Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Dr. Hanson

build stories and make a universe out of them
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Warning: not enough explosions. Warning: complex character development.

Certain aspects of mental illness are very, very well explored in the world of superheroes and villains. Hallucinations, paranoia, megalomania: done to death. Most mental illnesses have been utterly neglected due to their tendency to not cause quite as much spectacle. It's just so much easier to entertain by having your villain start throwing people around because he thinks they're demons than by having him steal and horde food because he was punished by starvation in a POW camp.

In a world where there are hundreds to thousands of people with superpowers some of them are mentally ill. In this serial Dr. Hanson finds mentally ill people with superpowers and helps them stop hurting normal people. Sometimes he encourages them to become superheroes. Where absolutely necessary he helps the authorities imprison or kill them. The excitement comes from the moral pressure and drama, not from the villain killing hundreds of people, robbing banks, or making a huge doomsday device. Think Dr. House but he's a shrink and possibly a superhero*. And one of his patients can turn invisible.

Here are some potential villains: A woman is keeping extremely strict order in a school: no one is physically able to break any rule in any way, and no one can leave. A man walks into a store every day and steals two carts of food, delivering them to a nearby homeless shelter. He cannot be stopped due to his super strength. A man runs naked through Times Square every twenty minutes. He's too fast and too sneaky (when he tries to be) to catch. A woman with superpowers is a serial rapist. A man refuses to get out of bed and hasn't paid his rent in eight years. He is impervious to tazers and tear gas and the cops physically cannot move him. You get the idea. These people are much closer than typical to normal people who have acquired superpowers, but they're not all there.

*Actually it would be a more compelling story if he weren't a superhero.

Voice, Aug 14 2023

Legion - The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250297796
[a1, Aug 14 2023]

The Naturalist https://www.amazon.com/dp/1477824243
[a1, Aug 14 2023]

[link]






       Final paragraph: you could at least have tried to be original and not just describe the active participants in the HalfBakery.
pocmloc, Aug 14 2023
  

       Sounds a lot like Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
21 Quest, Aug 14 2023
  

       I recommend the Legion series by Brandon Sanderson:   

       Stephen Leeds is perfectly sane. It's his hallucinations who are mad.   

       A genius of unrivaled aptitude, Stephen can learn any new skill, vocation, or art in a matter of hours. However, to contain all of this, his mind creates hallucinatory people -- Stephen calls them aspects -- to hold and manifest the information. Wherever he goes, he is joined by a team of imaginary experts to give advice, interpretation, and explanation. He uses them to solve problems . . . for a price.
a1, Aug 14 2023
  

       Another good one might be "The Naturalist" series by Andrew Mayne. Crime mystery/drama - relies on the fact the protagonist is more than a bit obsessive and will go outside of the law to help police solve a case.
a1, Aug 14 2023
  

       Eh, the introverted obsessive compulsive genius bit has been way overdone. Mr Holmes was good, but there have been too many copies, including Dr. House and Mr. Monk. I wasn't suggesting my protagonist be one of those. Genius, yes. Obsessive, no. In fact he should be extroverted and sensitive.
Voice, Aug 14 2023
  

       Ah, I missed your key focus then - sorry.   

       May I interest you then in "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"? ?
a1, Aug 14 2023
  

       Ah, I missed your key focus then - sorry. May I interest you then in "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"?
a1, Aug 14 2023
  

       Absolutely, unless it's a horror story. It looks like a horror story.
Voice, Aug 14 2023
  

       There should indeed be explosions. And cats.   

       But not exploding cats.
whatrock, Aug 14 2023
  

       Oh yes indeed, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" (and its sequels) are horror stories. You no like?
a1, Aug 14 2023
  

       You could have picked any name. Why Hanson?   

       It's the first common last name that came to mind. I decided against "Brown" and "Smith" because they didn't sound as good. Why?
Voice, Aug 15 2023
  

       Just curious. I thought it might have some significance to the genre.   

       Plot twist; Dr Hands-on, the apparent super-powered benefactor of the vulnerable, turns out to be a serial sex offender - Jimmy Saville in spandex.
pertinax, Aug 15 2023
  

       So... Hancock meets Analyze This?
RayfordSteele, Aug 18 2023
  
      
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