1. dhampirefangs

    dhampirefangs Member

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    Superhero clichés

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by dhampirefangs, Jan 23, 2019.

    Hello!

    I think many of you didn’t think about it. But superhero story is a master class! I mean, it’s so difficult to make it “unique”. And at least, DC and Marvel used everything before us (especially the background stories). Ok. There are few good examples. One, I know, is the book series Renegade by Marissa Meyer. Ok. It feels like Twilight – mainly a cheesy love story and the supernatural stuff is just the accessory. But it’s more or less great (spoiler ahead!) it tells from a villain, who spy out the heroes and become a hero by herself. However, back to the topic: I want to write a superhero web show. But I have to have loveable characters. – This also means fewer clichés! So, put the clichés you know here. However, please, avoid doublings. Thanks, beforehand.
     
  2. LazyBear

    LazyBear Senior Member

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    Overpowered superheroes in spandex and cape are cliché. You could write about a real person using the internet for anonymity and manipulating people into fighting each other. Just don't do the "he took you cut" cliché where the bad guys shoot each other.
     
  3. Lilith Fairen

    Lilith Fairen Member

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    Superhero fiction mocking capes and other superhero fashion is also its own cliche.

    But I always find it interesting when people respond to threads like this by telling people to write something entirely different. That's not a useful response in the slightest.
     
  4. S A Lee

    S A Lee Contributor Contributor

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    I agree with @LazyBear overall. Though One Punch Man explored the idea of what comes after being so strong that nothing is a challenge anymore and what comes about as a result. There were some interesting concepts like creating a whole system to treat heroes like the city's law enforcement.

    One question that isn't asked so much (and if it is, the answer is 'badly') is how do the heroes look after themselves? Spider-Man was revolutionary when it first came out not only because it was a superhero who started in high school, but he was forever juggling his double life. He couldn't hold jobs very well because he was not reliable thanks to villains not being particularly considerate of concepts like day jobs (why should they be?).

    Maybe it could be a ragtag bunch of heroes who rent out apartments in the same block and have 'shifts' as such so everyone pays their bills, gets their share of heroics and gets their sleep? There could be a combination of mundane and heroic shenanigans there.
     
    making tracks likes this.
  5. LazyBear

    LazyBear Senior Member

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    In "Hobo with a shotgun", the hero didn't pay any bills. He just walked around and shot people that he disliked. :twisted:
     
  6. ugly henry

    ugly henry Member

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    The most egregious superhero cliche to me is the notion that superheores are inherently virtuous and noble. As a kid who lived for Superman, Batman, Captain America etc in the early 70's I have always held my heroes dear and with wonder, yet they, like every single one of us is human and must find their way in this horror show called life.
     
  7. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I often wonder when you write in a modern setting how would you stay away from clichés. If it’s not in the narrative it surely is in dialog.
    I always saw Stan Lee's heroes as someone middle aged living in their mom’s basement.
    At least Superman had a job.
     
  8. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Except, you know, the bill for the shotgun. 50$ if I remember correctly. All he wanted to do was mow peoples lawns, but in the end all he could do was mow people down.
     
  9. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    We had a couple threads from around this time last year that touched on superhero story elements. You might find the responses beneficial.

    https://www.writingforums.org/threads/superhero-tropes-and-cliches-youre-tired-of.156701/

    https://www.writingforums.org/threads/superheroes-what-would-you-like-to-see.156911/

    Consistent complaints I hear:
    • Villains who are evil for the sake of being evil, or have similarly poor motivations.
    • World threatening plots.
    • Death coming off as cheap due to characters often coming back to life.
    The best way to learn what's cliche in a given genre is to consume it voraciously and take note of which elements occur so often they lose their weight and bore readers to tears.
     

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