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The Ending Of How I Became A Superhero Explained

A dangerous new drug has been circulating on the streets of Paris. With one deep inhale, its users are granted a powerful superhuman ability. Previously, these types of powers were only wielded by a small number of people who inherited them at birth. But when the general public becomes able to use them whenever and wherever chaos reigns on the streets of the city and it's up to Detective Gary Moreau (Pio Marmaï) to stop it.

"How I Became a Superhero" is part superhero movie and part crime thriller with a heavy dose of commentary on both genres. When Moreau is first assigned to investigate a mysterious spate of flamethrower attacks in Paris, he's hanging onto his job by his fingernails. His previous role as liaison between the police and the superhero team Pack Royal (a tamer version of "The Boys") ended in disaster and since then, he's had trouble focusing on his work.

To ensure Moreau doesn't mess things up, his boss assigns him a new partner, Lieutenant Cécile Schaltzmann (Vimala Pons). Although Moreau's lackadaisical approach is often at odds with Schaltzmann's meticulous attitude, the two are able to make headway on the case thanks to their ingenuitive detective work and a little help from the remaining members of Pack Royal, Callista (Leïla Bekhti) and Monte Carlo (Benoît Poelvoorde).

Their investigation eventually reveals the disturbing truth about who has been supplying the streets with the superhuman drugs and how they've been manufacturing them. But now that ordinary people are able to harness these extraordinary powers, it may be too late to stop the perpetrator and return the city to normalcy.

The truth about Moreau's past is revealed

In the world of "How I Became a Superhero," having access to superpowers only comes to people who are born with them (until the advent of the drugs, of course). Through a series of flashbacks, the audience comes to learn that Moreau is one such person.

Moreau discovered his powers — to levitate objects — much later in life when he was working with Pack Royal. However, he struggled to properly harness them. His work with the superhero squad came to an end after he attempted to assist a hero named Gigaman (Clovis Cornillac). Although he was able to make his superpowers work, Moreau inadvertently caused a massive explosion that killed Gigaman in the process.

These revelations do a lot to explain aspects of "How I Became a Superhero" that are opaque at the start of the film. First, it gives the viewers a much better insight into why Moreau is such a sad sack. The worldbuilding makes it clear that — like many other superhero stories — having powers is as much of a burden as it is a blessing. Finding out about his own powers later in life was no doubt already difficult for Moreau and accidentally killing one of his allies with them definitely did not make that easier. Instead of continuing to hone his abilities, he suppressed his powers and kept them a secret from his colleagues.

Early in the film, we also meet Lily (Léonie Souchaud), a high school student with who Moreau clearly has a connection, although the nature of their relationship isn't explained. When she gets embroiled in the drug plot, we learn that she is the daughter of Gigaman and has inherited his abilities. This makes her a prime target for the film's main antagonist, who has been using superhumans themselves to manufacture his drugs.

The supervillain of How I Became a Superhero is unmasked

The black market power drug supply is managed by a mysterious man named Naja (Swann Arlaud), who has been kidnapping superpowered people and completely draining them of their abilities and life. At first, his methods and true identity are obscured. But when Moreau and Schaltzmann follow a lead to a psychiatrist who specifically treats patients with superpowers, they learn more about his backstory.

Naja was once a young boy with a sociopathic disorder and the power to hypnotize people. He was brought to Dr. Elisabeth Caghiere (Camille Japy), who had developed a method of ridding superhumans of their abilities, as his parent's believed his mental health issues and his powers were linked. However, even after losing his superhuman abilities, Naja's sociopathy did not abate. As an adult, he began using Dr. Caghiere's methods to drain superhumans in order to make his drugs.

One of the central themes of "How I Became a Superhero" is the friction between the concept of someone being born with their powers vs someone choosing to acquire powers later in life. During an early conversation between Moreau and Monte Carlo, the elderly superhuman explains, "Having superpowers means having a mission!"

Being born with superhuman powers forces a person to reckon with them in a major way. Even if someone is using them for evil, they are still doing so as part of a deeply considered goal. That is different from the cheapness of merely buying them to use as you see fit, which leads to total anarchy.

It's clear that Naja disagrees with Monte Carlo's take. By the film's end, though, the former superhuman has learned a deadly lesson about taking on more power than one is capable of wielding.

How I Became a Superhero leaves plenty of room for a sequel

Once Moreau and Schaltzmann uncover Naja's plan, the movie ends on a fairly standard conclusion that sees them bursting into his lair with the Pack Royal and rescuing Lily. What's more interesting about the end of "How I Became a Superhero" is how it seems to be setting up a sequel.

In the aftermath of the raid on Naja's lair, the Pack Royal has once again risen to prominence as beloved public figures. Furthermore, Moreau has officially made his own debut as a superhero now that he's overcome his fear and learned how to properly control his powers. His identity is still unknown to the world but they've dubbed his mysterious superhero persona Titan.

Combine that with the fact that Schaltzmann has been assigned Moreau's old role of Pack Royal police liaison and you've got a perfect setup for a "How I Became a Superhero 2." That prospect is made all the more tantalizing by the film's mid-credits scene, which shows Lily drawing herself as a superhero. So, will we be getting a sequel that sees Moreau and Lily joining the Pack Royal and going up against a new evil force?

At the time of writing, no sequel to "How I Became a Superhero" has been officially announced. However, it's clear that the filmmakers wanted to make sure that the door for one was left wide open.