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Off My Mind: What Should be in a Superhero’s Last Will and Testament

Being a hero is dangerous and there should always be a worst case scenario in place.

Superheroes have amazing powers and abilities. Unfortunately the more active they are, the higher the threat level of enemies that come gunning for them. It’s up to the hero to ensure they are properly trained to take on the dangers of fighting crime and apprehending supervillains.

Despite all the training, there is always the possibility they will have to sacrifice themselves for innocent lives or they could simply slip up and get taken out by an enemy. With the death of a hero, careful preparation needs to be put in place to avoid even more disaster and tragedy.

They may spend hours upon hours training and preparing to take on any threat that may come along. Should a tragedy occur and they are out of the picture, it's still their duty to think about what might happen after that. For all the good they do, they are racking up the points against some of the most evil and vile individuals out there.

There are three basic things a hero needs to prepare for should they meet their demise.

What happens to their loved ones?

Perhaps the most important concern for the hero is their loved ones. Many superheroes maintain a secret identity to protect those closest to them. If a hero died in the line of duty and their identity was revealed, evil villains might see this as a way to dance on the hero’s grave. They may want to continue their revenge against the hero’s family and friends, out of cruelly or even boredom. Some villains form a sort of sick relationship with their hero-nemesis. This could be their final dance or act of revenge against the fallen hero.

Superheroes need to make sure their family and friends will be protected when they're gone. Even if they don't share their secret identity with anyone when they're alive, they need to find someone that will be willing to take the task of protecting these innocents if the worst happens. Some heroes may see themselves as loners but they'll need to suck it up and try to find someone they can trust to do the right thing when they're gone.

Who will protect their city?

Most heroes patrol a certain area. Gotham City has Batman. Metropolis has Superman. New York City can usually count on Spider-Man to swing into action and save the day. In some cases, like New York City or even Gotham, there are other heroes that might step forward should the resident hero disappear.

The active hero will want to make preparations to have someone else protect their city in their absence. Imagine if Batman truly died and no one took his place. His rogues gallery would throw a massive party and probably burn Gotham to the ground. Supervillains might want to destroy a hero’s city, just out of spite for the years of defeat and humiliation.

Throughout their criminal career, some villains don't set their sights on world domination. To gain control of a hero's beloved city could be exactly what would make their day. It's up to the hero to ensure someone else will step up and take their place to protect the city.

What happens to all their stuff?

Many superheroes tend to have a lot of gear, vehicles, or a secret base of operations. If these items fell into the wrong hands, it could be disastrous. Imagine a villain driving around causing havoc in the Batmobile. What if Lex Luthor got a hold of everything Superman has lying around the Fortress of Solitude.

What about all the data and information on the Batcomputer or in Mister Fantastic’s labs? In the events of a superhero’s death, they need to make sure a trusted friend or ally will safeguard everything and ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Not only could it be dangerous for those closest to the departed hero, it could also be bad news for the city or world at large.

Supervillains can be formidable individuals as it is. Gaining access to a superhero's arsenal could put them over the top. Even the other heroes around might not be prepared should a villain get a hold of these goods. If the hero has a big enough reputation, they might even what to think about having someone else take on their mantle.

No one wants to think about their demise. Superheroes have dedicated their lives to fighting evil and put themselves in danger everyday. There’s always the possibility their luck will run out, regardless how trained or skilled they are. Even if they try keeping themselves separated from friends or family, their arsenal against evil could be used for foul purposes if they end up in the wrong hands. Clear instructions are needed to make sure the villains don’t take advantage of the hero’s death.

Luckily, the death of a hero doesn’t last too long. They seem to return from the dead before this can become an issue. That being said, they also have to make sure their will has a clause to get all their stuff back if they do come back.

48 Comments
Edited by AmazingWebHead

"Dark Knight Rises", dude. Leave instructions for the sidekick to carry on the fight when they're gone. Who else would the hero trust enough to do it besides the one they trained?

Oh, and, first. (By now this is practically my catchphrase :) )

Posted by KEROGA

Who gets the secret headquarters?

Who gets the gadgets?

Who gets the mantle/codename?

who gets the secrets?

Edited by Teerack

Their mantle. Like how Johnny Storm's was like "Peter is the only one I want to give my spot on the team to." Based of The Venture Bros. I also really like the idea of their arch nemesis being in their will as well lol.

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Edited by MadeinBangladesh

I'm curious what Wolverine will leave in his will for this SON.........

Edited by AllStarSuperman
@amazingwebhead said:

Oh, and, first. (By now this is practically my catchphrase :) )

Beware the danger in the path you follow I got banned on freaking Christmas for saying first too much

Posted by Cave_Duck

I'm curious what Wolverine will leave in his will for this SON.........

a snorkel? :P

Posted by whoisme

Most Superheros don't have any money. Usually it's just one person who is rich. Let's look at the justice league. Batman, obviously. He probably pays for the majority of expenses. There is also wonder woman, being a princess and all, but I don't know how much money the amazions have or if it could be converted into dollars. Flash is a scientist, but not a very famous or wealthy one. Green lantern is a pilot. Superman has a reporter's salary. Aquman is the same as wonder woman.

Most of their legacy would have to do with their loved ones and the organisation they are in. I'm sure the Justice League will protect Lois if Superman dies. Other than that, they would probably contribute all their stuff and everything they had to their friends/the organization they are a part of.

Posted by scouts1998

Who gets the rest of the ice cream in the fridge? (how has nobody got this)

Edited by Rev_Sulphur

Well superheros rarely stay dead so why bother with a will.

Posted by Rev_Sulphur
Posted by DoctorSean

@amazingwebhead: what if the hero has no sidekick? who will step up if they never trained anyone?

Posted by Lvenger

Nicely written article but I'm surprised you didn't write a section on the hero's mantle. Passing on their identity or status to the next hero would be very important for the next in line to protect the city of their predecessor. Whether it's someone taking over the mantle or a new hero altogether, the next in line superhero should be considered in a superhero's last will and testaments. Without someone in mind to take over, who's gonna protect the city after they're gone?

Posted by sinestro_GL

Or...just say:

"I'll see you guys when one of you guys figure out how to resurrect me...'till then, don't touch my stuff!"

Posted by wundagoreborn

This would be an interesting fan fiction exercise - writing the Last Will & Testament of your favorite characters.

Posted by dkmark96

Reading this I realized that even he is considered a loner, Batman would have more people in his will than most of the heroes.

Edited by Rangerion

I guess superheroes will always be prepared for this, so they not only have a well-prepared will, but a backup plan. I think that's even more important than a will. If they're beaten, someone will have prepared to take their place.

Posted by Rainja

U do know there fictional characters? Who cares!!!! A writer will just make someone else take up a simmilar role. :)

Edited by AmazingWebHead

@allstarsuperman said:

@amazingwebhead said:

Oh, and, first. (By now this is practically my catchphrase :) )

Beware the danger in the path you follow I got banned on freaking Christmas for saying first too much

Thank you for the advice.

@doctorsean said:

@amazingwebhead: what if the hero has no sidekick? who will step up if they never trained anyone?

…Okay, ya got me there. Well, the entire point of writing a will is to have the foresight to plan for your death, so naturally they should have the foresight to at least teach a friend a few things, right?

@dkmark96 said:

Reading this I realized that even he is considered a loner, Batman would have more people in his will than most of the heroes.

You're just now realizing this? :D After 7 Robins and 4 Batgirls?

Edited by scouts1998

@rev_sulphur: Who gets the rest of the ice cream because you don't want the ice cream going off, it needs to be eaten, but who gets to eat it?

Posted by teddy_the_god_killer

The only characters that actually "die" are so minor that they would not have much to leave. I would be interested to see what the big characters do for life insurance. Could be like a regular form of income. Need some extra cash for a holiday or death laser...have a small run in with your arch enemy and split the policy.

Although I would like to imagine that Batman would leave a few copper coins to a donkey sanctuary or something similar. Just to throw everyone off.

Posted by JackJack390

Who will replace Superman and take his belongings? Supergirl would probably get more stuff in the will but Superboy would replace Superman

Who will replace Batman and take his belongings? No one, Batman doesn't ever die

Posted by Mrnoital

after Barry Allen died, Hal and Ollie agreed on a plan of how to hide their secret identities and protect their loved ones even after death

and after Ollie was brought back to life(by Hal as the spectre) he realized the plan didn't go quite as expected(hal asked an immortal villain to collect his items for him and had a fat catman show up at ollies funeral)

Edited by MyNameIsWill

@rainja: When you grow up with a certain character and they die, you care.

Edited by StMichalofWilson

@keroga said:

Who gets the secret headquarters?

Who gets the gadgets?

Who gets the mantle/codename?

who gets the secrets?

Who gets the special discounts?

Posted by Rev_Sulphur
Posted by TDK_1997

Surprisingly short article. I mean articles like this tend to be longer or at least I think they should be longer but nicely written. The only thing you missed is the hero's mantle,who will take over.

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Posted by Rainja

@mynameiswill: Nah, there aren't real.This is just a form of entertainment.To refer to these characters and think of them as real people is going a bit too far in my opinion. Writers get paid to this. It's how they make there living. I really don't care who dies and who lives as long as it's written and illustrated properly.

Edited by G-Man

@tdk_1997: I did mention the mantle aspect. I didn't go into full detail there because not all heroes would pass on a mantle. Also, in the past, it seems longer articles aren't fully read.

Edited by MyNameIsWill

@rainja: I never referred to them as "real". So you're telling me when you read a comic, you have no feelings as to what happens to a certain character? That seems very boring, just to be honest.

Posted by TDK_1997

@g_man: Yeah, I know that you mentioned the mantle part but I just thought that you will talk longer about it. Also long articles aren't read when they are not dealing with something that interesting. At least I think that way.

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Edited by Knightsofdarkness2

Nice article, quite an interesting one indeed, But I do imagine that the heroes in the Justice League/Avengers team are pretty organized considering they have a strict set of rules and can contact tons of different heroes if something goes wrong or can create other back up teams, like for example the Avengers protect earth while the Guardians of the Galaxy protect space or the Justice League also save earth but have tons of different smaller teams (teen titans etc) for back-up or occasionally if the hero passes away, they take their place. So their kinda an organized community really, but other heroes may face difficulty passing on the mantle.

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Posted by Omega Ray Jay

Example:

As a final note, upon my inevitable resurrection it is my (current) earthly will that I am to be taken into the care of better writers, who will treat my existence with the due diligence that is expected of practitioners of the level of their profession, and not to be once again to placed in the position of being killed off during the annual summer event, at least for two or three years as I expect this request to be undertaken with a degree of reality.

Posted by i_dont_like_comics

batman's will: 'kill the joker. i was too much of a beatch to do it and save hundreds of thousands of people.'

Posted by Inconspicuously_Incognito

Love the article but I couldn't help but snicker at the superman pic at the top, reminded me of Monty Pyhon and the holy grail

Posted by The_Knight_Rhoden

I believe that, heroes who refuse to kill their villains are selfish, how so you may ask, well by not killing their villains countless other innocent lives are lost due to them being kept alive all because the hero wanted to look cool and hold the moral high ground. Lets face it there's a reason why the US military and government refuses to take chances, because they can't afford to. Keeping the villain alive would be justified if you had the absolute power to guarantee that nothing bad would come of it, but that has never happened. If your not good enough to keep your pet villain in check (I'm talking to you Batman) then just kill him before he can hurt anyone else. Don't be a delusional basket case trying to play God when you clearly don't have the power to do it.

Posted by Real-E_me

@lvenger said:

Nicely written article but I'm surprised you didn't write a section on the hero's mantle. Passing on their identity or status to the next hero would be very important for the next in line to protect the city of their predecessor. Whether it's someone taking over the mantle or a new hero altogether, the next in line superhero should be considered in a superhero's last will and testaments. Without someone in mind to take over, who's gonna protect the city after they're gone?

That's a more complicated question.

1) Not every hero leaves big boots to fill in or is that easy to replace when it comes to leaving the mantle behind for someone. For example, Cloak & Dagger are both great characters but nether as a duo or as individuals are they a Captain America. I mean, they don't uphold a perfect ideal so it's not that imperative for someone to fill in for them immediately after ether one or both of them are gone. I'm NOT saying that they wouldn't be missed just that they wouldn't necessarily leave a huge void in the lives of a lot of people. And even if they did, the standards they leave behind are too specific due to their powers and particular kind of team-up being so unique. Thus it's not easy for any new duo to just name itself "Cloak & Dagger". And standards such as superpowers and the kind of people you regularly work with are extremely low and easy to reach compared to (for example) those Captain America; heart, spirit, selflessness, courage, and being "loyal to nothing...except the Dream" (Steven Rogers, Daredevil Vol 1 233).

Nevertheless, if a hero does have a big legacy he or she should specify who they consider worthy carrying it. Sort of in a sense of who gets the right to use their name; who do they trust to keep the legacy intact.

2) Some characters own their mantle/tittle not because of their skills, history, teammates, or even the ideals they represent (if any) but because of their own personality. Thus replacing them becomes even harder than it already should be. For example, Deadpool is one of the greatest comic book characters ever created not because of his weapons arsenal, hideousness, healing factor, or fighting style, but because of his mouth and manner of breaking the fourth wall. But he's such a utterly unique character that nether other character nor comic book fans would want him to be replaced. I mean, no character would ever miss Deadpool's mouth, and it just wouldn't feel right to readers if Deadpool was replaced by another even if that character were just like him. Or would feel right to you to have anything less than the original?

Funny, isn't it? Deadpool's an original all right, but nobody wants a sequel.

Remember, it's not the mask that makes the legend but who wears the mask.

3) Heroes have no way of knowing for sure if someone will try to fill in for them. I mean, Johnny Storm wasn't asked to fill in for the original Human Torch, he just named himself that way in memory of his and because he fitted the standards.

Posted by Hyperlight

Give their belongings to an heir, family, or organization that could use them the best

Edited by DoctorSean

@amazingwebhead: well yeah, if they prepare a Will they'll probably have the foresight to get someone to step up for them, but they have to find the right guy which will be hard. (I mean, you can't just get a random friend just because he got bitten by a radioactive poodle or just because they "trust" him.) they actually have to get someone who can be a hero

(and they have to be able to fight)

Posted by TechnoBacon2014
Posted by AmazingWebHead

@doctorsean said:

@amazingwebhead: well yeah, if they prepare a Will they'll probably have the foresight to get someone to step up for them, but they have to find the right guy which will be hard. (I mean, you can't just get a random friend just because he got bitten by a radioactive poodle or just because they "trust" him.) they actually have to get someone who can be a hero

(and they have to be able to fight)

All true. But hey, if Batman was able to find like 7 black-haired orphans with crime-fighting potential after the previous one left him, then I'd say luck is on their side.

Posted by DoctorSean

@amazingwebhead: yeah I guess you are right the only thing I can say to that is one of the Robins wasn't an orphan (to start with anyway.)

Posted by klaud

ok

Edited by AmazingWebHead

@doctorsean said:

@amazingwebhead: yeah I guess you are right the only thing I can say to that is one of the Robins wasn't an orphan (to start with anyway.)

Well, 2 if you count Carrie Kelly. (Which I do)

Posted by kid Apollo
Posted by AllStarSuperman

@allstarsuperman: thats the funniest thing ive read in a while

It wasn't funny when I couldn't post on Christmas when everyone is wishing happy holidays and bragging about what they got.