1. Writes15

    Writes15 New Member

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    Super heroes

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Writes15, Nov 29, 2016.

    Hello!
    I had a superhero idea a while back and I've been letting it rest but now I've actually been giving it some thought, I'm super excited to get stuck in and write it.
    But I worry about making it too stereotypical and like its just recycling the same story over and over again. I don't think it is from what I've thought over so far but I still can't help but worry.
    So I was hoping you guys could give me some sterotypes (books/movies/comics I don't mind) or things you like or dislike about them?

    (I'm new here and not entirely sure this is meant to be posted here, I apologise)
     
  2. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Welcome to the site!
    You actually already have my go-to advice for brainstorming down :) figure out what you don't like about other stories, then do the opposite.

    Personally, I wish more powers could be defined more realistically: when the Hulk picks up a large enough weight by bracing his feet against the ground, strictly speaking what should happen is that he ends up pushing himself into the ground by bracing his hands against the weight (if you ever go to TvTropes, you may recognize this as the page image for Required Secondary Powers).

    Iron Man, for example, did this fantastically with The Icing Problem ;)

    Even the standard plots would be more interesting if the tools and skills available to the protagonists had clearly defined limits that the protagonists need to take into consideration when making their plans.
     
  3. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    What I notice most is how people react to them. And also how very powerful abilities are treated so casually. Superman is fine for a fantasy plot. But in the real world, what's he gonna do to the Islamic State? I mean, in Batman v Superman, it only took a one Luthor to manipulate the most powerful alien in the world. I can imagine seeing fifty ransom demands on him for beheadings.

    Add to that we have Superman who is an alien and yet looks and speaks human language, has sex with a woman, and reproduces. For real?

    Well, at least Vulcans don't have superpowers. Except maybe mind melding. And super strength. And extremely advanced mental processing. And that nerve pinch which isn't biologically explainable beyond conjecture. And then there's that katra stuff where they can inject their spirit into another person... It's interesting that we don't seem to regard Vulcans as superheroes given these features. Which suggests to me that it depends on what you do with such characters, and their presence by population. I guess a population of thousands of supermans immigrating to Earth might start to come off more like the Vulcans, assuming they partake in common, everyday routines.
     
  4. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    Well, it doesn't bother me per say, but I have noticed every super hero with super strength is also virtually indestructible. It makes sense by way of you don't want them breaking their hand when they punch someone, but sometimes I wonder what it'd be like if they weren't so indestructible.
     
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  5. ginkgo88

    ginkgo88 New Member

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    I'd like to see more heroes with villainous tendencies. Sometimes I really can't believe how 'good' some super heroes are... the average person, though maybe not inherently evil on a large organized stage, would definitely be using their powers for far more personal gains in everyday life.
     
  6. malaupp

    malaupp Active Member

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    What's always annoyed me about superhero stories is how they gloss over the fact that the buildings around them are being destroyed. Yeah, the big battle is cool and everything and a toppling sky scraper has dramatic effect. But did they evacuate gigantic parts of the city? Where are all those displaced people? And how is anyone going to rebuild everything once the awesome battle is over? I would love a story that takes into account that type of thing.
     
  7. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    They did. It was called The Incredibles.
     
  8. malaupp

    malaupp Active Member

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    Yes and no. The superheroes were still really popular for a long period of time, presumably while they were still destroying buildings. And the story never covered on whether or not innocent bystanders were killed. And while I love the movie, it had a giant plot hole of its own. Why did all the super villains disappear when the super heroes did? I mean, I've read the theory behind it (it's uncomfortably plausibly) but there's no in-movie explanation. Unless they plan to bring it up in the sequel.
     
  9. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    The other option is the long congressional hearings from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Extraneous Subtitles.
     
  10. malaupp

    malaupp Active Member

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    I'll be honest, I didn't bother to see that movie. Just wasn't interested.
     
  11. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    You made the right choice.
     
  12. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    That would actually be interesting. Care to enlighten me? I don't usually read/watch superhero movies/books.
     
  13. malaupp

    malaupp Active Member

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    Well the big plothole in The Incredibles is what happened to the super villains when the super heroes went into retirement. Realistically, the super villains would rejoice at the lack of heroes and finally take over the world. Or do whatever nefarious things they had planned. But there's nothing. Just as the heroes are put into hiding, the villains disappear. That, combined with the fact the government essentially oversees and manages the day to day lives of the retired super heroes (when Bob does something to nearly blow his cover, the government moves them again), and the fact that we're never given the origin of the heroes' powers has led some people to theorize that both the super heroes and super villains of the story were created by the government in one giant conspiracy. The super villains would make the population terrified and turn to the government for help. The super heroes would then save the day, with an all-around government-positive message, therefore keeping the people loyal. So when the people no longer wanted the heroes, the government essentially scrapped the entire program to prevent the people turning against them. But they couldn't undo what they'd done to make the people heroes, hence why they still have their powers and pass on the mutations to their children (like Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack).

    The main villain of the story, and the reason for the Incredibles return, is non-super (i.e., not created by the government, but still evil). However, when the Incredibles publicly defeat him and super heroes are popular again, lo and behold a super villain pops up in the form of the giant talking mole at the end of the movie. The super heroes became popular again before super villains came back into the picture, which gives the theory credence that it's all staged to make the government look good.
     
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  14. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    Thanks for the explanation :)
     
  15. malaupp

    malaupp Active Member

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    Not a problem, it's one of my favorite film theories. :D
     
  16. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    This! I totally forgot about this issue when I responded. That's one reason I really like The Avengers movies (non cartoon). The heroes assigned certain people to evacuate and protect the citizens. They also got the local police involved.
     
  17. TheWingedFox

    TheWingedFox Banned

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    I'm working on a series of superhero novels, and hope to (self) publish in Spring 2017. One of the great sources of what is a very sparse genre (publishers seem to feel the graphic novel is a better format) is 'Black and White' and the sequel, 'Shades of Grey', by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge (2009). They really draw out the characters in a way that, just as in 'The Walking Dead' series, less attention is given to what movies usually glorify - ie, the weird, unusual or abnormal - but instead deal with characters, which to me is the main pint of my writing and reading.

    But remember, there will always be elements of any genre which are stereotypical...the maiden in distress, the villain.. because it's what we want to read about. And superheroes are heroes...they are as stereotypical as they come.

    Another interesting take is the 2007 novel 'Hero' by Perry Moore;

    Hero (2007) is a Lambda-winning novel, and the only novel by openly gay film producer and novelist Perry Moore. The fantasy novel is about a teenage superhero, Thom Creed, who must deal with his ex-superhero father's disgrace, his own sexuality, and a murderer stalking the world's heroes. (Wikipedia)

    As you can see, approaching it with your own take is enough despite a fear of any stereotypes.

    Good luck with it! :)
     
  18. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    In regards to The Incredibles theory, I have another one. Sometimes the villains are entirely dependent on the super-hero. We see something similar to this with The Joker and Batman.

    "You complete me," says The Joker in The Dark Knight.

    Now, of course, there are other ways one could explain this specific case.

    But in Sherlock, the series on Netflix with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, Sherlock is at a loss of what to do with himself when there is no crime to solve. Because of his own genius and ego, he's also lost without an equally skilled opponent, such as Moriarty. A villain that can give him a real run for his money. It's also interesting to note - although it doesn't necessarily pertain to my theory - that Cumberbatch went from voicing Smaug in The Hobbit, where Martin Freeman played Bilbo, to Cumberbatch playing a protagonist role alongside Freeman in the Sherlock show.

    I'd argue that Sherlock is a super-hero. Just not your typical Marvelized / Capcommed / DCed image of super-hero.

    Just food for thought more than anything.

    As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, "The battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man."
     
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  19. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    I like to see certain tropes turned on their head. Namely the idea of the love interest in distress being male rather than female. The old WW tv show was a perfect example of this - You had the rugged, good looking, capable Steve Trevor character being constantly knocked out, kidnapped and in need of Wonder Woman to rescue him.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    What does one do when turning the trope on its head becomes the new cliche?

    Turn its head again? :p
     
  21. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    If it's done well I don't think it should be considered a cliche.

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. WNP

    WNP Member

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    You should read the steelheart trilogy, essentially certain people get super powers and end up taking over the world.

    Also has anyone seen Megamind? Kind of has the same thing mentioned as The Incredibles
     

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