The Super Powereds series by Drew Hayes is about a world with Supers, and Powereds, and humans. Supers are people with superhuman abilities and can control these abilities. Powereds also have superpowers except they cannot control these powers. Powereds are considered second class citizens and a burden to everyone else. Heroes are Supers that are government-approved responders to criminal Supers or natural disasters. To become a certified Hero, a Super was attend a University that participates in the Hero Certification Program (HCP) and graduate.
While in the HCP, students go through igorous physical training and have fight each other for their combat ranking in the class. Each year a certain number of students are cut based on their combat rankings. This makes the atmosphere between students extremely competitive. The story follows five Powereds, Vince, Nick, Alice, Hershel/Roy, and Mary who undergo a classified brain surgery that allows them to control their powers and become Supers. The five previously Powereds are sent to Lander University where they enter the HCP to learn how to control their powers and become Heroes.
The five students are put in a dormitory called Melbrook Hall. Only a select few at Lander know that the Melbrook students grew up as Powereds. Trust, loyalty, and deception are major themes throughout the Super Powereds series. Vince’s power is energy absorption. He can absorb almost every type of energy and then release it. Since Vince’s grew up as a Powered he is terrified of hurting others with his ability and barely even uses it. Vince shows to his first fight of the year with the “energy equivalent of a lighter” (Year 2 169). This is a ridiculously small amount of energy.
Once Vince becomes more comfortable with is power he absorbs a large forest fire and lightning storms. Once Vince is not strong enough to save a follow classmate and friend from dyeing he realizes to protect the people he cares about he must accept his ability and become stronger. Nick was raised to be the heir of the mafia family in Las Vegas. He is a savant con-man and is very adept at manipulating and deceiving people. When Nick first comes to Lander he dispassionately decides how to best approach and manipulate the other Melbrook students.
He views the other Melbrook students as assets to use to further his own goals. He believes he must see others like this because his ability only controlling luck and that this ability is inferior to other powers. So instead of relying on his power he uses his intellect and allow others to others to overlooked and underestimated (Year 1 9) him. This allows him to manipulate others more easily. Nick realized Vince was going to be kicked out of the HCP because he had such poor showings of his power.
So, Nick manipulated another student into using their power on Vince, putting Vince in a dreamlike state where the other students where monsters and where trying to attack a oved one. This allowed Vince to get over the humanity of his opponents and use his abilities to their full protentional. This was a very traumatic experience for Vince once he realized what he had done. Vince saw himself as a monster (Year 2 189) because in the dreamlike state Vince did not care if he killed his classmates or not.
Nick showed he was willing to sacrifice his future at Lander to help Vince, which is something he would not have been willing to do that the beginning of the year. If Nick did not truly see Vince as a friend he would never have been willing to do that for Vince. Vince broke through the con-man exterior and got to the real Nick. Eventually the secret about the Melbrook students Powered past is revealed. Powereds are viewed almost as subhuman and are considered vulgar. Most people react poorly to the realization that Powereds were being trained along with Supers.
At the time, Vince was dating Sasha. When the Melbrook student’s secret was revealed Sasha took it as a personal insult. She irrationally believed Vince purposefully deceived her and specifically her. However, while Vince did lie he did not do it with the purpose of deceiving Sasha. The peration was classified and keeping it a secret was a condition of being allowed to attend Lander. Globe is infamous for becoming betraying his team and killing his best friend and teammate. Globe has god-like power in a 30- foot radius around his body and can control everything in that radius.
Globe may very well be the most powerful Super in recent history and because of this he could become arrogant and aloof. Persephone “once greatly feared” (Year 1 Epilogue) Globe because of his reputation, but she is willing to overcome her preconceptions and trust Globe after having met him. On ersonality alone Globe is able confine others to trust and follow him in opposing a conspiracy and go against the government and society. Charles erased Phil, Globe, from existence Vince was an orphan and put in a foster home.
He ran away from the foster home because he was ostracized for being a powered and out of fear of hurting others. Vince always ran away because people “called me monster. Always hurt people. Always a monster” (Super Powers: Year 4 25). From then on Vince lived on the streets, alone, until a homeless man found him. The man, who Vince only knows as Father, takes Vince in and trains Vince. Vince’s father later fakes his own death again to protect Vince. While at Lander Vince learns that his father was Globe in hiding.
Globe was in hiding and what little protection he did have came from the fact that the world thought he was dead. Globe did not need to take Vince in and raise him but he did anyway because he saw a scared little boy. Even though Globe lied to Vince about who he was, Vince was better off after Globe became his father. Vince learned to “live .. with integrity” (Year 2 189) and to be stubbornly and illogically caring, supportive, and empathetic Charles Adair, father of Alice, used orced Globes best friend, Intra, to attack Globe.
Intra has the power of absolute control over his body, down to the chemical reactions in his body. Charles wanted Intra die in an explainable way so that Charles could use Intra’s brain matter to help save his wife. Charles’ wife was going insane from not being able to control her power of visions of the future. Charles made it is life’s goal to become powerful and strong enough to be able to save his wife. Charles succeeds in this aspect because he has “more money and political influence than some countries” (Super Powereds 1 68).
Charles actions and etermination came from needing to save his wife. However, he decided to accomplish this by deceiving and manipulating his friends, his family, and the public. Charles is runs the company behind the operation that turned the Melbrook students into Supers. Charles uses his own daughter as a guinea pig, to make sure the operation would be successful on his wife and have no lasting effects. Couch George and Couch Persephone, who both taught for over many years at Lander and was trusted by the other teachers, abducted Hershel and Mary. They were acting on orders from Globe.
Globe wanted Mary because she is a elepath and could read his mind and know undoubtable that he was telling the truth. The George Professor Pendleton was once a hero but turned criminal to make money to help his dyeing half-sister, Alice’s mother. He betrayed the trust his instructors and fellow heroes placed in him. Pendleton is a subtlety hero meaning he uses wit and deception rather than physical force to best his opponents. Subtlety heroes are in the gray area between criminals and Heroes. Dean Blaine, Professor Pendleton, and Nick for a team to try to unravel the mysteries around Globe and Alice’s mother.