1. They would be regulated and taxed. One thing you can be sure of is that Uncle Sam would find a way to dictate exactly how superpowers are to be used. Rules would crop up, like no flying between midnight and six a.m. (suggested by the senator with an airline based in his district) or no running faster than 120 miles per hour (suggested by the mayor who is pushing more Amtrack usage.)
2. They would be political hot potatoes. Not only would the U.S. government find a way to make money from the superheroes, the politicians would find a way to score political points with them. One can so easily imagine Sen. Elizabeth Warren preening that Batman told her he supports Black Lives Matter or Tucker Carlson asking Wonder Woman whether she believes Russia hacked the 2016 election.
3. They would make serious money by accepting corporate sponsorships. For instance, can you imagine having to call Superman “Superman, sponsored by Microsoft”? Because that’s pretty much what would happen. A superhero with x-ray vision would be sponsored by Lenscrafters; a superhero who can fly would be blazoned with Southwest Airlines slogans.
4. There would be reality shows. You’d get the full panoply of Kardashian-style reality shows that just involve following around a superhero all day, and the more Survivor- style shows where they pit teams of ageing and slightly washed-up superheroes against each other. The ratings would be pretty good so you can imagine these being long-lived franchises.
5. There would be Haters. As always, there would be blaming and criticising every time something bad happened. There would be protests and promises of boycott when a superhero failed to prevent something or failed in his or her mission. There is simply no room for error or human frailty in the world of superheroes.
6. The police would become irrelevant. With superheroes able to stop dastardly deeds, the police would be about as powerful as your local Neighborhood Watch. They’d still patrol city streets but when the going got really tough, the superheroes would be the ones to come save the day.
7. If superheroes were real, that means supervillains would be real too. Which means the world would be even scarier, crazier, more full of terrorism and evil plots than it already is.