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Super hero tone and changing times


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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yeah, I enjoy different takes on the same characters. I'm not a purist in any away, and I believe that any take on a fictional character is valid, whether that's Batman or Merlin. Some I'll enjoy more than others, but I don't feel like any of them are wrong to exist (though continuity in the same iteration of the fictional universe is important to me).
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I like Miller's Batman, Dini's Batman, and Lorenzo Semple Jr.,'s Batman. 'Nuff said.

I enjoy different takes on superheroes as well. This has a long and storied history, whether it's the "Bizarro" world versions, or different writers and artists taking the hero in a new direction, or even "one-shots" (the Killing Joke, for example) examining as aspect of the character. Heck, if you have HBO Max, there is a whole library of the DC Universe Animated Films with different versions of the main characters (I just watched Red Son, which is the "What if Super Man crashed in the Soviet Union?").

Here's the thing, though.

...for there to be different takes; for writers to be able to play against type, that type has to be established. There is so much territory to mine when you are deliberately subverting expectations (to use one example); however, if the only thing that is ever done is playing against type, eventually, there is no longer that "type" to play against.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
...for there to be different takes; for writers to be able to play against type, that type has to be established. There is so much territory to mine when you are deliberately subverting expectations (to use one example); however, if the only thing that is ever done is playing against type, eventually, there is no longer that "type" to play against.
But that's OK, too. That's what happens to stories as time passes. Granted, superheroes are more modern than Greek or Arthurian heroes, or characters from fairytales, but eventually it gets to the point where there isn't a definitive version, and that's fine. It's not a problem which needs solving. Eventually that will happen to Batman and Superman too.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
But that's OK, too. That's what happens to stories as time passes. Granted, superheroes are more modern than Greek or Arthurian heroes, or characters from fairytales, but eventually it gets to the point where there isn't a definitive version, and that's fine. It's not a problem which needs solving. Eventually that will happen to Batman and Superman too.

I didn't say it wasn't okay.

I was just pointing out that the power of telling a story that relies on the knowledge of a "type," is negated when that type no longer exists.

You can't subvert something if the subversion is the genre itself.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
But that's OK, too. That's what happens to stories as time passes. Granted, superheroes are more modern than Greek or Arthurian heroes, or characters from fairytales, but eventually it gets to the point where there isn't a definitive version, and that's fine. It's not a problem which needs solving. Eventually that will happen to Batman and Superman too.

Definitive version and definitive type are not the same. After thousands of years, Zeus is still a philanderer. That's type, not version.
 


Ryujin

Hero
I enjoy different takes on superheroes as well. This has a long and storied history, whether it's the "Bizarro" world versions, or different writers and artists taking the hero in a new direction, or even "one-shots" (the Killing Joke, for example) examining as aspect of the character. Heck, if you have HBO Max, there is a whole library of the DC Universe Animated Films with different versions of the main characters (I just watched Red Son, which is the "What if Super Man crashed in the Soviet Union?").

Here's the thing, though.

...for there to be different takes; for writers to be able to play against type, that type has to be established. There is so much territory to mine when you are deliberately subverting expectations (to use one example); however, if the only thing that is ever done is playing against type, eventually, there is no longer that "type" to play against.
There no longer being a "type to play against" is a very good point. Sure, you can do alternates, spins, one-offs, etc. but when do they come to outnumber the source material? Sometimes, if you have a statement to make, then creating something of your own is the better way to go. You can see parallels to various properties in "The Boys" and "Watchmen", without directly calling out their source. The story is no less compelling. And if you really want to parody something, this is the route that I suggest. It worked for "Mystery Men" and "The Specials."
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Definitive version and definitive type are not the same. After thousands of years, Zeus is still a philanderer. That's type, not version.
Sure, and Batman's still a masked vigilante. We're just quibbling over words.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
If it is about actually understanding each other, Morrus, it isn't "just quibbling".
And now we’re quibbling about the meaning of quibbling. Meta quibbling.

Which word from this post shall we quibble about next? I vote “word”! :)
 

MarkB

Legend
And now we’re quibbling about the meaning of quibbling. Meta quibbling.

Which word from this post shall we quibble about next? I vote “word”! :)
Wow, that's neat. Tell someone they're quibbling and you immunise yourself from any counterpoint, because if they attempt to disagree you can just call that quibbling in turn. I'll have to remember that one.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Wow, that's neat. Tell someone they're quibbling and you immunise yourself from any counterpoint, because if they attempt to disagree you can just call that quibbling in turn. I'll have to remember that one.
I mean, it might work once as a joke, but I don't think I could repeat it!
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The trouble with quibbles is they can quickly get out of hand...
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the Jester

Legend
Well, they teased it very badly. "oh, this is absolutely real." as opposed to either an alt-universe story or a mystery for the reader to watch unfolding. So, of course doing that to their prime upstanding hero was going to ruffle feathers. They invited outrage.
Maybe in the marketing, but it was obvious in the comics from the start that the Cosmic Cube kid was the cause of HydraCap. Not just obvious, but explicit.
 



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