeds, but but obvious from their appearance.

 

Very valid observation. But I wasn't alluding to Hawking's physical appearance, but how the effects of trauma lend themselves to archetypal comic villainy. Most villains see themselves as victims, abused or ostracized or suffering an unjust fate, and sublimate grief or jealousy by overcompensating, raising themselves above the rest of the world, or imposing their will on it. The traumatic event frequently is disfiguring, but it can have wholly internal effects. The Injustice incarnation of Superman is the most widely-known recent example.

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On the supervillain side, then German chemist Fritz Haber supplies plenty of inspiration:

Fritz Haber - Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Haber

 

Brilliant, beyond doubt. The 1918 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was only the most notable of his awards. His doscoveries are significant in several areas of chemistry. As inventor of the Haber-Bosch process for turning atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, as the first step in making fertilizers, he greatly increase food production: The article includes an estimate that half of humanity directly owes its daily bread to Fritz Haber. But he was also arrogant, callous and jingoistically patriotic in his active promotion and participation in German gas warfare in World War One. His lab also incidentally invented Zyklon-B, though it was meant to fumigate grain instead of exterminating Jews. Dramatists have found Haber an engagingly complex figure.

 

There is rather less ambiguity in our second Chemist of Destruction, Thomas Midgley, Jr.:

 

Midgley's first claim to infamy is his part in developing and promoting tetraethyllead as a gasoline additive. As the article notes, when concerns arose over TEL's toxicity, Midgley held a press conference in which he washed his hands in the compound and inhaled its vapors for a minute to show its harmlessness. Not mentioned (I get this from a friend who read about him) Midgley immediately left for a hospital to be treated for lead poisoning. So, yeah, he villainously lied for the sake of corporate profits. Haber was flawed; I have to see Midgley as evil.

 

For an encore, Midgley was in the team of chemists that invented Freon. Midgley didn't live to see the ozone hole or the research tying TEL to lead-induced brain damage in children. But we now know he poisoned the air on a far grander scale than Haber achieved or sought.

 

(Though I note that one of Haber's discoveries might have warned us. Haber found that a long exposure to low concentrations of poison caused as much damage as an immediate exposure to a large dose. The amounts of lead put into the air by burning leaded gasoline seemed too low to matter. But that low exposure over years or decades...?)

 

Dean Shomshak

 

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29 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Very valid observation. But I wasn't alluding to Hawking's physical appearance, but how the effects of trauma lend themselves to archetypal comic villainy. Most villains see themselves as victims, abused or ostracized or suffering an unjust fate, and sublimate grief or jealousy by overcompensating, raising themselves above the rest of the world, or imposing their will on it. The traumatic event frequently is disfiguring, but it can have wholly internal effects. The Injustice incarnation of Superman is the most widely-known recent example.

 

Speaking of Superman and terrible fates, I would posit Christopher Reeves as a superhero if you toss in a mech suit or medical therapy to restore his mobility or even give him super-powers.  The exception that proves the rule.

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I could see Alfred Nobel instead of setting up a system of prizes in penance for inventing dynamite instead funding mystery men to fight evil wherever it is found. And regardless of governments and their laws.

 

He was effectively a multi-millionaire businessman (in today's dollars) who outright owned multiple businesses (including dozens of munitions factories) and had 355 patents for various inventions.

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22 hours ago, steriaca said:

So Ryan Reynolds is going to fight Nazism with vodka and mobile phones? Or is he going to force them to watch Green Lantern?

 

Let's hope he goes for a straight forward fight.  If being forced into watching GL, it would cause them to implode. 

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On 7/14/2021 at 5:04 PM, death tribble said:

Rasputin

Poisoned, shot and then thrown into a river to die. Could cure people (?)

Also reputedly adept at mesmerism. At the very least, sufficiently charismatic to have heads of state wrapped around his little finger. There's a reason he's been picked as a supernatural villain in more than one work of fiction.

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2 hours ago, Matt the Bruins said:

Also reputedly adept at mesmerism. At the very least, sufficiently charismatic to have heads of state wrapped around his little finger. There's a reason he's been picked as a supernatural villain in more than one work of fiction.

In White Wolf's "World of Darkness" games, it became a running joke to have Rasputin being ascribed to multiple vampire clans, mage traditions, and possibly other supernatural "types."

 

Dean Shomshak

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3 hours ago, DShomshak said:

In White Wolf's "World of Darkness" games, it became a running joke to have Rasputin being ascribed to multiple vampire clans, mage traditions, and possibly other supernatural "types."

 

Dean Shomshak

 

 

In M&M's Atlas of the World, he was actually a Rakshasa from India working to foil his people's plans for moving outside of India!

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Hmm. Rasputin has quite the association with RPGs, now that I think of it, he was even given as an example of 18 CON in the 1e AD&D DMG, 1979.

 

I never used him in a game, but he was the origin story of an NPC hero in my old campaign world - White Tsar, supposedly Alexei Romanov & a disciple of Rasputin, a low-power super-soldier, but virtually immortal... I can't remember the exact build, but the f/x was you could shoot him full of holes and he'd bleed more than a human body could hold, but still stagger around, as if he were taking one last dying action...after another...

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4 hours ago, tkdguy said:

 

Let's face it, Chuck Norris needs to be on this list as well.

 Huck Norris, Mister T, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee. The Legendary Three And One Martial Arts Ghost.

 

Jack The Ripper, the Texarkana Phantom, and The Zodiac might make for an intresting villain group. All three are real world killers who were never caught, and all three have achieved the "more likely dead themselves unless something supernatural happened" status.

 

For more information about the Texarkana Phantom, see this Wikipedia article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texarkana_Moonlight_Murders?wprov=sfla1 . You can also watch the movies based on the case, The Town That Dreaded Sundown and it's remake/sequel-ish movie. 

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