Superhero tropes and cliches you're tired of

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by X Equestris, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Xoic

    Xoic Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    edge of the spacetime continuum
    I'm not really asking you so much as pondering the question myself. I've never really thought through this kind of scenario.
     
  2. Xoic

    Xoic Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    edge of the spacetime continuum
    @Bone2pick Exactly. That's why I like the way it's handled in Jessica Jones, where the hero actually suffers from alcoholism and several other issues. The entire story world is steeped in these kind of problems, so each character has to deal with them, rather than one hero finding a solution by flying around the world real fast to turn time back or something. And one of the things the creators did so brilliantly was to build the entire character web around abuse, including a villain who is the ultimate abuser—a charismatic but malignantly narcissistic telepath who can control people absolutely and violate their innermost thoughts. So rather than dealing with it externally it's dealt with inwardly in different ways by all the main characters.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  3. Xoic

    Xoic Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    edge of the spacetime continuum
    @Accelerator231 In order to get anywhere on this problem I'd need to write about it a lot, as in think about different possibilities and develop what might result form each. For instance, what if some tyrant took over a country and then a superhero rose up and decided to take it back from him using whatever means are necessary. I can see that putting him and all his cronies in prison would use resources that might be costly and dangerous, and he could still have henchmen outside who would rescue him. Beheading or something similar would be much quicker and more permanent.

    But you have to find that fine line between a hero doing what's necessary and becoming a tyrant himself. That's what makes it interesting, seeing him try things and make the choices—what happens when he goes a little too far, and can he recover status in the eyes of the people who might start to lose faith if he becomes something like a tyrant himself. There's definitely an interesting story idea in there somewhere.
     
    Accelerator231 likes this.
  4. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    890
    Internal conflicts are certainly compelling, but ultimately it's the external conflicts that are the foundation of the superhero genre. At least as far as I can tell. We don't view characters as superheroes if they're completely occupied with saving themselves. They need to protect and save others, which is an external struggle.
     
  5. Xoic

    Xoic Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    edge of the spacetime continuum
    She has to save many people from Kilgrave. He likes to command random people to for instance slit their throats if he doesn't come back in 3 hours, so this makes it really difficult to do anything to him. In fact, through season 1 a girl he commanded to murder her family is in prison, and Jessica is the only one who knows what really happened. She of course can't convince anybody there's a telepath out there who's making people do things against their will, and all the other heroes just want to destroy Kilgrave, but if they do Jessica knows Hope will commit suicide in prison. So the inner drama is brilliantly played out externally.

    I did a semi-analysis of it on a blog. Look up cinema-nalysis on blogspot if you're interested. Right now it's the only entry.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  6. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,081
    Likes Received:
    2,135
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Many of the stories featuring more overtly or traditionally heroic characters may function on the idea the system works, but I wouldn't say it's true of all superhero fiction. Street-level heroes are often driven to direct action by the opposite belief: that the system is fundamentally broken and requires serious reform if not outright replacement.
     
  7. Orang-U-Can

    Orang-U-Can Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2020
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    the office, it's where my computer is.
    My favourite Superhero, who stands head and shoulders above all the others is,
    Bicycle Repair Man. He underlined the futility of creating any others.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2020
  8. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    10,781
    Likes Received:
    9,898
    Location:
    Near Sedro Woolley, Washington
    One trope and/or cliché I don't like is the one that prevents superheroes from using guns or killing. Batman won't use guns. Superman won't kill (I think). They seem to have dropped that idea in the Marvel movies, at least, but too often, in the comics, superheroes won't shoot back if someone is shooting at them. They come up with lame reasons for this: Batman said something to the effect that he won't use guns because they become a crutch. That's pretty lame when you've got a squad of bad guys shooting machine guns at you and the civilians you're trying to protect. C'mon, Batdude! This isn't a game. It isn't a martial-arts competition with rules and whatnot. It's life-or-death business and you shouldn't disadvantage yourself by refusing to use the weapons your opponents use freely and gladly.
     
  9. Orang-U-Can

    Orang-U-Can Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2020
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    the office, it's where my computer is.

    Actually, it is a game for little kiddies.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2020
  10. Xoic

    Xoic Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    484
    Location:
    edge of the spacetime continuum
    Bicycle Repairman!! He was reverse Superman—everybody was a Superman, and when someone crashed a bike he'd disappear into a phone booth and change into coveralls. Not sure where he kept the toolbox though?
     
  11. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    890
    I actually like that trope. Not for every superhero mind you – I dig Wolverine, Jason Todd, and similar characters. But I think it's perfect for Batman and Superman. It's great to have some characters (especially the iconic ones) take every measure to prevent themselves from being thought of as judge, jury, and executioner. Not to mention the fact that it's a principle that can be exploited by their villains.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  12. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,081
    Likes Received:
    2,135
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I don't mind it if:

    1) The character has a compelling reason not to kill. Daredevil is a devout Catholic; murder is a mortal sin, and Matt fears killing a foe like Kingpin would mean damnation. Batman hates guns because his parents were murdered with one, and he refuses to kill out of a deep-seated fear doing so would make him no different than his enemies.

    2) Authors don't treat a refusal to kill as undeniably being the right answer. After a supervillain escapes from prison and goes on a rampage for the second time in a month, it's not unreasonable for people--be it the general public, a hero's peers, or the hero themself--to question whether they should be allowed to live.

    If those conditions aren't met, no-kill codes and the like can definitely become tiresome.
     
  13. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    82
    I've been annoyed by some shit. Read 'The Boys' by Garth Ennis. Boy, is it cringeworthy. Trenchcoat wearing men who make hard decisions against thinly-veiled expies of other superheroes.

    I dislike the trenchcoat wearing men of the 90's
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice