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Web Original / How To Hero

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How To Hero is a satirical guide to being a superhero, striving to cover all aspects of day-to-day superherodom and to give advice for any situation a superhero might find themselves in.

Starting in April 2017, How To Hero updates twice weekly with new topics, ranging from classic superhero staples like "Costumes" and "Codenames" to more specific situations like "Sharing Your Powers" or "Being Bitten by A Radioactive Animal." Each post features a blend of jokes mixed in with (allegedly) helpful advice and in-universe examples that serve to build the superhero/sci-fi/fantasy world in which How To Hero operates.

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  • Action-Hero Babysitter: The Guide mentions babysitters who are secretly superheroes and advises them to stay with the children they're supposed to be watching and fighting crime some other time.
  • The Adjectival Superhero: Heroes are cautioned not to call themselves "The Unbeatable Whatever" because that will just be seen as begging supervillains to try to defeat them.
  • Adventurer Outfit: The guide recommends donning one of these if you're going to explore caves or ancient temples in search of magical artifacts.
  • Affectionate Parody: The whole blog is this for the superhero genre.
  • Alien Animals: The guide deals with these in their entry on "Pets".
  • Alien Invasion: There's a whole post on them
  • Alliterative Name: How To Hero seems to love this trope: Professor Paleontologist, Armored Atlas, Rambunctious Red-Light Runner, Pointlessly Polite Pick Pocket, Super Sprinkler...
    • This is the reason the Moon Men are called the Moon Men despite including both men and women.
  • Almost Famous Name: Played with. How To Hero sometimes does this when creating parodies of famous superheroes, such as Hatman and Petey Parkour.
  • An Ice Person: Cryoblast.
  • Animal Superheroes: See Animal Sidekicks
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Wombat Wonder, Primordial Panther, Titanium Pig Man...
  • Archer Archetype: Discussed at length in Archers and Arrows. The concept is traced back to a man named "Frederick (last name unknown let’s just say it’s Arrowpants)" who is credited with inspiring the Robin Hood myth.
  • Atrocious Alias: The guide believes that Professor Paleontologist has one.
  • “Awesome McCool” Name: Cowboy Rockstar who is not only a cowboy and a rockstar but he's also an astronaut and 1/8 T-Rex. And he never smokes because smoking isn't cool.
  • Back from the Dead: Naturally the guide has an entry on this
  • Badass Cape: The guide acknowledges that they look cool but cautions superheroes against wearing them.
    • Cape Snag: Why the guide cautions superheroes against wearing capes.
  • Badass Normal: See Being the Only Powerless Person on Your Team
  • Badass Teacher: The guide recommends getting an active, or retired, superhero mentor.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The guide suggests that if you don't know where the local supervillain bar is in your city then you're not doing your job right.
  • The Bar Tender: The Guide mentions a bartending superhero who believes that sometimes supervillains just need someone to listen to them while they wipe they same spot of the bar with an old rag over and over again.
  • Bat Signal: The Guide advises to avoid these as they're just a big flashing light letting bad guys know that you're heading to the police station.
  • The Beastmaster: The guide mentions heroes who can control animals or talk to animals in the entry on Animal Sidekicks
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: The guide's entry on "Kidnapping" talks about this. Superheroes who find themselves in this situation are advised to rolls their eyes continuously until one of their allies rescues them.
  • Building Swing: Like grappling hooks, the guide does not see this as a good way of getting around.
  • Bus Full of Innocents: The guide recommends saving a bus carrying an entire orchestra so they'll compose an epic theme song for you out of thanks.
  • Butt-Monkey: The superhero, Professor Paleontologist (real name: Leon Von Iguanodon) tends to be the butt of many jokes as well as often being cited as an example of what not to do if you want to be a successful superhero.
  • Cape Busters: The guide repeatedly reminds heroes that, at least at first, they're going to be hunted by the police because they're technically always committing crimes.
  • Captain Geographic: Discussed in the entry on state-sponsored heroes.
  • Captain Patriotic: Parodies and embodied by Captain Patriot.
  • Captain Superhero: Captain Thunder, Captain Warhead, Captain Patriot...
  • Chest Insignia: The guide discourages these as they are just brightly colored targets over your vital organs.
  • The Chosen One: There's a whole post about them here.
  • Clark Kenting: This comes up in the guide's post about maintaining a secret identity.
  • Color Character: Yellowjacket.
  • Cool Car: There's a whole entry on vehicles.
  • Cool Mask: The need for a mask is covered in the entry on costumes.
  • Cool Starship: The entry on alien invasions has an entire paragraph instructing readers to work invasions to their advantage so they can secure one of these. Later entries introduce Dirty Denny's Starship Dealership.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The guide's goal is to prepare superheroes for any kind of situation they might encounter.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: The guide sometimes talks about the Billionaires with Issues™ type of superhero.
  • Death Is Cheap: The guide has an entry on superheroes coming back to life.
  • De-Power: See Losing Your Superpowers
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: At one point The Guide mentions a superhero whose day job is being a ballboy throwing a baseball at Cthulhu.
  • Domino Mask: The guide hates these and discourages superheroes from wearing them if they're looking to protect their identity.
  • Dramatic Unmask: There's a whole post detailing how to do just that with as much drama as possible.
  • Eco-Terrorist: The Guide mentions eco-terrorists as one of the many types of bad guys superheroes might have to fight.
  • Enemy Mine: The entry on team-ups.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The guide agrees that being able to summon time-displaced dinosaurs to fight crime would be a very cool power... in any hands other than Professor Paleontologist's.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The Octomen seem to be some kind of species of evil cephalopods.
  • Evil All Along: The possibility that a reformed villain might be this is discussed.
  • Evil Knockoff: Discussed in the entry on evil clones.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The guide features a few of these. Generally as nameless archetypes such as "dark mages" or "evil wizards." Potentially your local village mystic might turn out to be one.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The post titled "How To Disguise Yourself as a Human When You are in Fact a Sentient Android."
  • Eye Beams: Various eye beams are mentioned by the guide at various points including lasers, fire, lightning, and even sweaters at one point.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: We've got werewolves, genies, vampires, witches, wizards, Greek gods, talismans, zombies, mermaids, eldritch abominations, ogre superhero teams. At this point it's safe to say that all manner of magical and mystical beings exist in the world of How To Hero. In fact, the guide's very first entry encourages readers to blackmail their local village mystic to gain superpowers.
  • Faux to Guide: The whole thing is this for people who want to be superheroes.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Bureau of UFO Tracking, Transporting and Studying.
  • Flying Brick: The guide refers to heroes like these as "flying tanks" because they can fly, have super strength, and usually possess some sort of eye beam.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: There's a whole entry on mind-swaps.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The guide does not approve of these.
  • Green Thumb: The guide features a hero called The Photsynthesizer who is described as "The man who eats like a plant, likes taking pictures, and plays electropop music." It is suggested that readers team-up with him in the event of a zombie apocalypse due to plants' and zombies' age-old animosity.
  • Hammerspace: Discussed while talking about Pocket Dimensions.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The entry on "Lame Superpowers" is all about teaching heroes how to make good use out of their seemingly lame superpowers.
  • Heel–Face Turn: See Reformed Villians.
  • Hell Hound: The post "Going To Hell" discusses these, in particular Cerberus, three headed hound who likes music and playing fetch.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: There's a villain from the 60s named Lady Richter who could create earthquakes. Some historical reports claim that she met her demise when one of her earthquakes destroyed her hideout while she was still inside it.
  • Humongous Mecha: Spider-Mecha, Nukeborg. The phenomenon is discussed in the post Giants
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap: The guide suggests sending immortal people into situations that would kill regular heroes.
  • Instant Messenger Pigeon: The guide frequently mentions carrier pigeons as a viable form of contacting other people. At one point the author of the guide muses that if he had a carrier pigeon he would name it Carry the Pigeon. Carry would then go on to appear in a few other entries.
  • Junior Counterpart: Hatboy to Hatman.
  • Kid Sidekick: In the words of How To Hero "a child is the worst thing you can bring to a gun fight, even worse than a knife!" the guide in general is very against the concept of bringing children with you to fight supervillains.
    • Despite that there's an entry on them here.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Discussed in the entry on weaknesses.
  • Legacy Character: The guide has an entry on this topic.
  • The Legions of Hell: The guide discusses how to fight or circumvent them in their entry on Going to Hell
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: The message of the post Young Immortals
  • Logical Weakness: The guide often encourages heroes to take advantage of these when choosing which bad guys to fight or which threats to respond to.
    • From the entry on prioritizing: "Hydrokinetic superheroes (that’s people who can control water) or people who can turn their bodies into the form of water (like the form of an ice-unicycle or a bucket of water) should be sent to deal with fires or beached whales."
    • From the entry on starter villains: "Water powers beat fire powers; rock powers beat scissor powers which beat paper powers."

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