Superhero Origins as a Sentence Punctuation Exercise


The Definition of a Comic Book Superhero

          A comic book super hero is a costumed fictional character having superhuman/extraordinary skills and has great concern for right over wrong. He or she lives in the present and acts to benefit all mankind over the forces of evil.  Some examples of comic book superheroes include: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, and Plastic Man.

The Sentence Punctuation Assignment

From earliest childhood to old age, the comics have influenced reading.  Whether the Sunday comic strips or editions of  Disney’s works, comic book art and narratives have been a reading catalyst.   Indeed, they have played a huge role in entertaining people of all ages.  However, their vocabulary, sentence structure, and overall appropriateness as a reading resource are often in doubt.  Though at times too “graphic” for youth or too “childish” for adults,  their use as an educational resource has merit.  Such is the case with the following exercise using superheroes as a sentence punctuation learning tool.


Among the most popular of comic book heroes is Superman.  His origin and super-human feats have thrilled comic book readers, theater goers, and television watchers for decades.   However, many other comic book superheroes exist.  Select one from those superhero origin accounts which follow and compose a four paragraph superhero origin one page double-spaced narrative of your selection.  Remove all punctuation, i.e., initial sentence capitals and ending periods (except for commas within each sentence and capitals of proper nouns) from your narrative. This creates an exercise for others to “repunctuate.” In doing so, they must avoid sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences.



(Origins are found in excellent online YouTube movies which could be an added exercise for students, i.e., creating their original superhero origin video using comic book covers, brief video clips, and other online resources.)


In the original version of the story and the vast majority of retellings, Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, an American millionaire (later billionaire) playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on criminals, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime.[3] Batman operates in the fictional American Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his crime-fighting partner, Robin, his butler Alfred Pennyworth, the police commissioner Jim Gordon, and occasionally the heroine Batgirl. He fights an assortment of villains such as the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Poison Ivy and Catwoman. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation in his continuous war on crime.

A family outing to the cinema ended in tragedy for young Bruce Wayne. Walking homeward, Bruce, his father, Thomas, and mother, Martha, accidentally ventured into Gotham City's notorious "Crime Alley" and were accosted by a mugger. Not content merely to rob the wealthy family, the hoodlum - whose identity was "never determined" - shot Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne dead before fleeing into the darkness. As he knelt beside his parent's bodies, Bruce swore to avenge them. After the police arrived, Bruce was comforted by Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Dr. Thompkins and Alfred Pennyworth helped arrange matters so that Gotham's Social Services would not take Bruce into care. In this way, both Dr. Thompkins and Alfred enabled Bruce to realize his dream of becoming a crusader against crime.

The Young Bruce Wayne

At age 14, Bruce embarked on a journey that took him to every continent as he sought to learn all the skills he would need to keep his vow. He studied criminology, forensics, and criminal psychology, and learned from man-hunters and martial artists, mastering every fighting style. In time, Bruce forged himself into a living weapon to wage war on crime and injustice. On his return to Gotham, Bruce stalked street thugs as a plainclothes vigilante. Beaten by the very people he intended to protect, he barely survived his first night out. As he sat bleeding in his study at Wayne Manor Bruce knew that he had to first strike fear in the hearts of his foes. Just then, a bat crashed through the study window, giving Bruce the inspiration he needed.

Batman Begins

Establishing a secret headquarters in the caves beneath his mansion, Bruce became Batman, a Dark Knight to protect Gotham and its citizens from vice and villainy. Alfred Pennyworth remained his confidant, tending to injuries and offering sage advice - whether requested or not!

Batman became an urban legend, a cautionary tale that sent shivers through the city's underworld. This Caped Crusader found a friend in Captain James Gordon a Gotham cop who didn't approve of Batman's methods, but appreciated the results of his nightly crime fighting. Batman's Rogues Gallery grew to include a host of bizarre criminals, such as the Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face and the Penguin. As his enemies increased, help arrived in the form of another young boy left parentless by brutal crime.

As a member of the Flying Graysons acrobatic family, young Dick Grayson thrilled audiences nightly on the high wire beside his circus aerialist parents. But when gangster "Boss" Zucco sabotaged the high wire because the owner of Haly's Circus refused to offer up protection money, the elder Graysons paid with their lives. Billionaire Bruce Wayne was in the audience that night; however, it was Batman who visited the grieving Dick Grayson, offering the boy a chance at retribution by becoming Robin, the Dark Knight's squire in his personal war on crime.

Dick Grayson

The first Robin [yes, there was more than one Robin, there have been 4 in fact, all in continuity] was carefully schooled by Batman, learning all the skill she would need to bring "Boss" Zucco to justice. Before long, Dick was ready for action. Swearing a solemn oath, he joined the Dark Knight's crusade as his most trusted partner, Robin the Boy Wonder.

After several years in service to the Dark Knight, Grayson - then leader of the Teen Titans - relinquished the mantle of Robin when Batman forced him to choose between his duties with the Titans and his promise to aid the Dark Knight. Adopting the identity of Nightwing, Dick continued to battle crime while remaining Batman's close ally.

Batman's Uniform

Batman's [uniform] is bulletproof and fire resistant, featuring a weighted cape and a cowl outfitted with night-vision technology and communications arrays; utility belt contains an arsenal of crime-fighting gear, including various types of offensive Batarangs, de-cel jumplines and grapnels, micro-camera, smoke pellets, acetylene torch, gas mask, re-breather, and flexi-cuffs among other miniaturized non-lethal weapons. [Batman] employs a variety of detective gadgets, including micro-computers and crime scene analysis kits; maintains a fleet of high-tech and high-powered vehicles, chief among the Batmobile, Batcycle, Batboat, Batplane and Batcopter; super-sophisticated Batcave headquarters houses training facilities, forensics laboratories, computer databases, and maintenance bays for all Bat-vehicles.


Plastic Man:

File:Plastic Man 17.jpg

An Entertaining Plastic Man Adventure

Plastic Man was a crook named Patrick "Eel" O'Brian. Orphaned at age 10 and forced to live on the streets, he fell into a life of crime. As an adult, he became part of a burglary ring, specializing as a safecracker. During a late-night heist at the Crawford Chemical Works, he and his three fellow gang members were surprised by a night watchman. During the gang's escape, Eel was shot in the shoulder and doused with a large drum of unidentified acid. He escaped to the street only to discover that his gang had driven off without him.

Fleeing on foot and suffering increasing disorientation from the gunshot wound and the exposure to the acid, Eel eventually passed out on the foothills of a mountain near the city. He awoke to find himself in a bed in a mountain retreat, being tended to by a monk who had discovered him unconscious that morning. This monk, sensing a capacity for great good in O'Brian, turned away police officers who had trailed Eel to the monastery. This act of faith and kindness—combined with the realization that his gang had left him to be captured without a moment's hesitation—fanned Eel's longstanding dissatisfaction with his criminal life and his desire to reform.

During his short convalescence at the monastery, he discovered that the acid had entered his bloodstream and caused a radical physical change. His body now had all of the properties of rubber, allowing him to stretch, bounce, and mold himself into any shape. He immediately determined to use his new abilities on the side of law and order, donning a red, black and yellow (later red and yellow) rubber costume and capturing criminals as Plastic Man. He concealed his true identity with a pair of white goggles and by re-molding his face. As O'Brian, he maintained his career and connections with the underworld as a means of gathering information on criminal activity.

Plastic Man soon acquired comedic sidekick Woozy Winks, who was originally magically enchanted so that nature itself would protect him from harm. That eventually was forgotten and Woozy became simply a dumb but loyal friend of Plastic Man.

In his original Golden Age/Quality Comics incarnation, Plastic Man eventually became a member of the city police force and then the FBI. By the time he became a federal officer, he had nearly completely abandoned his Eel O'Brian identity.

The star of the 1966-1968 Silver Age run of Plastic Man, written by Arnold Drake, was the son of the original Plastic Man, who as a toddler had accidentally drunk a souvenir bottle of the same acid that had given Eel O'Brian his powers. Other Silver and Bronze-age versions appear to carry the same identity and origin as the Golden Age original. The silver-age Plastic Man who took up the mantle from his father was later identified as residing on Earth-Twelve, home of the Inferior Five. A subsequent version appearing with Batman in The Brave and the Bold and Justice League of America was identified as residing on Earth-One. Afterwards, the original Quality Comics version was specified as being a member of the All-Star Squadron and Freedom Fighters, originally of Earth-Two and later moving to Earth.  This version died during an extended period of World War II while on the latter world.

Post-Crisis Phil Foglio version

After the 1985 "Crisis on Infinite Earths", a 1988-1989 four-issue Plastic Man miniseries by Phil Foglio introduced a new version of Plastic Man: Eel O'Brian, abandoned by his criminal gang after being shot and exposed to the acid, wandered the streets as his new powers developed, frightening others and bringing the police and National Guard down on him as a dangerous monster. Eel was at first oblivious to the changes to his body, but after realizing that he was the monster everyone was going on about, he used his new abilities to escape his pursuers, but soon became so despondent over his new condition that he attempted suicide by jumping off a bridge.

Fortunately, he was interrupted by Woozy Winks, a former mental patient who was kicked out of an institution due to lack of funding (or as Woozy put it, "something called Reaganomics"), who desired nothing more than to return to the warm safety of a straitjacket and padded room. Eel and Woozy decided to work together and capitalize on Eel's new powers to make their fortunes (Eel wanting to get rich quick, Woozy just wanting his "old room" back), but couldn't decide whether there was more money in crime or crime-fighting, and resorted to flipping a coin to choose serving the law (though Woozy had his doubts early on). Eel, ending up with the name "Plastic Man" after a reporter misinterpreted his first choice, "Elastic Man", and Woozy set up a detective agency in New York City and had various misadventures.

The alteration that Plas was initially in the superhero business for the money has had an effect on his character development post-Crisis, notably in the 2000-2001 JLA storyline "Divided We Fall" by Mark Waid where he, along with other Justice League members, was separated into two people, his normal "civilian" identity and his superhero persona, by the manipulative wish-granting Id. While Plastic Man devolved from a person with a sense of humor into a constantly wisecracking and almost ineffectual idiot, the now "normal" Eel O'Brian struggled with the criminal tendencies he had suppressed as he had become comfortable with his role as a superhero, and wondered if he had actually changed for the better or if it had all been part of the super-hero "act". Ultimately, Eel was the driving force behind the other transformed Leaguers banding together to re-join with their superheroic selves, noting that Bruce Wayne in particular was approaching a mental breakdown as he struggled with his rage over his parents' murder while lacking the ability to do anything about it as Batman was the identity that had 'inherited' his skills.

Another memorable milestone in the life of Plastic man was in the late-Nineties/early Millennium incarnation of the Justice League in the story arc "The Obsidian Age" where many of the key members including Plastic Man were transported in time thousands of years earlier to the beginning days of Atlantis and during a battle with the antagonists, he was frozen and then shattered into hundreds of thousands of inanimate little pieces. Having no way to locate all the pieces, much less fix him, with the technology of the day, the JLA finally returned to their own time and were eventually successful in finding all of his pieces and returning Plas to his former complete self after laying near dormant and unable to move for thousands of years. Unfortunately, even though he had been practically destroyed and turned into scattered confetti of sorts, he was partially, if not completely, aware of the passage of time and his inherent helplessness which had a profoundly negative effect on his mind. Shortly after being reincorporated, he admitted he has lost his nerve and quit the JLA, hoping to live a regular life. Helping him come to grips with leaving his former life behind was the newly introduced information that he had a son, now a teenager, and felt the boy needed a father and a normal life. Eventually, Batman convinced Plastic man to return to his life as a super hero again.


Captain Marvel:

The Adventures of Captain Marvel

Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, the character first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940). With a premise that taps adolescent fantasy, Captain Marvel is the alter ego of Billy Batson, a youth who works as a radio news reporter and was chosen to be a champion of good by the wizard Shazam. Whenever Billy speaks the wizard's name, he is struck by a magic lightning bolt that transforms him into an adult superhero empowered with the abilities of six legendary figures.[1] Several friends and family members, most notably Marvel Family cohorts Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr., can share Billy's power and become "Marvels" themselves.

Hailed as "The World's Mightiest Mortal" in his adventures, Captain Marvel was nicknamed "The Big Red Cheese" by arch-villain Doctor Sivana, an epithet later adopted by Captain Marvel's fans. Based on sales, Captain Marvel was the most popular superhero of the 1940s, as his Captain Marvel Adventures comic book series sold more copies than Superman and other competing superhero books during the mid-1940s.[2][3] Captain Marvel was also the first comic book superhero to be adapted to film, in a 1941 Republic Pictures serial titled Adventures of Captain Marvel.


Wonder Woman:


Wonder Woman is a warrior Princess of the Amazons (based on the Amazons of Greek mythology) and was created by Marston, an American, as a "distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men." [2] Known in her homeland as Diana of Themyscira, her powers include superhuman strength, flight (even though the original Wonder Woman did not have this ability), super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility. She is highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat and in the art of tactical warfare. She also possesses animal-like cunning skills and a natural support with the animals, which has in the past been presented as an actual ability to communicate with the animal kingdom. She uses her Lasso of Truth, which forces those bound by it to tell the truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in some stories, an invisible airplane.



The Green Hornet:

Though various incarnations sometimes change details, in most versions the Green Hornet is the alter ego of Britt Reid, wealthy young publisher of the Daily Sentinel by day who goes out in his masked "Green Hornet" identity at night to fight crime as a vigilante. He is accompanied by his similarly masked partner and confidant, Kato, who drives their technologically advanced car, the "Black Beauty". As the Green Hornet, Reid masquerades as a criminal to infiltrate and then battle the underworld, leaving criminals and incriminating evidence behind for the police.


Captain America:

For nearly all of the character's publication history, Captain America was the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a frail young man who was enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental serum in order to aid the United States war effort. Captain America wears a costume that bears an American flag motif, and is armed with an indestructible shield that can be thrown as a weapon.[3]

An intentionally patriotic creation who was often depicted fighting the Axis powers of World War II, Captain America was Timely Comics' most popular character during the wartime period. After the war ended, the character's popularity waned and he disappeared by the 1950s aside from an ill-fated revival in 1953. Captain America was reintroduced during the Silver Age of comics when he was revived from suspended animation by the superhero team the Avengers in The Avengers #4 (March 1964). Since then, Captain America has often led the team, as well as starring in his own series.


The Incredible Hulk:

The Origin of the Incredible Hulk

Hulk is cast as the emotional and impulsive alter ego of the withdrawn and reserved physicist Dr. Bruce Banner. The Hulk appears shortly after Banner is accidentally exposed to the blast of a test detonation of a gamma bomb he invented. Subsequently, Banner will involuntarily transform into the Hulk, depicted as a giant, raging, humanoid monster, leading to extreme complications in Banner's life. Lee said the Hulk's creation was inspired by a combination of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein.[1]

Although the Hulk's coloration has varied throughout the character's publication history, the most consistent shade is green. As the Hulk, Banner is capable of significant feats of strength, the magnitude of which increase in direct proportion to the character's anger. As the character himself puts it, "The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets!" Strong emotions such as anger, terror and grief are also triggers for forcing Banner's transformation into the Hulk. A common storyline is the pursuit of both Banner and the Hulk by the U.S. armed forces, because of all the destruction that he causes.\



This basic origin is the one with which most people are familiar. While the individual details vary, certain key elements have remained consistent in almost all retellings.

Superman is born Kal-El on the alien planet Krypton. His parents, Jor-El and Lara become aware of Krypton's impending destruction and Jor-El begins constructing a spacecraft that would carry Kal-El to Earth. During Krypton's last moments, Jor-El places young Kal-El in the spacecraft and launches it. Jor-El and Lara die as the spacecraft barely escapes Krypton's fate. The explosion transforms planetary debris into kryptonite, a radioactive substance that is lethal to superpowered (as by Earth's yellow sun) Kryptonians.

The spacecraft lands in the rural United States, where it is found by a passing motorist. Jonathan and Martha Kent adopt Kal-El and name him Clark Kent. As Clark grows up on Earth, he and his adoptive parents discover that he has superhuman powers. The Kents teach Clark to use these powers responsibly to help others and fight crime.

Clark keeps his powers secret in order to protect his family and friends, who might be endangered by his criminal enemies. In order to use his powers to help humanity, Clark creates the alter ego of Superman. A number of elements are added to each identity to keep them distinct enough to prevent the casual observer from matching them. Superman wears a characteristic red and blue costume with a letter "S" emblem and a cape. Clark Kent takes to wearing glasses, styling his hair differently, changing his body language, significantly altering his voice, and wearing looser clothing and suits that hide his physique.

Clark Kent moves to Metropolis and takes a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet, where he meets his friends and co-workers, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Editor Perry White. Superman becomes the subject of frequent headline stories written by Lois, and the two become romantically attracted to each other.

Common variations

Superman's public debut has differed throughout decades of publication. Originally, he first donned the costume and began fighting crime as an adult. Later, he was shown to have begun his heroic career as Superboy, changing his name to Superman after he grew up. The character's history as Superboy was retroactively erased from continuity in the The Man of Steel retelling of the origin. In current continuity, Clark used his powers to aid others while still a youth,[4] operating as "a rarely-glimpsed American myth - the mysterious 'Super-Boy'".


Superman's origin was influenced by the science fiction stories appearing in pulp magazines that Siegel and Shuster were fond of and by a variety of social and religious themes.

Siegel and Shuster created three different characters named Superman. The first was a villain with telepathic powers, published in the short story "The Reign of the Super-Man." The second version, which was unpublished, was a crime fighter without any superhuman abilities, which Siegel and Shuster compare to another of their creations, Slam Bradley. They felt that a virtuous character originating from Earth to possess superhuman powers would make the character and stories seem less serious, inviting comparisons to humorous strongmen like Popeye. So they decided to make the third version a visitor from another planet.


The Green Lantern:

The first Green Lantern (Alan Scott) was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940).

Each Green Lantern possesses a power ring and power lantern that gives the user great control over the physical world as long as the wielder has sufficient willpower and strength to wield it. The ring is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe and can be very dangerous. While the ring of the Golden Age Green Lantern (Alan Scott) is magically powered, the rings worn by all subsequent Lanterns are technological creations of the Guardians of the Universe, who granted such rings to worthy candidates. This shift to a technological explanation reflects the comic book industry's tendency to explain extraordinary powers through science and reasoning rather than magic.   These individuals made up the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.

After World War II, when sales of superhero comic books generally declined, DC ceased publishing new adventures of Alan Scott as the Green Lantern. In 1959, at the beginning of the Silver Age of Comic Books, DC editor Julius Schwartz assigned writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane to revive the Green Lantern character, this time as test pilot Hal Jordan who became a founding member of the Justice League of America. In 1970, writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams teamed Green Lantern with archer Green Arrow in groundbreaking, socially conscious, and award-winning stories that pitted the sensibilities of the law-and-order-oriented Green Lantern with the populist Green Arrow. Several cosmically-themed series followed, as did occasional different individuals in the role of Earth's Green Lantern. Most prominent of these are Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner.

Each of the Earth's Green Lanterns has been a member of either the Justice Society of America or the Justice League of America, and John Stewart was featured as one of the main characters in both the Justice League and the Justice League Unlimited animated series. The Green Lanterns are often depicted as being close friends of the various men who have been the Flash, the most notable friendships having been between Alan Scott and Jay Garrick (the Golden Age Green Lantern and Flash), Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (the Silver Age Green Lantern and Flash), and Kyle Rayner and Wally West (the modern-age Green Lantern and Flash), as well as Jordan being friends with West.



Spider-Man is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962). Lee and Ditko conceived of the character as an orphan being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and as a teenager, having to deal with the normal struggles of adolescence in addition to those of a costumed crime fighter. Spider-Man's creators gave him super strength and agility, the ability to cling to most surfaces, shoot spider-webs using devices of his own invention which he called "web-shooters", and react to danger quickly with his "spider-sense", enabling him to combat his foes.

When Spider-Man first appeared in the early 1960s, teenagers in superhero comic books were usually relegated to the role of sidekick to the protagonist. The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring Peter Parker, a teenage high school student and person behind Spider-Man's secret identity to whose "self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness" young readers could relate.[1] Unlike previous teen heroes such as Bucky and Robin, Spider-Man did not benefit from being the protégé of any adult mentors like Captain America and Batman, and thus had to learn for himself that "with great power there must also come great responsibility"—a line included in a text box in the final panel of the first Spider-Man story, but later retroactively attributed to his guardian, the late Uncle Ben.

Marvel has featured Spider-Man in several comic book series, the first and longest-lasting of which is titled The Amazing Spider-Man. Over the years, the Peter Parker character has developed from shy, high school student to troubled but outgoing college student, to married high school teacher to, in the late 2000s, a single freelance photographer, his most typical adult role. As of 2011, he is additionally a member of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, Marvel's flagship superhero teams. In the comics, Spider-Man is often referred to as "Spidey", "web-slinger", "wall-crawler", or "web-head".



Action Comics #285 (February 1962), Supergirl is introduced to the world. Art by Curt Swan.


After positive fan reaction to Super-Girl, the first recurring and most familiar version of Supergirl debuted in 1959. Kara Zor-El first appeared in Action Comics #252 (May 1959). The story that introduced the character was drawn by Al Plastino and written by Otto Binder, who had also created Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel's sister and female spinoff. Like Supergirl, Mary Marvel was a teen-age female version of an adult male superhero, wearing a costume that was identical to the older character's other than substituting a short skirt for tight trousers. Binder also created Miss America, a superhero who shared little other than the name with her sometime co-star Captain America.


Reaction at the D.C. Comics offices to Supergirl's first appearance was tremendous, with thousands of positive letters pouring in. The first published of these letters, in the August 1959 issue of Action Comics (#255), was written by an eleven-year-old from Garland, Texas named Dave Mitchell, who would go on to become a well-known Miami radio personality.

Issue #8 of the Superman/Batman series originally published in 2004 re-introduced Kara Zor-El into the DC continuity. Like the pre-Crisis version, this Kara claims to be the daughter of Superman's uncle Zor-El and aunt Alura In-Ze. Unlike the traditional Supergirl, Kara is born before Superman; she is a teenager when he is a baby. She is sent in a rocket in suspended animation to look after the infant Kal-El; however, her rocket gets caught in the explosion of Krypton and becomes encased in a Kryptonite asteroid. She arrives on Earth years after Kal-El has grown up and become known as Superman. Due to this extended period of suspended animation, she is "younger" than her cousin (she is referenced to be about 16, while Superman is portrayed to be about 29.  At the end of "The Supergirl from Krypton" arc, her cousin Superman officially introduces her to all the heroes of the DC Comics Universe. Then she adopts the Supergirl costume and accepts the name.

A new Supergirl series, written by Jeph Loeb, began publication in August 2005. The storyline in the first arc of Supergirl depicts a darker, evil version of Kara emerging when Lex Luthor exposes her to Black Kryptonite. The evil Supergirl implies that Kara's family sent her to Earth to kill Kal-El as revenge for a family grudge; at the time, Kara herself refuses to believe this, but later flashbacks indicate that not only is this partly true, but Kara had been physically altered by her father as a child before being involved in several murders on Krypton.


Astronaut Nicole Pierce


NASA employees at the Langley Research Center authored a quasi-superhero comic AERO AND SPACE as an educational tool to encourage students to pursue a STEM career. The fictional narrative follows.  The online link to the comic book panels is:


While the superhero-like woman Nicole Pierce has many superhero attributes, some are missing. Based on the earlier definition of a comic book superhero, what is missing?


Aero & SPACE: the story



          The NASA HotwordStyle=BookDe  comic features Aero and SPACE, the two heroes of the story are actually unique NASA technological systems:  AERO is a miraculous space suit, and SPACE is a unique NASA vehicle.  However employing each provides the operators superhero-like qualities.

          Dr. Colhany is introduced as well as  the driving reason for the rest of the story.  A weather satelliteHotwordStyle=BookDefault;  is malfunctioning as an impending solar storm is threatening.

          Leading scientists HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  gather to discuss possible actions for repairing the malfunctioning satellite. The first glimpse of the SPACE HotwordStyle=BookDefault; system - a Solar Powered Advanced Composite Exoskeleton, and the introduction of Dr. Archer, and the man who designed the suit, Mark MitchelsenHotwordStyle=BookDefault; .                                                 The money paperworkHotwordStyle=BookDefault;    is pushed around and the Triton HotwordStyle=BookDefault;   rocket is ready for launch. Mark Mitchelsen is onboard HotwordStyle=BookDefault; and the liftoff HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  begins. Things start going  bad HotwordStyle=BookDefault;   immediately! The escape craft - the RAVE I, HotwordStyle=BookDefault; shreds and explodes. SPACE is semi-conscious and falling HotwordStyle=BookDefault; to earth! A beautiful woman flies up and catchesHotwordStyle=BookDefault;    him.                                                                                                            Nicole Pierce is introduced.  She is HotwordStyle=BookDefault  the woman who rescues SPACE.

InsightsHotwordStyle=BookDefault;  are shared into Nicole Pierce and her "personal flight vehicle". HotwordStyle=BookDefault; The villainHotwordStyle=BookDefault;   revealed! Erik Lynch, the man behind the problems and the problems behind the man.                                                                                                     Aero & SPACE take off HotwordStyle=BookDefault;in a piloted SR71. They prepare themselves for the mission.

          Aero flies SPACE to the fringes HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  of the atmosphere and releases HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  him. His momentum carries HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  into open space. Aero returnsHotwordStyle=BookDefault;  to the SR71 and finds it spinning wildly out of control. She saves the pilots.

          SPACE locates HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  the satellite and begins his inspection. Suddenly, he is interrupted by a giant robot HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  !

          Lynch is using HotwordStyle=BookDefault; virtual reality HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  to operate the robot, and attacks SPACE.

          SPACE battles HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  the robot.

          Lynch reveals a second robotHotwordStyle=BookDefault;  under construction. SPACE repairs tHotwordStyle=BookDefault; he satellite. The solar activity increases as the storm HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  looms near.

          SPACE realizes his heat shield was damaged HotwordStyle=BookDefault; by the robot. He can't attempt re-entry without it. He uses debris HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  from the robot to "ride" out  HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  the solar storm.

          Aero catches HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  an unconscious SPACE and returns him safely to NASA. A medic/technician discovers the SPACE suit has bondedHotwordStyle=BookDefault;  to Mark Mitchelsen.


        Dr. Colhany receives word that the problem-causing transmissions have been pin-pointed HotwordStyle=BookDefault; . SPACE storms out of the lab to confront the source.

          Dr. Archer informs Colhany that the SPACE suit is now SUPER chargedHotwordStyle=BookDefault;  , thanks to the solar storm. SPACE confronts HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  Lynch in his robotics lab.

          SPACE and new robot (under Lynch's control) slug HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  it out.

          SPACE defeats HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  robot and prepares to smash Lynch's head in. Aero intervenes HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  and talks Mark into coming back to NASA.

          Final explanationsHotwordStyle=BookDefault;   and a happy ending HotwordStyle=BookDefault; .

          "What's your thing?" HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  a guide for career choices.

          Promotional advertisements for careers at NASA.

          "You can have an Aerospace Career" HotwordStyle=BookDefault;  Information for middle-school kids on what paths to follow to lead to a career in aerospace.



Morph Man and Make Believe Man


Below is a composite picture of various superheroes.  It’s to suggest that the student create a fictitious superhero based on a composite of amazing talents of famous comic book characters. This superhero is named “MORPH MAN”.  As an alternative, the student may choose to create an altogether “”make-believe-man” based solely on a student’s imagination of talents and powers assigned MAKE-BELIEVE-MAN. Below is a picture of a morph man with the powers of both Superman, Plastic Man and Spider Man.



Morph Man’s origin exercise:

The student is asked to fashion an origin for the above superhero.  Perhaps, the entity’s birth might be the DNA cloning by a brilliant bio-genetic researcher of Superman, Plastic Man, and Spider Man.  Another approach might employ some type of atomic decomposition devise gone awry whereby the three superheroes had been decomposed into their atomic nature for a “beam-me-up-Scottie” Star Trek transfer to a distant galaxy at the speed of light.  But alas, at their destination the atom-re-composer is wrongly programmed resulting in the above creature.  However, on return to Earth, Morph Man exhibits the talents of the three superheroes in one being. Having this three-in-one comic book hero offers a multitude of tales beyond those composed for Superman, Plastic Man or Spider Man. 

Added Assignment

1.     What is the name of your superhero?

2.     What is his origin?

3.     What powers does he/she possess?

4.     Compose a short story featuring your superhero rescuing society in some form or fashion.

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Disclaimer:  All graphics are employed in the interest of education and examination and are either cover graphics, or a small portion of a much larger work.  They are believed to qualify under the Copyright Act of 1976 in the category of “fair use.”  Narratives are from Wikipedia which is a public domain website.  Additional commentary is provided by the author of the exercise which is also in the public domain.  All artwork is retained as copyrighted by the comic book publishers.