1. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Superhero Novels

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Marcelo, Aug 25, 2008.

    What do you people think of superhero novels? A friend says that superheroes are for comics, not novels. I myself have never read one, but I think that that type of novel is interesting. What do you think?
     
  2. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Truthfully, I haven't really seen one. I think that most superhero stories are better expressed in a "comic" format, but I think that it'd be an interesting concept. I'm sure there is one somewhere, but I haven't seen any.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I say "Why not?"

    There have been novelizations of superhero movies. Also Jumper could be considered a superhero novel (the book preceded the film by many years).

    I wrote a superhero short story last year, and have toyed with the idea of a novel.

    Just because graphic novels and comic books have been the principal written medium for superhero fiction doesn't mean it has to be that way!
     
  4. Milady
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    Milady Contributing Member

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    I saw one on the YA bookshelf at Barnes & Noble a few months ago. Don't remember the name, but I remember thinking that the blurb made it sound a lot like that movie Sky High.

    But like Cogito says, why not? I love comics, and judging by an old superhero thread we had around here, a lot of the rest of us do, too. You'd certainly have an extensive target audience. Or at least me... :)
     
  5. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I hate to say this but I hate Super Hero Novels. It is weird cause I am sure everyone has read a novel about people with super powers, or paranormal abilities.

    When I read about comic heroes like spiderman, superman, or batman in novel form, it does not feel the same. Those three are also the ones with the most novels I can find. I also find the opposite true.

    Marvel has released comic retellings of works by R.A. Salvatore, Stephen King, and Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. To me they were not good. Maybe I am biased because I was familiar with them before hand.

    I just do not liek the Idea about a hero in a novel in spandex. To me that is crazy. Then again when I found out Orson Scott Card did stories for Iron Man I was floored. You would also be suprised at which fantasy authors have helmed comic book novels.
     
  6. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    I agree with Cog and Milady, I think anything can be expressed through words, so why not?
     
  7. Silver Random
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    Silver Random Senior Member

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    I've never read one.

    Comic-booky superheroes dont belong in novels. However, the more recent generations of superhero films and such often seem to be focusing more on "What would it *really* be like if someone was a superhero / had superpowers?" The comic-booky stuff that has to be included because thats what the original was like usually partially ruins this effect though.

    However, i think a novel, rather than a film or a TV series, is probably the best medium to do the whole *realistic superhero* thing, as it can go into much more depth with plot, themes and characterisation - and*realistically*, there would be less comic-book style action, which is the part that films are usually much better at portraying.

    Though i havent read any, i imagine it has been done, as everything has, and i know that personally id be quite interested in a novel about superheroes :)
     
  8. WritaBurst
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    I am actually working on a superhero novel, so I'm all for it. I don't see any reason why it couldn't work. If your reading a book about anything you have to picture things in your mind. If the writer is describing a superhero in action, you should be able to picture that in your mind the same way.
     
  9. Popsicle.culture
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    Actually, if done correctly, they are probably some of the best novels I know. One of my favorite books is a 'superhero novel': Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman. It was portrayed masterfully, paced excellently, and the characters were some of the most vivid I've run across yet.

    Converting a comic like Batman or X-Men into a novel loses it's excellence, because they were made to be comics. Believe me, when they're not knock-off conversions, superhero novels can be excellent.
     
  10. Little Miss Edi
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    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

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    Superhero novels can be as engaging as any other. It's all about the style they're written in and the aspects of (forgive this word please!) superhero-dom that they deal with. I agree with Popsicle.culture, they can be both excellently paced and vivid. If you're not particularly adept at writing action then maybe super hero novels aren't for you but if not then as Cogito and Milady said: "why not?"

    Also, as a little food for thought, there must be a reason why people choose to write fan fiction about superheros. Obviously, like all things they love the characters. But the topics, issues and environments are engaging and often the stories are self perpetuating. Whether you consider fan fiction as a 'legitimate' or 'sophisticated' form of writing or not, it holds mass appeal and can create truly excellent work.

    :) Then again - I believe comics and graphic novels fulfill an important role in developing the imagination, so... I might be a little biased.
     
  11. Night.Runner
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    Night.Runner Member

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    Go Cogito! I want to see more Superhero Novels. Jumper was good, though nothing like the movie. I never really got into novelizations of superhero movies. Excelcior!
     
  12. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    It was the other way round. The novel Jumper was realeased in the 1990s, and then a novel named Reflex was realeased. Maybe they make it into a movie, too.
     
  13. TwinPanther13
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    I will have to look those up. Who wrote the novels?
     
  14. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Steven Goulder
     
  15. ciavyn
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    ciavyn Senior Member

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    I think it is a great idea, if the idea is original. Most of the paranormal/fantasy characters contain the elements of superhero - my own paranormal fiction certainly focuses on the main character as more or less a superhero. I just posted a short story I wrote, where the character has telepathic abilities, but is only child - kind of the dark side of having superhuman abilities.

    Go for it!
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Original doesn'y matter. Which is just as well, because it is nigh impossible.

    Instead focuse on the characters and the writing/ Make it live in the reader's omagination!
     
  17. Angel OD
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    Angel OD New Member

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    It would be nice to see more super hero books, but isnt that what Magna/Comic books are for? :p
     
  18. TwinPanther13
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    Hey I looked up Stephen Gould, seems liek the only bestseller on his short list of novels was jumper
     
  19. inkslinger
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    inkslinger Contributing Member

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    I've been toying with this idea lately. I think it would be very exciting if done correctly. I agree with everyone who has already said why not? I mean, it's true, anything and everything can be expressed through written word.
     
  20. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends on the audience. People expect different things from a novel than they do from a comic book. Comic books can get away with episodic stories much easier, for instance. Not that it can't be done, but you may find a super-hero in a novel must by necessity differ from the spandex-wearing, butt-kicking, episodic warrior.
     
  21. Scattercat
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    One thing that does stand in the way - and probably the reason why there aren't more superhero novels - is the immense symbolic weight of the comics themselves. There is an entire world of iconography, history, and little narrative traditions and shorthands which will have to inform any "superhero" novel. Soon I Will Be Invincible played with those traditions, nodding and winking at the comic books and their famous idiosyncracies. Other original superhero novels, presuming that they are forthcoming, will have to make their own accommodations with the history of the genre.

    I think it's important to distinguish a "superhero" novel from a "novel featuring people with paranormal powers," as well. Powers != superheroes, and simply having characters with, say, telepathy, or telekinesis, or some kind of quasi-magic blaster ability in your novel will not necessarily make it a superhero novel.
     
  22. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I guess you're right. But most people call superhero novels the novels where the characters have super-human abilities, but in my case there is no superhero in the novel I'm making because... Well, let's say they're too occupied fighting for their lives.
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I am going to have to resurrect my Blink short story, there's no doubt about it.
     

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