Re: Indirect discussion
Those who were already part of the group, would not have to re-justify their position. It is the independents, loners, and freelance agents who, looking to join a group, would pick one of their own power level (or, failing that, the group might decide to reject new applicants, based on not wanting to be overshadowed by their new sidekicks).
Of course, if the other players are comfortable with the idea, and their characters are too, the GM can consider whether this satisfies any other elements in their personal meta-system.
This isn't about characters, actually; as I said, part is to characters.
But part is to players.
The players were involved with the game; their (character's) rewards, and consequences, are justified.
True, and as I said, HERO could use more flexibility in that respect.