The not-first recorded instance of this was in Detective comics # 27 where the Wayne family got mugged and in the process got killed by a local hoodlum. They were returning after watching the film Zorro, though this doesn’t seem to have instigated the crime. The upshot, Batman.
He should have gotten out of the car when the mugger had the Luger thrust up his mug. But he was proud, too damned proud. Old values and stuff like that. So the mugger shot him down and took off in his car. Too bad! He had a nephew; a potential entertainer who tried to go by the name of the Human Spider. The kid changed his name and cleaned up the act.
A beautiful family. But always nosing around. The mob didn’t like that and punished them. The mob, always punishing. Frank Castle didn’t like that and punished them, them and all the others. But just don’t seem to go kaput. He continues to punish!
Step 2 – ASSUME A SECRET IDENTITY!
No point in doing this if you already have had your dear and near ones shot on the mug (as there is no one to protect). But could come in handy if you have a girlfriend or an old aunt or some foster folks living in some Farmville. Not to mention lots of nail biting moments when someone almost catches you with your pants off!
Step 3 - DECIDE WHAT SORT OF A VIGILANTE YOU WANT TO BE...
The masked ones are no longer in fashion. A recent study has found out that you cannot create a mask without stepping on somebody’s intellectual property rights (he could be living in Guantanamo Bay for all you know). So show your mug! As you have no dear or near ones, there is no dire need to keep a secret identity. Then again, it might come in handy if you want to take up a social life. Ask the Fantastic Four. Couldn’t even get married in peace!
The Psychologically troubled ones were fad in the 80s. But this would mean a lot of killing and mutilation. Not for the faint of heart. Or like the Batman, you could act all mad and intractable. But no killings, just good old spanking.
Antiheroes still have a lot of gas left in them. Misunderstood and always on the run! Good fun.
Step 4 - IF ALL ELSE FAILS...
If all else fails, be a superman in which case you can do away with all the killings. Congenital superheros have a natural inclination to put ‘em right!