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THE RISE OF SUPERHEROES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POP CULTURE // SUPERHERO


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HAVE YOU
Ever dreamt of creating your own original superhero with his or her
own special set of superpowers? Youre not alone. In this companion
to The Rise of Superheroes & Their Impact on Pop Culture, we
will lead you through the process of envisioning your own superhero,
using your culture and contemporary social and political issues as
the seeds of inspiration.
From there you will devise an alter ego and backstory for your
superhero. Who are they when theyre not super? And of course, your
hero will need a foil, a super villain. What powers does your super
villain possess? And how do they reflect the conflicts in todays
world?
Turn to the next slide for instructions to get started

THE RISE OF SUPERHEROES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POP CULTURE // SUPERHERO


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INSTRUCTION
The Superhero Sketchpad Keep it open as you progress through
the course, toggling between your Sketchpad and edX to
complete each activity. But, before you begin, you should name
your Notebook. We recommend the following format:
Lastname_Firstname_SuperheroSketchpad

If you havent done so, go back to Slide 1 and enter your name
and email in the fields marked Click to add text. Simply click
inside each field and begin typing.
And last BE CREATIVE! Smithsonian wants to see your original
ideas. Its fine if you base your hero on an existing superhero,
but we also encourage you to think differently. Are there gods
and goddesses from your own cultures mythology that might
represent a new kind of superhero? Use them! Are there stories
from your own experience that would make your heros
narrative more human? Use them too!
If you arent an artist, thats okay. Weve created some
alternatives to illustrating your character, as well as social
media groups, where you can meet other members of the
community who might help you realize your original idea.

THE RISE OF SUPERHEROES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POP CULTURE // SUPERHERO


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
WEEK 1:

The Secret Origin Of Comic Books


slides 5-12

WEEK 2:

The Golden Age of Super-Heroes


slides ???

WEEK 3:

New Genres and The Beginning of the


slides ???

Silver Age

WEEK
4:Superheroes of the Silver Age and The Age
slides ???

of Marvel

WEEK 5:

The Bronze Age to Today


slides ???

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THE RISE OF SUPERHEROES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POP CULTURE // SUPERHERO


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WEEK 1
CREATE YOUR SUPERHEROS MYTHIC INSPIRATION
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Upload an image of your mythic god/goddess and use it to replace the placeholder image on the left. Then,
enter the characteristics about your god/goddess and your rationale for choosing this mythic figure.

KEY
CHARACTERISTICS
NAME OF GOD: Ame-noUzume-no-Mikoto
GENDER: Female
CULTURE OF ORIGIN:
Japan
PERSONALITY TRAITS:
Goddess of dawn, mirth,

RATIONALE

and revelry

She helped to coax Amaterasu out


from a cave, is a part of the missing
sun motif for Japanese folklore, and is
all about revelry and happiness

THE RISE OF SUPERHEROES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POP CULTURE // SUPERHERO


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WEEK 1
FIND A CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL INFLUENCE
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Write a few sentences explaining a contemporary social or political issue that will influence the
conflicts your superhero will encounter. If youd like, add an article describing the issue from a
recent news publication.

DESCRIPTION OF
ISSUE:

The idea of toxic masculinity. The notion that all men must be super masculine in order to be true men,
by bottling up emotions or passing up on emotions that would be otherwise too feminine to be felt by
men. These conflicts are less a physical threat like pollution, but it provides danger in many forms to
people worldwide.

LINK TO RELEVANT
ARTICLE:

THE RISE OF SUPERHEROES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POP CULTURE // SUPERHERO


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WEEK 1
CREATE YOUR SUPERHEROS SUPERPOWERS
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Your superhero needs at least one superpower! It can be something that the original god
possessed or something you create on your own. Do keep in mind how the power will aid your
hero in the conflict you identified. If youd like to add an image that illustrates the superpower,
feel free though its not required.

DESCRIPTION OF PRIMARY
SUPERPOWER:

Kamen Rider transformation The ability to transform into a costumed figure known as a
Kamen Rider. With this comes enhanced strength, agility, and physical capabilities, as
well as various supernatural abilities tied to the source of power. In this case, the ability
to transform into Kamen Rider Tempo, a music-themed Kamen Rider.

DESCRIPTION OF SECONDARY
SUPERPOWER:
Musical empathy can sense the emotions of others, but can only interpret it as music, i.e.
slow orchestral music for sad emotions.

THE RISE OF SUPERHEROES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POP CULTURE // SUPERHERO


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WEEK 1
CREATE YOUR SUPERHEROS SUPERPOWERS
INSTRUCTIO
NS
To balance your superpower(s), youll need at least one weakness, though you may add a
second. Once again, describe each below and add a visual representation if youd like.

DESCRIPTION OF PRIMARY WEAKNESS:

Tied to belt the belt-mounted Tempo Driver that


allows them to transform into the Kamen Rider figure is
the source of the power. Destroy it, and the power is
lost.

DESCRIPTION OF SECONDARY WEAKNESS:

Never Off the musical empathy ability is unable to be


switched off. Will hear music from people's hearts at all times,
at low volumes, until concentrating on one.
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WEEK 2
YOUR SUPERHERO BIOGRAPHY
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Its time to start putting it all together! Highlight the SUPERHERO NAME and replace it with your characters
original name. Then, go to Insert > Photo > Picture from file to add the digital sketch of your superhero. Last,
insert text to re-enter your SUPERPOWERS AND WEAKNESSES and to write your characters ORIGIN STORY.

SUPERHERO NAME

Kamen Rider Tempo


SUPERPOWERS AND WEAKNESSES

Henshin belt, Musical empathy


ORIGIN STORY

A young musician finds a strange belt while


cleaning the performance space, and on the
way home, is cornered by thugs. Uses the belt
to transform and defend themselves, but the
thugs are awakened as monsters with dark
music in their hearts.
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WEEK 2
YOUR SUPERHEROS ALTER EGO
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Highlight the ALTER EGO NAME and replace it with your original name. Then, insert text for PERSONALITY
TRAITS, OCCUPATION, AND BACK STORY. And last, if you want, you can Insert a sketch of your alter ego
character. This is optional. If you dont have an alter ego sketch, feel free to highlight the image icon and delete
it.

YUUKI AKIYAMA
PERSONALITY TRAITS
Quiet, withdrawn, but not without confidence. Very
introverted, comes off as standoffish, but full of emotion.

OCCUPATION

Orchestra manager, musician


BACK STORY
Yuuki is a young genderfluid individual who has a passion
for music. Biologically male, they have questioned their
gender for many years, and upon reaching adulthood, have
begun experimenting with presenting as both. The only
place they feel truly comfortable in either gender is in the
orchestra. They welcomed Yuuki in with open arms, and
Yuuki threw themselves into the thick of the orchestra,
falling in love with music.

Optional. You may delete this if you dont have an


image of your alter ego character.

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WEEK 3
1
CREATE YOUR SUPERVILLAINS INSPIRATION
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Upload an image of your supervillains inspiration by selecting Insert > Photo > Select from file and placing the image over
the picture icon below (you can delete that if you want or just cover it up. Then, insert text for the characteristics of your
villains inspiration and your rationale for choosing him/her.

KEY
CHARACTERISTICS

NAME: Aika (name of race


in Japanese, adopted by
leader as personal name)
GENDER: N/A
NATIONALITY: Alien
PERSONALITY TRAITS:
Evil mastermind who has
observed Earth for
centuries, targets
humans with strong
emotions to learn and

RATIONALE

evolve

Keeping the emotion theme and having emotions


used in a negative way reinforces the need for
emotions in general.

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WEEK 3
YOUR SUPERVILLAINS BIOGRAPHY
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Now you will create your supervillains biography. Highlight the SUPERVILLAIN NAME and replace it with your
characters original name. Then, go to Insert > Photo > Picture from file to add the digital sketch of your
superhero. Last, insert text to define your villains SUPERPOWERS AND WEAKNESSES and to write his/her ORIGIN
STORY.

SUPERVILLAIN NAME
SUPERPOWERS AND WEAKNESSES
Alien anatomy, feeds on emotions of humans to grow and evolve.
Race of aliens who focus on one emotion and funnel it from as many
humans as possible. Relatively weak on their own, stronger in
numbers and after evolutions.

ORIGIN STORY

A race of aliens from beyond the edges of the solar system, the
aika were once thought to be friendly, and coexisted with humans
for many years, until many of them were forced to leave, due to
abuse from humans based on their nonbinary gender roles. A
singular Aika rose up and formed a militant society that began to
wage war on Earth.

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WEEK 41
CONSTRUCT YOUR STORY
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Write your build up, conflict, and resolution below by inserting text for each of the three categories.

BUILD UP
Not long after Yuuki has found the Tempo Changer, they are faced with their first encounter with the new race of aika a
monster who devours the sense of wonder from children as they enter an amusement park. After brief investigation of the
area, Yuuki enters the park (their sense of wonder gone due to having seen the park many times), and encounter the
monster.

CONFLICT
The Aika of Wonder attacks Yuuki, and while they are able to transform into Tempo without issue, their attacks begin to fade
and wane in power. Before the finishing blow is struck, the Aika flees to find another source of power. Returning to the
orchestra, Yuuki rehearses a piece they've done a thousand times, but they find new facets of it once they have stopped to
listen to it. Discovering that wonder is not linked to new experiences, they stake out another amusement park.

RESOLUTION
The Aika of Wonder, having found more emotions to feed on, is attacked by Yuuki, and they transform into Tempo, knowing
now the sense of wonder that comes with all things, not just new things. This unlocks the finishing Tempo Kick, and the Aika
is defeated.

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WEEK 4
YOUR SUPERVILLAINS BIOGRAPHY

(This scene takes place during


the resolution)

INSTRUCTIO
NS
Write dialogue for your SCENE in the space provided below. You should replace the headings with the names of
your characters. If you want your scene to begin with the Supervillian you may do so. You do not need to draw
anything for this activity (that will come in Week 5!). You may add more lines if youd like to write a longer
scene. Simply continue your scene on the Scratch Pages.

AIKA OF WONDER:
So, it's the little human again. Come back to deal with me properly? (Laughs)
YUUKI:
There's only one fate for those who'd take away such a pure emotion as wonder...
[YUUKI lifts the Tempo Driver to their waist and it clicks on. A conductor's baton is lifted from their hip pouch, and they
conduct music that begins to swell from the belt. Orchestral strings and brass grow and build until the soundwaves seem to
envelop YUUKI, soon transforming them into Kamen Rider TEMPO]
TEMPO DRIVER: Tempo! Classical! [swell of orchestral music]
TEMPO:
Kamen Rider Tempo...! The music of your heart brings no joy!
[Fight scene proceeds from here]

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WEEK 5
1
FINALIZE YOUR SCENE: PANEL 1
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Now, use the story and scene you wrote in Week 4 to create some original panels of your comic concept. You should
complete at least 3 panels, but may add more by copying this slide or using the Scratch Pages. Also, if youd like to create
different sized panels you may do so by clicking on the corner of the square to resize them. Weve also included 3 types of
dialogue/thought bubbles you may drag them into your panel or delete them and create your own.

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WEEK 5
1
FINALIZE YOUR SCENE: PANEL 2
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Now, use the story and scene you wrote in Week 4 to create some original panels of your comic concept. You should
complete at least 3 panels, but may add more by copying this slide or using the Scratch Pages. Also, if youd like to create
different sized panels you may do so by clicking on the corner of the square to resize them. Weve also included 3 types of
dialogue/thought bubbles you may drag them into your panel or delete them and create your own.

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WEEK 5
1
FINALIZE YOUR SCENE: PANEL 3
INSTRUCTIO
NS
Now, use the story and scene you wrote in Week 4 to create some original panels of your comic concept. You should
complete at least 3 panels, but may add more by copying this slide or using the Scratch Pages. Also, if youd like to create
different sized panels you may do so by clicking on the corner of the square to resize them. Weve also included 3 types of
dialogue/thought bubbles you may drag them into your panel or delete them and create your own.

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