Super power control agencies

Yeah, this is another of those ‘I’m working on a story’ threads.

  1. I need a name for my alliance of heroes.
    They’re not a team, rather all the various individuals look out for each other. Most of them are ex-military. They formed the group because if they weren’t going to self-regulate the government was going to get involved. The name doesn’t need to be particularly clever (although that would be a bonus). In world, the superpowered (non-mutant) people are called POKOs (for ‘powers of known origin’), PUCKs (for ‘powers of unknown origin’), or MiTHs (old term, mostly military, for ‘more than human’).

  2. I kind of need a better name for the government agency that registers the mutants* and POKOs.
    Besides registering names, powers, and locations they don’t do much with the POKOs (that being the responsibility of the group above). The mutants are tracked and stuff as they are not legally human and are not supposed to get jobs, own businesses, etc (it happens anyway, through various loopholes and shady methods). But it gets the same kind of dread as the INS does by illegal immigrants. The current name is the Unnatural Powers Bureau, which does give the nice nickname of Uppies to its agents.

  3. I also need a name for before mutants showed up and it tracked MiTHs for the military. About all I know is that it was part of the local equivalent of the Pentagon.

  4. Not entirely related to the above, but I need pejoratives for the mutants. In-story they’re called ex-men because they’re no longer human once they get powers.

  • no, they’re not mutants in a scientific sense and the scientists pointed out ‘uh, hey, that’s not how mutation works.’ But, it’s easy shorthand out of story.

Hopefully the Acronym Control Agency (ACA) won’t find out about your odd acronyms.

  1. Why not Alliance of Heroes?
  2. Office of Public Safety and Security. (Government agencies tend to have benign sounding names). Call them “pubics.”
  3. Section 13 (Military agencies tend to have opaque names. Either that, or a long string of initials.)
  4. Follow Tim Powers’s example and call them “sports.”

:smack: The acronym is PUKO which is generally reduced to Puck. Which, now that I think about in, means POKO should get reduced to Pock, which is actually better. But to get back on-topic…

  1. I’d like something a little more clever.
  2. Hmmm… It’s not quite there…
  3. Doesn’t every scifi-ish story have a Section 13? But aside from the actual number, that’s your parentheticals have given me something to work from.
  4. A little opaque for the average bigot.

1.) Sounds like a Guild or Association.
2.) Bureau or Committee works well… Powers Registration Commission, maybe? Those Pricks… :wink:
3.) Special Operations Office. Unless they were more open about the whole powers thing, in which case Special Powers Office, or if you’re of a more British bent, ‘Powers Branch’.
4.) Muties, Freaks, Twists, Monsters… it’s hard to give specific fictional pejoratives without knowing how they get their powers / what kind of powers they typically manifest.

I hope this won’t come across as threadshitting, but it does occur to me that this topic of your story has… uh… been done before. Rather extensively. Can you come up with a new angle?

Department of Super Powers and Mutants. DSPM - Spammers, if you will. (Any reason the Pucks aren’t registered, too?)

What, exactly, is the nature of the ‘mutation’? Are we talking Marvel comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wildcards, or what?

Barring further information, and putting aside the fact that ‘mutant’ itself seems vaguely derogatory unless they actually are properly mutants, the only ones that come to mind immediately are Marvel’s old standby, ‘muties’ (oh, possibly ‘mutes’ could work), and the basic ‘freaks’.

1 -3. Those are all really good. Thanks!

  1. I like ‘twists’. And since every other superpower has an acronym I may use ‘fuko’ or ‘muko’ as in ‘freaks/monsters of unknown origin’.

Origin-wise, I haven’t exactly determined why there are suddenly superpowers. (The plan was for them to start showing up after the first spaceflight. I’ve changed a bunch of things since then, including it not being our Earth, and I don’t know if I’m sticking with that.) In-story they have no idea, and only a vague start date (before October of 1940 or whatever). Some of the theories are wrath of god, experiment gone wrong, demon-possession, alien, things like that.

Typically, the ex-men have a physical abnormality that may or may not be related to their powers (but not always. A certain amount pass as human - even some of the ones that are weird looking). I haven’t actually come up a whole lot of them, but they have one power and only one power, and it’s generally low-level (so no Storm, Wolverine, Jean Grey, etc.) There are no telepaths, psychics, or clairvoyants.

Examples: Wild Rush, luck power that’s connected to his mood. He has white skin, but isn’t generally known as an ex-man.
Dr. Maron and his daughter, passes as human. Actually probably about as powerful as Wild Rush. Anti-luck powers.
Daisy Hart - copies other ex-men’s powers if she’s around him enough.
Shaitan - giant frikking wings and the hollow bones necessary to be light enough to fly.
Tailor (I don’t remember his name) - using materials, can assemble into stuff without the usual hassle of actually making it. I haven’t decided if it’s just clothes or not. He’s got some random horns.
Other stuff: low-level electrical generation (like a taser), fire generation, etc.

Powers stereotypically ‘burst’ around puberty (and burst is the word they use, with horror-movie implications), but it’s a bell curve and can start anytime (the most famous guy, who ended up naming them ex-men, whose name I can’t remember, didn’t get powers until his 30s.)

You mean like X-men, PS238, Wild Cards, Scryed, etc? :wink: Yeah, I know. The super powers and stuff is all background. I don’t know that it’ll be unique; I’m just amusing myself and if I ever get it finished I’m just going to do it as a webcomic.

(Pucks are, they just get covered by Pokos, since they’re very very rare. The only one I have so far, who I don’t think I’m going to use, got his power from a goddess.)

I think I covered the mutation stuff above.

(Bolding mine) Are you intentionally making a reference to X-men? If so, is it supposed to be a spoof?

Might consider ‘bursters’ as a pejorative. Or ‘poppers’. If people tend to view them as ‘the thing that was living inside a REAL human until it popped out and killed its host’ - then you could explore a ‘parasite’ angle for nomenclature.

  1. The SuperVisors
  2. Registrar of Persons of Special Interest
  3. Unique Talents Operations / Special Abilities Division / “The Black Hats”
  4. Grotesques, or “grots”

Nope. As soon as they get powers, they’re no longer human (legally and in the view of many people).

The naming quote by Devlin Lage: “Our parents were human and had human rights and dignities. We’ve become un-men, ex-men with no more rights than any animal. It is obvious we are no longer human as soon as our powers reveal themselves. The human race has made mistakes before and will again; whether this is one of them, whether we are one of them, time will tell.”

Not very powerful, not a people person, not happy about suddenly being the leader of a movement, but articulate.

I like these!

I get that they’re “ex-men” and if it weren’t for the existence of X-men, I’d think that was a really cool name. I’m just afraid that people are going to think it’s supposed to be an X-men reference, because both the name and the plot are so similar. I mean, if you were just telling me your idea out loud, I’d assume you were talking about some kind of “X-men” fanfic. As it is, it could easily give the impression that you’re just tweaking “X-men” and trying to pass it off as your own idea.

It’s like when Vanilla Ice claimed the riff in “Ice Ice Baby” was totally *not *sampled from “Under Pressure”, because his went “duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh”, and Queen’s went “da-duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh”. Or whatever.

You’ve acknowledged that it won’t be a totally unique idea, and that’s cool; there’s nothing new under the sun, anyway. I’d just suggest you not use a term that’s invariably going to highlight how not unique it is.

Do you have a suggestion for a better term?

It’s been brought up before. Seeing as I’ve been working on this off and on for several years and am no closer to presenting to the public in any way, I’m not particularly worried about it, especially as the plot isn’t about them. Again, this is all background. Three of the villains, out of ten or so are ex-men. I’m not being defensive here, I’m just not worried about a term that’s not that important, especially considering this is just a personal project.

Hell, if I get sued, it’ll be by DC first for ripping off Batman.

That’s cool; I just felt I should mention it, but if you’ve already considered it and you’re not concerned about it, it’s not a big thing.

If you do decide to change it, how about “Dalits”, or perhaps “Harijans”? These are the terms used to describe people in the lowest group in the caste system, the untouchables. Harijan would be especially poignant, as it refers to the lowest caste, but means “child of God”, very appropriate for a superhuman.

The super-secret government organization in my superhero games has always been A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.

I’m sorry, but your security clearance isn’t high enough to know what those letters stand for.