(This is from the perspective of a character I made for somebody's Mutants and Masterminds campaign. Have fun.)
There were lots of freaks coming out of the woodwork after the Martians arrived. Something about a virus. Mutated most of the population into super-powered weirdos. Too bad there was no vaccination, huh? I wasn't affected. Something in the genes told the virus to go fuck itself. My sis got off light as far as things go- just a third eye right in the forehead and night-vision. I'm glad she didn't get the most common superpower. Not saying Sis isn't a looker, but I'd have to kick a lot of drooling geek asses if she looked like a cross between a porn star and Barbie doll.
So yeah, it's me. Thomas Travis. Also known as Zipper (my old street name). Also known as "Hey you! Stop!" to the police. Also known as [UNPRINTABLE THINGS]. Wannabe gangsters and mobsters ain't known for their clean mouths.
People ask me why I wear a heavy leather jacket and goggles instead of a mask and spandex. One, I don't really care who knows about my super powers so why hide my ugly mug? Two, flying has the same problems riding a motorcycle does: It's always cold, you don't have anything around you to protect you from crashes, and the goggles protect my eyes from bugs. So leather and goggles. To take the sting out of flying 500 MPH at low altitudes.
Yeah, I used to be a crook. Small time stuff. A real zero. There I was, in a back alley bleeding out from a drug deal gone bad. I'm staring at my own innards in my hands, a bloody mess, wondering what the hell I did with my life. Then one of the martians makes me an offer. I mean, it's hard to argue with somebody offering you a chance to live when you're dying from a knife to the guts. Only downsides? Cosmic power and eventual enlightenment. Oh, and the hair turning blond and the eyes going black. Guess aliens have a sense of humor too. Damn Martians.
So I gave up the drugs, the stealing, the pimping, and goon-squad membership to go straight. And seeing how much of an asshole I was, I figured I'd help people out along the way. Protect them from people like me. The superhero gig doesn't pay for my cigarettes though. So my sister let me crash at her place while I looked for a job. Kind of hard for a guy with no work history, but corner stores couldn't give two shits less about that. Minimum wage, but the only bill I had was helping my sis out with the rent. Don't need gas, a car, or car insurance when you can fly.
The corner store fired me after I went apeshit on a robber (he had a gun pointed at me, what was I supposed to do?). And maybe because I caught the store on fire after a few missed blasts of cosmic power. Something about how insurance didn't cover superhero damage. Sis and me talked about what my options were, and we figured I could set up a comic shop somewhere. Comic shop, owned by actual superhero. Sounded like a nice draw for the marks- I mean customers. Down to the bank to get the paperwork for a business loan.
So I'm outside the First Central City Bank, having a cigarette before going inside, when shit hits the fan.