Created By: Theenmityofages1994 on September 30, 2011 Last Edited By: Theenmityofages1994 on January 1, 2012
Nuked

Powers For Hire

Superpowered person will use their powers for cash.

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Trope
When someone has superpowers, and advertises their powers for hire/uses their powers openly for their job. Variants can be heroic (such as the Trope Namer, Harry Dresden), and often take side jobs gratis/do it for very little under extenuating circumstances. Other versions run the whole gamut from Heroic to Amoral.

Often involves Mundane Utility.

Contrast Cut Lex Luthor a Check/Reed Richards Is Useless.

Needs More Examples.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • After Luke Cage got his powers he set up shop as a Hero for Hire. Later Iron Fist joined him, and still later there was a whole team (which didn't include Cage or Fist).
  • DC Comics' Hero Hotline is like this. You need a hero, call them.
  • Doctor Strange on occasion, overlapping with Occult Detective. Although he seems to do it pro bono.
  • Deadpool. 'The Merc with A Mouth'. Kind of self explanatory.

Literature
  • Trope Namer (the first anthology, books 1-3 to be precise) and heroic example is Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files. He works as a PI in modern day Fantasy Kitchen Sink but with active Masquerade, Chicago and makes potions (he is very firm: No Love Potions), finds things and generally helps people. If they are in life threatening danger, however, he often does it for free.
    • Elaine Mallory from The Dresden Files is also an example. In fact, she has been directly inspired by Harry, and is also under 'Wizard' in the phone book.
    • Jared Kincaid a.k.a 'The Hell Hound' from the same series. A hitman/bodyguard who charges enormous rates, and is easily worth it.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons has rules for purchasing an NPC caster's services (though generally only going for the list price for spells that cost nothing to cast and don't require the wizard to go anywhere).
  • GURPS Supers supplement Supertemps. Super powered characters could work for a business called Supertemps, which would match characters to jobs based on which Stock Superpower(s) they possessed.
  • Shadowrun. Some characters with magical abilities sell their services to the general public.
  • Brave New World. U.S. characters with super abilities are normally required to join the Federal government's Delta Prime, but some are allowed to sell their services to private companies.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • September 30, 2011
    deuxhero
    Namer, not maker.

    • Dungeons And Dragons has rules for purchasing an NPC caster's services (though generally only going for the list price for spells that cost nothing to cast and don't require the wizard to go anywhere).
  • October 1, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • After Luke Cage got his powers he set up shop as a Hero for Hire. Later Iron Fist joined him, and still later there was a whole team (which didn't include Cage or Fist).
    • DC Comics' Hero Hotline is like this. You need a hero, call them.
  • October 1, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • GURPS Supers supplement Supertemps. Super powered characters could work for a business called Supertemps, which would match characters to jobs based on which Stock Superpower(s) they possessed.
    • Shadowrun. Some characters with magical abilities sell their services to the general public.
    • Brave New World. U.S. characters with super abilities are normally required to join the Federal government's Delta Prime, but some are allowed to sell their services to private companies.
  • October 1, 2011
    Koveras
    Elaine Mallory from The Dresden Files is also an example. In fact, she has been directly inspired by Harry.
  • October 1, 2011
    Chariset
    Doctor Strange on occasion, overlapping with Occult Detective. Although he seems to do it pro bono
  • October 1, 2011
    Deboss
    I'm pretty sure we've got this. I think it might be under something like Heroes For Hire. Let me click around. Blast, can't seem to find it.
  • October 2, 2011
    NetMonster
    There's also Reed Richards Is Useless (contrast).
  • October 2, 2011
    TechUnadept
    Proposed alt title: Have Wand Will Travel
  • October 3, 2011
    TrustBen
    I think Mercenary Hero might be better. Wizard For Hire and Have Wand Will Travel both sound like they're specifically about magic-users, while the trope refers to superpowered people in general.
  • October 3, 2011
    Bisected8
    • In Toriko the precognative Coco sells his services as a fortune teller in between jobs.
  • October 3, 2011
    SharleeD
    Powers For Hire would be better than Mercenary Hero, which sounds like somebody who totes More Dakka and has no special powers except being a good shot.

    John Taylor from the Nightside series spent a lot of his career as this trope, although he has to resort to mundane detective-work when his own special Gift is inaccessible or neutralized.
  • October 4, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Over the years, Champions has had a number of superpowered NPCs that sell their services to the highest bidder.
  • October 25, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Labor Force, a black-and-white Comic Book from the mid-80s.
  • October 25, 2011
    cityofmist
    The Bondsmagi in Locke Lamora.
  • October 25, 2011
    DaibhidC
    Some overlap with Punch Clock Hero. There's certainly a lot of examples there that could go here.
  • October 25, 2011
    Bisected8
  • October 25, 2011
    bulmabriefs144
    Doctor Strange doesn't need to do it for money. He can fabricate gold or gems himself, so material possessions have become irrelevant. There's also a webcomic called Mystic For Hire, though her powers are more self-affecting.

    Hey, ppl trying to change the name, here's the standard: Has Trope Namer > Precise Name > Catchy Name (Have wand will travel) > Irrelevant Name > Name that requires rewrite (Mercenary Hero requires you broaden the spectrum to not just wizards or even superpowered to normal heroes, and it's covered under Punch Clock Hero)
  • October 25, 2011
    nitrokitty
    ^ You forgot > Boring Name.
  • December 23, 2011
    Lavalyte
    Hero For Hire, shouldn't this be?
  • December 23, 2011
    cityofmist
    No, because the trope's not about heroes, it's about anyone with magical powers of some kind. The two aren't the same.
  • December 31, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • GURPS
      • GURPS Supers supplement Mixed Doubles. The hero Profiteer will only fight crime or save lives if he's paid to do so. He offers "assistance contracts" to organizations and political entities so they can retain his services in advance.
  • December 31, 2011
    SKJAM
    • Back during the early Bronze Age, DC Comics had Golden Eagle, a Heroic Wannabe who attempted to sell his services. Since at the time, the DC civilians were used to superheroes working for free, he was not very successful.
  • December 31, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    Seth in Misfits, able to give normal people superpowers (his other power is being able to absorb superpowers from the empowered) so he sets himself up as a dealer in superpowers.
  • January 1, 2012
    Mith4
    Spiderman started out doing this, before he used his powers for good.
  • January 1, 2012
    kjnoren
    Spiderman is an example of a related trope, With Great Power Comes Great Perks, where someone uses their superpowers for some sort of personal gain, be it monetary, in fame, or in something else.
  • January 1, 2012
    MorganWick
    Bulma, your progression seems to encourage Trope Namer Syndrome.
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