I’ve mentioned several times that I’m an Empowered Champion. The Empowered Category consists of those of us who receive their powers through an outside agency that is mystic in origin. So say you’re some kid and you’re chosen to become the new super-strong, invulnerable champion of Dingus the All-Powerful, but you have to say a magic word to transform into this champion. You are an Empowered.
Or say you find Merlin’s staff and start slinging spells like the most powerful wizards. You’re still an Empowered.
On the other side of those that receive their powers from outside agencies are the Enhanced. Science gives these heroes their powers. Some are gene-engineered, some radioactive something or another bite others. If it changes your DNA, through whatever non-magical method, then you are an Enhanced.
Innate’s are those born with their powers. Some grow up with powers, while others trigger during some stressful event later in life.
Machinists use technology to compete in the arena of super-powered combat. Some have cybernetic limbs, while others don suits of sophisticated armor.
Last, but not least, are the Magicians. As you might guess, these men and women tap into the magical tapestry of the world to create various effects. These guys are some of the most versatile heroes around.
There you have it. The five overarching categories by which all heroes and villains are classified. There are many subsets within these classifications, but I really don’t feel like going into each one right now. I’ll just say good-
What’s that? Where are the martial artists and “peak” humans? Great question, imaginary nerd! I’ll tell you where they are.
They are where they belong-at home. Comic book authors have a vested interest in portraying “normal” humans who have reached “superhuman” levels of skill. Mostly to give you, the reader, a sense of agency in your own life, as well as a sense that one of “you” is looking out for your interests among demigods.
I hate to break it to you, but Chiroptera-Man would get his caped crusading backside handed to him by anyone in any of the above categories. Heck, I could take him without any trouble, and I’ve already mentioned I’m the 98-pound weakling of superhumans. American Knight could straight up maim or kill any normal (and a few supers) with a flick of his finger.
Norms have a role to play, but that role doesn’t include the frontlines. You are the staff and support that make what we do possible. While you might not get the glory, you also don’t have to wade through sewers to fight mutated cannibalistic humans just after they’ve “enjoyed” a snack (and still not get one damn ounce of glory).
Count your blessings.