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NO CAPES! Superheroes for the 21st Century


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Posted on Oct 3, 2011 1:57:25 PM PDT
I have always been partial to the 'dark hero'. One who is suffering on some level and is a bit conflicted. Vigilante types fit the bill as does the classic Batman. Those who are capable of bad to do right.
Just watched "Let the Right One In" last night and I am drawn to the vampire girl as a hero in the end. Also the boy who is obsessed with murder and now is committed to a life protecting and feeding her.

Posted on Oct 5, 2011 4:34:28 PM PDT
I am more drawn to the hero who is good, but not just altruistic. In other words, he knows he has a life outside of just being a costumed hero, and that has to work, too. Spiderman was always that kind of hero, a blue-collar working-class guy who knew his life needed to balance both roles, or it was useless. I'm thinking about a new treatment for such a working-class hero.

Posted on May 30, 2012 5:27:05 PM PDT
Geoff Oldham says:
I guess I am drawn to the epic tale where it isn't simply someone trying to overcome a physical challenge but also a spiritual one. I read a great book, "Proxies of Fate," and it is really good. It takes the golden age type of superhero yet gives it a modern edge. It has an anti-hero, a teenage Chinese boy in Japanese occupied Manchukuo who is given god-like powers and who sets out to free his people only to become a monster despite his best intentions, betrayed by his ideals as well as by the people he sets out to save. And then there is the hero, a spiritually broken veteran of WWI who is given a second chance he never wanted and is inspired by the hope of Depression era America becoming something he never thought he would ever be: a hero. These are two tales interwoven of maturity, loss, and growth. And though there are villains, they are so well written it is hard not to care about them, especially the Chinese boy, Li Chen, whose dreams turn to nightmares. It is such a great book and deserves far more attention than it has received.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012 9:29:14 PM PDT
Poisoned Ivy says:
You want a hero? I'll give you one!! Thorn

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 8:40:19 PM PDT
Knightmare94 says:
I just watched the film Chronicle (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo +Digital Copy), which gave the characters super powers without any outfits, capes, or the like. A pretty enjoyable film, I was surprised. I'd like to see more like that, but it's hard to introduce new characters when they have to compete with icons like Superman and the like. Now matter how unrealistic or bad they make those movies, they'll always trump something new because they're so well known.

And I don't mind because I love to see the characters I grew up on become live action films. Marvel is definitely on the right track despite a few lemons, and DC should definitely take notes. At the same time, I'd love to see something completely original...

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 2:03:35 PM PDT
To me, the real Superheros are innovators. Like this guy - he makes art with geometric concepts:

http://thrashlab.com/in-the-studio-with-matthew-shlian-4112/

Posted on Sep 10, 2012 4:53:05 AM PDT
That's pretty cool, and I can see practical applications to some of that (practical application isn't the point, but it's a nice side effect of art).

Now if he can start swooping down from the rooftops, ensnaring evildoers in nets of graphite-enforced paper...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2012 7:28:58 AM PDT
No, they're not, but they aren't fighting villains who paint their faces green or bank robbers. Ironman is closer, but why should tech be large and visible. I write superheroes and demigods for smart women, who know the relationship of Manga to anime and work to say "Gonzo" like the Japanese.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2012 7:47:26 AM PDT
Someone else who knows/read Doc Savage! The books did get a bit repetitive after sixty or so, but I still read them.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2012 7:48:30 AM PDT
"Life sucks enough, why read about it sucking for someone with sexual identity issues that wears tights?"

LOL!!!

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 8:09:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 12, 2012 8:12:49 AM PDT
My 'superheroes' have more in common with Tom Swift, McGyver, The Lone Ranger and Dr. Who than Superman or Dr. Strange. Lots of undercover space cops with tech or powers (almost always mental in nature). Villains don't get equal billing. They fight vast criminal organizations and rescue societies on the brink of self-immolation, and good police work isn't noisy. Of course, when it takes 1.2 million words to 'solve the mystery,' there's bound to be some hand-to hand and a war or two, a whole lot of laughs and love included. I write about the characters. It's what they're doing that makes them interesting. That's the fundamental truth of all good stories.

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 11:42:51 AM PDT
Can we look forward to such adventurers like Bicycle Repair Man? How about The News Agent, whose knowledge spans the world?

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 4:29:16 PM PDT
Green Meanie says:
Live Action Superheroes have been in the Wrestling Ring for decades now, all over the World.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2012 5:23:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 12, 2012 5:25:33 PM PDT
LOL!! And so true! I know a fellow who complains superheroes didn't come in until he retired. All he got to do was bleach his hair.

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 5:35:10 PM PDT
My daddy was a superhero, a crime-busting idealist with a friendly smile. The Mafia made a mistake. They made him mad. He destroyed them. So the president sent him to Boston, where he sent more to federal housing, with their good friend judges and such to keep them company. He did it with a mechanical pencil and a columnar pad.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 7:39:12 AM PDT
Just a little bump, because I like this thread.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 8:10:02 AM PDT
It's popularly said that Batman doesn't have superpowers, but actually he does have one. Or rather, Bruce Wayne does. He's tich. And make no mistake: wealth is a superpower. We don't think of it that way because it exists in real life, but wealth is a superpower.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2012 8:35:31 AM PDT
I agree. What Batman/Bruce Wayne had that is sorely lacking in this time is the concept of nobless oblige, the obligation of the noble, or any type of responsibility to aid others. If you can help, then you should. I like what Bill Gates is doing.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 8:39:03 AM PDT
Yeah, Gates is cool. He'd look silly in a batsuit, but he's doing good.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 9:29:47 AM PDT
Bat ears don't go with glasses.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 9:40:08 AM PDT
That's a point I have to concede.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 10:32:20 AM PDT
I liked the Fantastic Four, but the costumes hit my logic bump. I decided the illogical invention was so Invisible Girl didn't have to find a place to take her clothes off, like The Invisible Man, probably before the fourth issue.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 10:43:12 AM PDT
Whether a super hero has a cape or not doesn't matter to me to much. I think we've come to think of them that way just because of the mythology, however, I enjoy seeing them in something other than just plain clothing for my personal preference. I'm currently reading a book on the old pulp heroes called Pulp Masters edited by James Van Hise (you can find a copy on Amazon, etc.), which is where a lot of the comic heroes were inspired by, or you can go back further to Greek myth etc. I think a large part of any story no matter the genre stems from just good writing, execution of good characterization, the action and plots and so forth. That's why reading Doc Savage or Tarzan etc. are still fun to read today. That's also why those older heroes are still valid and sell pretty well at the box office today like John Carter (though some will disagree, the DVD has sold really well) or The Avengers movie.

Personally I'm not too much into the new superheroes stuff, like the Heroes TV series, and I really didn't care for Smallville either and some of the others. For me the flaw was in the execution or just didn't jive with my interest. I'd really like to see a TV series try and make something like The Shadow or something more plup-inspired from that era: the 30's/40's with trenchcoats, mask, and period costuming. They would not have to just fight just the mob, they or he, could fight an alien, some supernatural being, werewolves, etc.--similar to say, X-Files or whatever. I'm not holding my breathe though as I know Hollywood has a hard time thinking outside the box, and is not willing to take much of a chance. Were they to try something like this it would probably have to be set in today's timeline and involve some Matrix-inspired bs... sadly.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 10:45:10 AM PDT
The stretchy guy could have worn trunks and the hot one could have kept clothes on one of the others, but she'd have to get undressed. Right? The purpose of capes was the cultural definition of flamboyance of the time. LOTS of swashbuckling pirate movies. Pin the towel on the shoulders and swordfight, until one was bawling and Mom was yelling. Those progressed from the big screen to the small one magnificently. Saturday afternoon with Errol Flynn, post a disgusting chapter in our history. Capes are still associated with romance in our culture.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 5:53:06 PM PDT
There were so many Doc Savage books written that if you made each book into one television episode, you would have just over seven and a half seasons.
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  84
Initial post:  Sep 22, 2011
Latest post:  Sep 16, 2012

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