Heroes and Villains

A 33-post collection

Challenge #02671-G114: The Mighty Paragon

What kind of man was Steve Rogers, to fight for America with his background?

In the original comics, he was Irish from the Lower East Side. This means he was probably Irish Catholic from the tenements, which meant he was considered by most Americans with power (maybe) one step above dirt.

On the other hand, he was a tall, blond, blue-eyed man, the Nazi ideal. The Catholic church coexisted with the Nazis without severe discrimination. Many Irish were allied with the Nazis.

He grew up in a multicultural multiracial neighborhood and would have known many people that the Nazis considered less, but he would not have been one of the people they considered less due to their genetics.

So what kind of man could look out, see the horrors that are being done to other people, and choose to ally with the people who treated him and many others like dirt instead of the ones who would treat him extremely well but commit atrocities against others, and continue to do so over the course of an entire war?

And for a laundry list of references related to this...

https://historicallyaccuratesteve.tumblr.com/post/92559081749/protestant-steve-rogers-v-catholic-steve-rogers

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/captain-america-getting-real-life-statue-some-say-its-wrong-place-180959706/

https://www.history.com/topics/immigration/tenements

https://iowaculture.gov/history/education/educator-resources/primary-source-sets/irish-immigration-beyond-potato-famine

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/nazi-racism

https://markhumphrys.com/sfira.nazis.html -- Neemers

[AN: Owing to my dreams of actually putting a price tag on my anthology, I can't actually write about Captain America. So let's make up a strikingly similar hero]

A hero fights, not because they like fighting, but because some evil must be stopped with brute force. Two factions are at war, and in some ways they are alike in villainy. However, there is a key difference. On one side, the downtrodden are still permitted to have a voice. People have the freedom to speak. The freedom, also, to choose who they listen to. The freedom to act upon their convictions or to choose to remain complicit in tyranny.

Interestingly, the nation with those freedoms had the other crib notes from it and turn the philosophies just three degrees more evil. But that's not why we are here.

Picture a hero. Good. Now picture almost the exact opposite of that. Scrawny, weak, always sick. Culturally, they are the lowest of the low. The most reviled. The hated. However, this hero is lucky enough to exist in the nation that allows such people to live their own lives. This hero can speak. This hero can listen. This hero lives in a cluster of other such reviled and hated folks, but they do not hate. These rejected persons are their neighbours. Friends, allies, connections to acquire what is needed. A network who shares what little they have, for the betterment of all.

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Challenge #02515-F325: Pig Hero

I knew it was futile to ask, it’s nearly impossible for someone like me. But I needed to know, to clear the doubt in my mind, so I can push forward. With a shaken voice I asked, “I can be a hero too, right?” -- Anon Guest

The Great Golden Leader looked down at me, cloak and hair flowing in the wind. She was a vision of muscular perfection and might. Her magnificent dark skin marred slightly by a few battle-scars.

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Challenge #02496-F306: Legend Commence

I may be blind but I can still kick your ass -- Anon Guest

"Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men," -- Terry Pratchett.

He was old, and balding, and had the kind of life-worn face that could make a raisin look youthful. He was feeling his way along the road with a staff, and seemed to be deliberate about being slow about it. Fortunately for Threnody, she had heard of Rule One.

"Ho there, Uncle," she said.

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Challenge #02400-F210: From the Ashes

Who comes to the aid of someone marked as "bad"? Where is the villain's hero? -- Anon Guest

Morality is not a binary switch. One does not flip from 'good' to 'evil' or vice versa. There's a sliding scale of evil that moves from refusing to tip your restaurant waitstaff through parking in disabled parking spaces to outright deciding that hungry people need to deserve to eat before one can give them food. After that comes definite evil, like not paying employees

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Challenge #02336-F146: We Can be Heroes

Almost everyone remembers where they were the week the Sun turned Green. Scientists the world over confirmed it was an interstellar dust wave caused by an ancient supernova that had interacted with our atmosphere.

Humanity had continued mostly unaffected. But this was the stuff of comic books and movies. the changes were subtle at first. People noticing enhanced benefits from consuming certain plants, others started tapping into new abilities, and as time progressed things became... strange

now we had almost legitimate "supers"

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Challenge #02296-F106: Some Improvements

You are a therapist who insists that all are welcome. This is why you now know the identities of both heroes and villains. -- Anon Guest

Y'know, for a therapist, I'm... kind of unobservant. I mean, sure, I know I can't help everyone, but I listen well and I try my best, so it kind of works out. That, and I take doctor-patient confidentiality very seriously. I'm one of the few people who knows who Captain Magnificent is when he's not in

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Challenge #02177-E348: The Biggest Speech Wins

Monologuing Villain encounter Drama Queen Hero. To the detriment of both minions and party members. -- Anon Guest

Alcratho was midway through Opus 67: You Don't Understand My Struggles (It's a Harsh World and We Can Remake it). His nearby minions made themselves comfortable.

Meanwhile, working on counterpoint Zanthinar was midway through his epic performance of Oh My Trials! and his cohort were busy busting out the cushions to sit on and using Create Popcorn.

To the uninitiated, it seemed like they

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Challenge #01939-E115: Baby's First Flight

I'll spread my wings and learn to fl- oh, crap, sorry, I didn't mean to knock that over. I underestimated my wingspan. -- TheDragonsFlame

The thing about wings is, they're the largest part of any flying creature's anatomy. They have to be. In order to independently lift one's own body-weight, most of that weight has to be doing the heavy lifting. And if you're flapping to do it... well... there's a reason why the largest flying birds in the world employ the

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Challenge #01918-E094: Weapons of Mass Pacifism

Sometimes, some people are born with a kind of "blessing". It makes them totally unable to understand the concept of "evil". And it could create people, children most of the time, that are so pure and innocent that even the most ferocious beast or darkest dark lord wouldn't even think about hurting it. -- Anon Guest

There are people and things that are too good to be real. Well-behaved puppies. Ball pits filled with plushies. The really expensive salted caramel ice cream.

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Challenge #01901-E077: Ordering the New World

The bookkeeper of a new evil organisation to their superior:

I'm sorry but no, a "giant robot of doom with lasers that go pew pew" is not feasible. Because not only it sounds silly, but we lack the funding. And no, I won't allow any medium or high destruction plan as long as you didn't find a way to increase our income. If you want to blow things up, I'll only allow dynamite. And we can't pay more than 5 minions at

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Challenge #01900-E076: Enter the Whupass!

[Person 1]: “How did I survive that?! Do I have some kind of plot armour?”

[Person 2]: “Nah, that’s ridiculous.” (Glances towards hidden camera) -- TheDragonsFlame

Sorrin Tael, master of Ohnono-jitsu, smirked at the camera that only he could see.

Falin tried to see what he was looking at, but the invisible camera moved. "What? Who are doing that to?"

"It's part of the secrets of my mystical art," said Sorrin. "Something you must learn from the mystical monks of Mojave.

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Challenge #01761-D300: Who You Choose to Be

Sometimes an actor takes on a role that leads to consequences. In remembrance of someone most of you have never heard of: William Boyd aka Hopalong Cassidy. Children's hero of the 1930's/40's. He refused to be other than a hero to them. -- Knitnan

Albert Dennis was a rogue. Everyone who knew him knew that. He was a renowned philanderer, frequent drunkard, and all-around party boy. He would lie, cheat, and steal his way into whatever he wanted with no regard

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Challenge #01753-D292: Quest's End

"Are you okay?"

"I may be crying, but I can still kick your ass!" -- OohLookShiny

To be heroic, you don't have to be physically strong. It's an advantage to have that, but it is not necessary. To be heroic, all one needs to do is continue in your efforts to improve the world despite the torturous circumstances in your way. People even have a term for the sort who can deal a lot of damage, but also end up almost ruined

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Challenge #01727-D266: Special Needs

The concept is fairly vanilla. Not so very long ago historically, say a generation or three, people started occasionally randomly developing superhuman abilities. But the twist was that it was in a world with no assumed behavior of putting on tights and fighting crime. So for the most part, powers are more of an embarrassing social condition, roughly between genital herpes and Tourette's Syndrome, depending on the ability in question.

But who is to say a new ability will automatically be cool?

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Challenge #01714-D253: Discrete Service

The Exclusive Tailors and Modistes, who outfit Super Heroes. And you can send up Mr Humphries of "Are you being served?" here if you like. -- Knitnan

The Client had been aiming for a Look. That much was established. They kept asking for the special offers, and turning down the items available to the public. Finally, after fifteen different ensembles, they said, "Maybe... something from the basement?"

Ah. That was why they were taking their time and being so indecisive. "Of course,

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