1. Snoopingaround
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    Snoopingaround Banned

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    The Possibility of Superheroes

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Snoopingaround, Nov 3, 2011.

    I have been pondering lately about the possibility of becoming a superhero. Not really in terms of myself becoming one per se, but the possibility that people might be able to in general. I do not intend to go out onto the streets fighting crime as a masked vigilante or anything like that, personally. But...what if some guy really desired to pull something off along those lines? If they had some talent, and they really dedicated themselves to it (like hard training 12 hours a day), could it actually be done? I mean, let's take a look at a character like Batman. He doesn't have any special powers, he wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider and he isn't some alien who has super-strength. According to what I get from the general story, he is a man who was intensely focused on training his gifted mind and athletic body to the absolute heights of human perfection, in order to achieve his goals. In effect, he uses his highly developed mind and body as his special powers. If someone had a genius level intellect, and was born with superb physical gifts (exceptionally strong, quick, great cardiovascular stamina, motor coordination), could they use those talents in such a way as to become a kind of real world version of a comic book crime fighter? Or is this idea just too fantastical?
     
  2. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    You forget that Bruce Wayne is a billionaire who owns half the town (at least) and can afford to research and develop all sorts of cool high-tech gadgets that helps him. The batsuit is bulletproof (it can even protect him from a shotgunblast at close range), yet it's apparently very light weight and extremely flexible. If armor like that was possible to make, how come the military hasn't developed it yet? And don't get me started on that Batmobile, Batplane, Batarang and so on. The guy doesn't have powers, true, but Batman is more than just a guy in a silly costume.

    As for 'real' superheroes like in Kick Ass, I think it could be possible in theory, but it would be incredible dangerous and stupid. Unlike in the comic books, the bad guys cheat. A lot. Forget about the stupid tag-team fights in comic books. If a guy walks up to a bunch of bad guys, they will attack him together, not just one on one. And why would anyone want to be a superhero anyway? If you are that desperate to fight crime, why not be a cop and get paid for it? And backup? In fact, if you did dress up in a costume and fought crime, the cops would probably arrest you anyway. Taking the law in your own hands is illegal. ;)
     
  3. Quorum1
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    It would make an interesting story if you were going to be realistic about the person's capabilities. Probably it would be more amusing if the character was an average Joe kind of guy who decided to become a 'hero' in the real world, but that would make it a comedy I suppose.
     
  4. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    I've often thought about it as well, and you don't need to be a Bruce Wayne, because there is no city on Terra Firma as corrupt as Gotham. There are no cities to my knowledge where there is nonstop 24/7 extreme criminal activity. Anyone could theoretically train themselves much like Bruce Wayne did, and then work as a vigilante in the city. Getting around may be difficult without the technology that Batman uses, but not impossible. As for myself being a vigilante, I'd be more afraid of the police and lawyers than the actual criminals. The criminals would just kill you, but if the cops and lawyers got their hands on you, well, vigilantism is legally considered domestic terrorism in the states. Have fun being sent to Guantanamo for seeing yourself above the law. :p
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Alternatively, there's the real life superheroes, like the Rain City Superhero Movement in Seattle and Washington.
    They're basically led by Phoenix Jones who has pepper spray, a taser, several MMA and championship boxing titles, and a kind of awesome suit. He's black, and he sounds kind of girly when he talks, and he's not really cool enough to beat up on people, but yeah...
    They do a fair bit of good in their community, and apparently also some bad, but that's subjective.

    I was talking to a mate a couple months back about why people don't just do it and we decided we'd do it some day. Then I came home that evening in the middle of a report on 60 minutes about Phoenix Jones. So, one day, I'm going to become a supervillain, because I don't see how being a superhero could pay well at all.
     
  6. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    much better to join the service and be stationed there. That is one nice looking base. also unlikely you would end up in a military pen, if you are caught by the police.
     
  7. WriterDude
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    It has nothing to do with corruption, although saying "there is no city as corrupt as Gotham" is a bit naive. But it's not just about corruption. It's about fighting crime where it's needed, and surely if you want to be a superhero crime fighter, you don't exclusivly go for the minor crime with one or two people involved? You would need to go against all sorts of crime, and the worse crime, the better. I'd like to see you dress up in a costume and go after a few drug dealers. ;) Or on second thought, maybe not. You'd be lucky to end up in the hospital.

    No offense, but what use is a pepper spray, taser, martial art skills and a suit against people with guns?
     
  8. WriterDude
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    (sorry, the forum decided to post twice for some weird reason)
     
  9. Question
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    People have tried to take the law into their own hands for century's and their called vigilantes. And the idea that anybody can dawn a cape and mask to go fight crime has been displayed in society for a long time.(haven't you seen superbad). Though the idea of real life super heroes would never work because even if they were highly trained individual all it would take is one bullet. People are not invincible. In comic books good always triumphs over evil but the inevitable outcome for someone who would try and do this would probably be death. Think about it logically, this "super hero" would be making enemy's with about every criminal in the city and eventually one of them would probably get the best of them. I say this because this supposed superhero is human and humans make mistakes.
     
  10. Islander
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    I think the vigilantism is the most unrealistic aspect of super heroes - or at least the part that's most difficult to explain away. In real life, people make mistakes. If people dress up in masks and start beating crooks up, they'll sooner or later use excessive violence, or beat up an innocent bystander, or kill someone. If society lets them get away with it "because they're heroes", people will start dressing up as costumed heroes to get an excuse to beat people up, until enough people has a friend or relative who was hurt or killed by them. And if the vigilantes are forced to explain their actions in a court room, it'll be hard for them to maintain their secret identity.

    If crime-fighters run around in masks, crooks will soon realise they can dress up as the heroes when they commit crimes - it allows them to run around masked without being stopped by the police. Eventually, the police will have to apprehend anyone in a mask who acts suspicious - for example, sneaks around the rooftops, or keeps lookout over a jewellery store - since the police has no idea if it's the real hero or a copycat.

    Still, I'm surprised that no one has *tried* to become a costumed crime fighter, considering all the crazy things people do.
     
  11. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, no, I've never seen Superbad. I did see Kick-Ass, though. ("Under control? You picked up a f**king bazooka!") :D I think the main reasons why people can't be superheroes is because of the super-part. We don't have superpowers.

    Of course, if we are only talking vigilantes, it's a different matter entirely. A lone vigilante would still be a pretty stupid idea, but there are plenty of vigilante-groups all over the world. We even have them over here. The difference is they don't fight crime, but walk the streets at night to prevent crime. There's a big difference. The more people there are on the streets, the less likely it is to get robbed, raped and so on. The vigilantes I talk about do interfere if they see something bad, but most of they simply call the cops.
     
  12. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The closest I've heard of that we're coming to a superhero is the Army's work on developing a kind of super-soldier suit, like a more realistic Iron Man concept. It's really more of a man-amplifier, that uses hydraulics to add strength to the soldier so he can carry large amounts of equipment long distances without much effort. Add body armor, advanced sensory equipment like night-vision goggles and amplified hearing, and you're getting into superhero territory. The tests I've seen of this kind of concept on TV have all been (understandably) limited by an umbilical cable to provide power. If a suit like this could be built with a portable power source (Iron Man's "arc reactor" or some such), then being a superhero might actually be possible.

    But we're a long way from arc reactor technology. So long as the suit is tethered by an umbilical to a stationary power source, being a superhero using this technology is a pipe dream.
     
  13. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry - double post.
     
  14. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    I think people are under the assumption that these vigilantes are going to rush into a warehouse at 2 in the morning and beat up 20 drug dealers and somehow get away without a scratch. When I think vigilantism, I really think about Dexter, the serial killer. He may be a criminal, but he is a a vigilante committing a form of justice, he's made MANY mistakes in the books and show, but because of his knowledge of forensics he's able to preserve himself. Dexter may not be the most realistic work of fiction, but he's definitely a realistic vigilante; he's dedicated enough to take time and observe his target.
     
  15. James Berkley
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    I think one major discouragement is that fighting hurts. I think we all know from experience the mere act of hitting someone multiple times with a unprotected hand leaves you with some chunks of skin removed which are unpleasant from days. Also getting cut by glass, hurts and there is a lot of blood, in my experience. I have no interest in looking for a fight with someone on the street who is meaner and better armed them me.
     
  16. WriterDude
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    Dexter is a pretty good example of a vigilante, yes. But we're kinda moving into Bruce Wayne-territory here, as in Dexter's a cop working with forensics. I don't think a 'normal' person would be able to get away with most of the things he does.
     
  17. Snoopingaround
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    I think that is probably the biggest obstacle to achieving superhero status. You have to be able to beat every guy you face. You have to be smarter, faster, tougher and be able to win in any situation. Assuming that a loss means death or at least serious injury, then at some point (probably wouldn't take that long) even a talented, highly trained guy is going to run into some serious problems. Nonetheless, I think that it is technically possible for a Batman-like figure to exist in reality, but he is undoubtedly going to be a slower, dumber, weaker, and generally not as effective version from the comic books. No one can reach the levels as presented in the comics, but I do believe it likely that someone with enough talent and intense training can become a "poor man's" version of Batman. I mean, you can probably take a guy from Seal Team Six (the most elite of the Navy Seal units), and if he also has a genius level intellect and earns a Phd in Biophysics from MIT, then that is kind of what Batman is. Now, how many of those guys are out there? Probably very, very few, but I think that this scenario can be realized if the conditions are right and the talent is there.
     
  18. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    challenge accepted!
     

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