After posting my last little introduction to my superhero setting, someone asked me how many superheroes existed in the Zygma World. I gave them a reply but I decided to expand on it here and give you a better idea of what you’d be dealing with.
There are 7 billion people living on Earth. In the Zygma setting, about 0,01% have a minor odd ability, or about 1 in every 10,000. To explain a little, I’m using the term ‘odd’ not to refer to something that’s super human, but to refer to abilities that cannot be explained. An overweight man that outruns those robbers would be considered odd or lucky. A woman who can hear radio waves even without a receiver is also odd. Out of those 70 million people who have odd abilities, less than 5 million have noticeable abilities that can be considered odd. These are referred to as ‘weird’ or as ‘freaks’.
The difference to being weird or being freaks is that freaks have suffered noticeable changes to their appearance; the weird still look just as human as everyone else. Looking at numbers, the freaks are little less than 1/5th of those with noticeable odd abilities (less than 1 million). Both the weird and the freaks have abilities that can be considered dangerous, but they are rarely powerful enough to make a great impact. They might see through certain material or levitate or even be more resilient, but they are rarely capable of stopping an alien invasion or even just stand against a bank robbery.
In fact, there are probably less than 5,000 people with superhuman abilities that can make any real difference. Active heroes like Ultimus or Tiara, or villains like Inferna or Atlas, are even fewer, but these numbers are fluid. Because anyone could potentially develop odd abilities, and possibly even superhuman abilities, these numbers could be somewhat higher. This also does not include the reanimated dead or anyone who originates from another planet or dimension, or from hidden civilizations from the deep underground.
Not all heroes, or villains, have superhuman abilities. Some heroes, such as Knight Owl, make do with martial training, while others use superior technology to stand toe-to-toe with the most powerful superhumans. So even if there are only so many people with superhuman abilities that are powerful enough to make the news, there are still plenty more heroes and villains who do not have superhuman abilities.