“The Boys” by Garth Ennis was a 2006 comic book series later adapted to a live action series on Amazon Prime. In this story, super-powered people exist alongside us are viewed as celebrities. The principal antagonist was Vought American, a defense contractor with a lengthy history of producing faulty products. While exceptional at the business end of things, they never quite nailed the science and development end of things.Think of fighter planes with dangerous fuel tank designs and rifles that wouldn’t reliably fire design flaws.
Their corner-cutting efforts nearly sank the company, until they fell onto the creation of a super-powered humans and they would quickly go on to holding a monopoly on super-powered individuals. The problem was that creating an exceptional superhuman was incalculably expensive…so the company looked at ways of doing things cheaper. This of course led to…you guessed it…lots of crappy level super powered humans.
The Seven. The pre-eminent Superhero team in the Boys Universe and creation of Vought American. Starlight (far left) was the only redeemable character within the comic/show. The others were all quite powerful, but otherwise incompetent at their jobs and irresponsible with their powers.
In both the comic and live action series three issues became clear: (1) Having super-powers doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be a remotely good person (2) Having power, and knowing how to use it are different things and (3) Faulty powers are a possibility. (Image Credit: Den of Geek)
You can imagine the problems that could happen if this were reality.
The Trainer world copied the comics. The Boys storyline got me to thinking about certification companies, specifically the large ones offering a high numbers of specialization courses. One company I looked at currently offers 11 specializations in addition to their entry level certification. 12 if you count their optional Mastery level specialization.
While not easy, the entry level test isn’t exceptionally hard either and the barrier to most entry-level personal trainer programs isn’t particularly high. No proof of actual skill is required, just the passing of a multiple choice exam. Only the Mastery course requires a demonstration of skill using the proprietary model.
They’re obviously not producing super-powered beings, but they are producing a large percentage of the people that could be placed in charge of your safety.
The company is possibly the largest trainer credentialing organization and I’ll take the educated guess that they produce more trainers monthly than any two other organizations combined. This would suggest something of a monopoly on newly minted trainers. I cannot look at you say that there aren’t some courses they offer that outright suck among their offerings.
I’ll be so bold as to say that some of those courses aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, and that far better options exist elsewhere.
So what we have is a large company with exceptional marketing skills that produces a high percentage of the incoming workforce. A company that got a couple products down decently, but also produced a number of stinkers…which they HAVE TO KNOW are crap products yet went ahead and sold them anyhow.
1) Having a certification doesn’t automatically mean you’re remotely qualified (2) Having certification, and being able to apply the material are different things and (3) Crap trainers exist, regardless of pedigree and packaging.
….and people once said comics would rot your brain.