So I'm stepping away from the story I was working on, with the nb superhero with smoke powers, in order to loop back around to my first novel, draft number 3, which takes place in the same setting. The thing is, I'm tossing the character who had the most competence for action in the first two drafts. He was pointless -- he had no real motive to participate in the plot, only ever did stuff by the prodding of the new main character or also-tossed peripheral character, but the book has a lot of action-adventure stuff going on, and he was the one who knew what he was doing.
I've done a lot of developing in the setting since the previous draft, including the addition of a ton of superheroics. And I've decided how I want to give my protagonist the skills she's going to need to succeed in the plot without the help of a pointless peripheral professional adventure dude.
She's going to be a superhero's agent!
This solves two problems: 1.) I wanted her to be in town for a convention, so she could be present for the plot but without having to live there. Superhero conventions have got to be a cool event, so I'm looking forward to writing about one. And 2.) Superheroes' agents have got to have some amount of self defense and espionage training, otherwise they're a serious potential point of weakness for a hero.