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Inclusa
2011-Nov-03, 03:46 AM
1) Alien hominids: From Superman to Dragonball to many other series, alien hominids are portrayed with superhuman powers.

2) Regular, everyday people who gain power scientifically or magically (usually the underdogs.)

Can anyone name more?

ggremlin
2011-Nov-03, 06:27 AM
This is like shooting the hero and doing no damage:

1. Secret Identity that any real 4 year old can see though, yet none of the secondary characters notice.

2. If a superhero arises there will ALLWAYS be a supervillian to oppose him/her. Reverse is also truth. Yeah, it is boring just watching a hero beating up regular criminals all day.

3. A superhero arises yet the crime rate will never fail and the police force is never cut, because that would make sense.

4. A superhero must always have a weakness if he is (bullet, laser, exotic energy weapon)-proof.

5. The local police chief, commissioner, or DA will either be totally for or totally against the hero, no middle ground.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-03, 07:00 AM
Secret identity was soundly lampooned in Mystery Men (the movie, have never read the comic) when the main characters debate if the billionaire lawyer Lance Hunt is in fact Captain Amazing or not. Of course Hunt's only real disguise is the "Clark Kent classic" AKA a pair of glasses :)
http://www.almightydad.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/clark_kent.jpg

On the OP, I admit it's not forum discussion to post links but there are so many good one out there on the subject that it's just impossible to resist (the other option would be to serve copy-pasta) - here are just three off the top of the Google search list:
http://www.jonathancrossfield.com/blog/2008/03/comic-scriptwriting-superhero.html
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100510115908AAdl7sL
http://www.mutantreviewers.com/rroundtable1.html

Paul Beardsley
2011-Nov-03, 07:02 AM
I'd like to see more of a distinction made between cliche and convention.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-03, 07:22 AM
"‘When something (a story point) is done badly we call it cliché, when it’s done well, we respect it as a convention."
~ Harold Ramis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-EbK6Wn6VM)

Noclevername
2011-Nov-03, 08:51 AM
Capes never get caught in anything (lampooned in several sources including Watchmen and The Incredibles), and never blows over the hero's head or wraps around them due to wind.

Female heroes' costumes are always skimpier than the males', and often include impractical elements like high heels and skirts.

Heroes are always good looking-- Men are muscular, tall and lantern-jawed. Women look like supermodels. No one wants to be saved by a short, fat, bald Superman.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-03, 05:17 PM
I write superhero novels, and only one of my characters has ever worn high-heeled boots. When my main character is designing costumes in the first book, she specifically asks another character if said other character has flats, and she definitely makes fun of the boots in a later book. (Turns out there are nasty psychological reasons for them, but at the time, it was because it was funny.) My characters also tend to shy away from what is known in certain circles as "the most common superpower." Even though I have way more female characters than average.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-03, 09:00 PM
Recurring bad guys always escape from prison.

The hero's love interest (who of course can't figure out his identity) is in love with his alter ego.

The brilliant super-inventor scientist is always a bad guy, and never bothers to just patent his inventions and retire a millionaire because he's MAD, mad I tell you! He'll show you all!

In the rare cases where he's a good guy, he never bothers to use his talents to improve the world, just beats up some goon in a halloween costume.

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-03, 10:12 PM
Supervillains don't die. They'll always be back somehow.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-03, 10:19 PM
The Hero has no day job, or a job that lets him slip away on a moment's notice using any flimsy excuse.

Nowhere Man
2011-Nov-04, 12:41 AM
Warning: Do not read this post if your free time is important to you! Highlight and read at your own risk!

You can find more than you want over at TV Tropes. Be careful, TV Tropes will ruin your life!

So far, this thread has mentioned:

Human Aliens
Super Hero Origin
Secret Identity
Super Villain
(nothing obvious about the non-effect supers have on the crime rate)
Kryptonite Factor
Reasonable Authority Figure/The Chamberlain
Clark Kenting
Superheroes Wear Capes
Fanservice/Ms. Fanservice
Ms. Fanservice/Mr. Fanservice/Eating the Eye Candy/Most Common Superpower
Cardboard Prison/Joker Immunity
Loves My Alter Ego
Evil Genius
Gadgeteer Genius (possibly)
Death is Cheap/Back from the Dead/Never Found the Body (applies to heroes, too -- to everyone, in fact, except Uncle Ben and Bruce Wayne's parents)
Stock Superhero Day Jobs
Fred

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 12:47 AM
You forgot a couple: "Cut Lex Luthor A Check" and "Reed Richards Is Useless".

Inclusa
2011-Nov-04, 03:10 AM
I write superhero novels, and only one of my characters has ever worn high-heeled boots. When my main character is designing costumes in the first book, she specifically asks another character if said other character has flats, and she definitely makes fun of the boots in a later book. (Turns out there are nasty psychological reasons for them, but at the time, it was because it was funny.) My characters also tend to shy away from what is known in certain circles as "the most common superpower." Even though I have way more female characters than average.



What did you write? What do you think of leotards and those modesty swimwear? (Ok, superheroes typically are in these.)

ABR.
2011-Nov-04, 03:55 AM
Secret identity was soundly lampooned in Mystery Men (the movie, have never read the comic) when the main characters debate if the billionaire lawyer Lance Hunt is in fact Captain Amazing or not. Of course Hunt's only real disguise is the "Clark Kent classic" AKA a pair of glasses :)

Personally, I've always enjoyed this clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Nov7vSkmU)from Lois and Clark:The New Adventures of Superman wherein the villain, Tempus, explains Superman's...clever...disguise.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-04, 04:14 AM
What did you write? What do you think of leotards and those modesty swimwear? (Ok, superheroes typically are in these.)

They've never been published, so you wouldn't have heard of them. But I try to avoid the stereotypical superhero wear whenever possible. A lot of my characters wear loose pants--that's male and female. It's more important that they're comfortable and can move freely than that everyone can see every ripple of every muscle. A lot of them aren't all that muscled, either, unless it's actually something to do with their powers. They're generally in decent shape, but not always, and they don't always have a reason to be above and beyond normal people.

Tog
2011-Nov-04, 07:12 AM
The game City of Heroes breaks things down into 5 origins.

Magic- This covers wizards and people given magic weapons or artifacts. Probably Thor, and Wonder Woman.
Mutant- The standard X-Men type.
Natural- The person with no special abilities, beyond dedication and creativity. Batman would be one of these. Technically, so would Superman. Anyone from his world would have similar abilities. It's a product of their natural physiology.
Science- The powers resulted from some form of experimentation. Hulk, Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Spider-man.
Technology- The person has some tech item that they would be useless without. Ironman. Depending on how look at it, Green Lantern could be this or Magic.

I'd put the superhero lair in the cliche/convention stack. The ones that have one will usually have some giant well equipped or elaborate base. Batman has the Batcave. Superman has the Crystal Fortress.
The ones without a base are either nomads (Hulk) or we just never really see their home life.

Vehicles are also over-the-top, or non-existant.
Batman has the Bat-everything. Wonder woman had the Invisible Jet. The X-Men have that jet. A lot of them can fly, or jump insane distances, or run really fast. You don't see many (except Wolverine) riding around in common vehicles.

I'm a little more lenient about costumes. They are not just about not being naked, they are also about being a symbol for a lot of heroes.

Batman has to carry a lot of stuff, but he also needs to be a symbol for the bad guys to fear.
Superman's outfit is as much of a symbol of what he stands for as anything. When people see him arrive, they know what will happen. If he dressed in sweats, he wouldn't carry that same effect.
Wonder Woman was meant to be a patriotic symbol, so she needed to dress for the roll. She could just as easily been in an ankle length dress, but it would have been hard to fight in.
The X-Men, I got nothing. The black and yellow spandex was more or less a football uniform when it came down to it. It gave them a sense of unity, but sweats could have done the same thing. They are also more of a paramilitary force, so in that regard they had more of a uniform.
The same could be said of Green Lantern. All of them wore a similar uniform.

Capes, I'll agree have no real purpose beyond potentially looking cool.
High heels can be nasty weapons in a fight, but would also be far more of a problem for just about anything else. One of my villains put in metal grating with large holes just to catch high heeled boots.
Felicia Day is running a new web series to promote the game Dragon Age. She plays an elf assassin and wears leather pants and a leather corset-type top. Someone asked her about the outfits and she said something like, "It's really not easy to move in, and it's not comfortable. Leather is not good lounge wear."

Van Rijn
2011-Nov-04, 07:43 AM
Felicia Day is running a new web series to promote the game Dragon Age. She plays an elf assassin and wears leather pants and a leather corset-type top. Someone asked her about the outfits and she said something like, "It's really not easy to move in, and it's not comfortable. Leather is not good lounge wear."

I had to check that. For anyone interested, it's played straight, don't expect The Guild. Quite dark (as is Dragon Age).

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 07:47 AM
"It's really not easy to move in, and it's not comfortable. Leather is not good lounge wear."

There's a story from the making of the first X-Men movie about the leather uniforms they wore: when shooting the Statue of Liberty scene, some of the actors couldn't climb out of the plane or go up steps because the leather suits were too restrictive. Maybe they should have gone with the spandex...

tnjrp
2011-Nov-04, 07:50 AM
An interesting and poignantly funny bit about costumes is seen in the HK movie Executioners (a less well known and somewhat inferior, but rather more serious sequel to Heroic Trio): Wonder Woman (portarayed by the sadly missed Anita Mui) is in prison and manages to steal a metal plate (I forget the exact details) that she immediately starts to fashion into a mask instead of something more to the point like a hand weapon. It appears she needs the mask to perform, although not quite the same way as Nite Owl needs his hero costume in The Watchmen, and sure enough as soon as she has her mask on she kicks some hindquarters and escapes...

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 07:58 AM
It appears she needs the mask to perform...

This idea is taken to extremes in the Wild Cards novels, where The Great And Powerful Turtle becomes so psychologically dependent on his armored "shell" (a VW Beetle covered in scrap metal) that he can't perform in either sense outside of it. In it, he's the most powerful telekinetic in the world, able to lift a battleship. Outside of it, he's an everyday shlub.

Tog
2011-Nov-04, 08:09 AM
There's a story from the making of the first X-Men movie about the leather uniforms they wore: when shooting the Statue of Liberty scene, some of the actors couldn't climb out of the plane or go up steps because the leather suits were too restrictive. Maybe they should have gone with the spandex...

I was actually going to mention that one too.

Spandex has it's own issues though. Jeri Ryan, who wore a silly tight spandex one piece outfit on Star Trek: Voyager had some issues staying healthy because of the suit. I've heard three explanations.

The first was she was passing out on set because the suit was too tight to allow her to breathe well.
The second was the high collar on it pressed on her carotid artery, restricting the blood flow and causing her to pass out.
The one I know was from her was that because the costume was a one-piece, and because it took so long to get in or out of it, bathroom breaks meant shooting delays of hours. She would just tough it out until there was a long enough break or her day was done.

On a different tangent, is this right?

99.999999999999999999% of the Universe has 99.999999999999999999% of the resources: OCCUPY SPACE
Shouldn't that first part be more like 0.000000000000000001%?

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 08:14 AM
Those with superspeed should win any fight with someone who doesn't have superspeed. Yet somehow they don't, because that would be boring.

Teams of superheroes will have people with wildly varying levels of powers, yet somehow they all manage to take part in the same fights; What can Batman do that Superman can't do a hundred times over with his eyes closed while flying, solving a Rubik's Cube and singing the aria from Don Giovanni?

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 08:17 AM
On a different tangent, is this right?

Shouldn't that first part be more like 0.000000000000000001%?

Technically true, but I was referring to everything that's not on Earth, hence the large number.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-04, 08:19 AM
Teams of superheroes will have people with wildly varying levels of powers, yet somehow they all manage to take part in the same fights; What can Batman do that Superman can't do a hundred times over with his eyes closed while flying, solving a Rubik's Cube and singing the aria from Don Giovanni?On this latter note, I'm not sure if it's a cliche but superpowers as a norm don't seem to change society they exist in much at all. There are of course exceptions to this but they all tend to be fairly modern takes on the genre.

Tog
2011-Nov-04, 08:33 AM
Teams of superheroes will have people with wildly varying levels of powers, yet somehow they all manage to take part in the same fights; What can Batman do that Superman can't do a hundred times over with his eyes closed while flying, solving a Rubik's Cube and singing the aria from Don Giovanni?

Two things come to mind.
Carry Kryptonite, and be "real".

The problem with Superman is how do you create a worthy foe without bringing magic into things? Sure, Superman could take out the Joker in his sleep, but that would like unleashing the Alien in a petting zoo. In contrast, Batman would struggle with a lot of the foes Superman faces, but Batman also "cheats". There was mention once that Knows the weakness of every superhero he works with, and carries something in his belt to deal with them if they go rogue. It was specifically mentioned that he carried Kryptonite with him "just in case."

It would stand to reason that he'd eventually find a way to deal with a villain that gave Superman a good fight, as long as the villain never figured out who Batman really was.

Tog
2011-Nov-04, 08:34 AM
Ahh, okay, I was thinking usable matter vs. empty space.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 08:49 AM
Two things come to mind.
Carry Kryptonite, and be "real".



If Batman were real, he'd be dead in a week. Criminals would just take to carrying armor-piercing bullets; lots of things can kill him unless he's got the writer to always give him a way out.

And if Superman was really as super-smart as he's supposed to be, he'd wear a lead suit 24/7 and thumb his nose at kryptonite.

That's another cliche: heroes never come up with a simple defense against their "one true weakness".

Tog
2011-Nov-04, 08:58 AM
Criminals could carry AP rounds, but if they never get a clear shot, they won't do much good. Batman was more about instilling fear than actually fighting. Still, the odds do favor an early death.

I have to admit, I've never thought about the lead suit. Weight wouldn't be an issue, so as long as it could bend without creating power zapping gaps, and he had a way to see, I can't think of why it wouldn't work.

Edit: Oh, wait it's the light from the yellow sun that gives him the power. A full lead suit might have an effect on that. As opposed to being in caves, where there is no such issue.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 09:01 AM
I have to admit, I've never thought about the lead suit. Weight wouldn't be an issue, so as long as it could bend without creating power zapping gaps, and he had a way to see, I can't think of why it wouldn't work.

On "Superman: The Animated Series", he had a custom lead suit with a lead-glass visor and titanium reinforcing weave.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-04, 09:55 AM
I don't think it's very clear how Supes gets his powers exactly. Sometimes it seems it's the yellow Sun (most obviously perhaps seen in Batman: the Dark Knight Returns, but sometimes he goes blithely around in space, still has powers when in caves etc.) but I think the simplest and the least insane explanation would be the lack of Kryptonite in the universe, apart from the blown-apart planet Krypton. Not sure if it's been tried.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 10:02 AM
I don't think it's very clear how Supes gets his powers exactly. Sometimes it seems it's the yellow Sun (most obviously perhaps seen in Batman: the Dark Knight Returns, but sometimes he goes blithely around in space, still has powers when in caves etc.) but I think the simplest and the least insane explanation would be the lack of Kryptonite in the universe, apart from the blown-apart planet Krypton. Not sure if it's been tried.

That's a whole other thread waiting to happen; the explanations for his powers has varied tremendously over the 73 years Superman's been around. The current (I think) explanation is that he's a solar battery, having built up huge energy reserves since childhood, energy that strengthens his molecular bonds and converts into other types of power as needed. How he does so relies largely on comic-book physics.

jokergirl
2011-Nov-04, 10:28 AM
Retcons. Don't forget the Retcons.

Especially in-universe ones where Status Quo is God (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StatusQuoIsGod) and everyone will just conveniently forget [name]man's identity at the end of the episode for some flimsy excuse if it is ever revealed.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-04, 11:11 AM
the explanations for his powers has varied tremendously over the 73 years Superman's been aroundIndeed it's never been quite decided. "Superman..."
http://www.healthaire.co.nz/images/heading_how_does_it_work.jpg

Tog
2011-Nov-04, 12:07 PM
Back to the boots for a bit...

The person who comes in to set up the breakfast on Fridays is a Geek-Girl. I told her about this thread and the thing about high-heeled boots and she shared a story. At her other job she wore a Batgirl costume one time.

It was a Laser tag type of place where the button to begin the battle was in an air lock looking thing. There was a metal grate in the floor of the air lock and she wondered how women cross thing like that while wearing heels. A bit later she was about to start the event when she stepped on the grate and got her boot stuck. Because the grate was small, it lifted out and she had to sit down and take off her boot to get it out.

I'm sure the crowd waiting to get into the arena was very understanding about it all.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 12:19 PM
The characters never age, no matter how long the superhero's been around. The only exceptions are flashbacks and time travel. But in the main comic, most heroes and their associated characters are all basically ageless.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-04, 04:13 PM
What can Batman do that Superman can't do a hundred times over with his eyes closed while flying, solving a Rubik's Cube and singing the aria from Don Giovanni?
Solve the puzzle of what's actually going on.
He's way smarter than Superman.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 04:17 PM
Solve the puzzle of what's actually going on.
He's way smarter than Superman.

Not Pre-Crisis. That version included super-intelligence as well as physical powers. The whole "Batman plans for everything" thing is relatively recent.

captain swoop
2011-Nov-04, 05:01 PM
As Sheldon says, I could never be Superman but given the finance, research and technology I could be Batman.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-04, 05:43 PM
But who wants to be a guy that even Sheldon could be?

Gillianren
2011-Nov-04, 06:08 PM
I'm sure the crowd waiting to get into the arena was very understanding about it all.

Depending on how she looked, I'm sure some of them didn't mind. In my first book, though, my main character specifies soft-soled shoes for preference, because another issue with those high-heeled boots is that they tend to make it awfully difficult to sneak up on people.


As Sheldon says, I could never be Superman but given the finance, research and technology I could be Batman.

I don't think that's true. For one thing, I think Batman requires a certain amount of psychological scar tissue.

captain swoop
2011-Nov-05, 07:02 PM
Iron Man would be the same as Batman. They aren't realy super heroes in that they have no 'super powers' as such.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-05, 07:52 PM
Tony Stark's never going to win the Mr. Stability prize, either.

Jim
2011-Nov-05, 10:33 PM
I'd put the superhero lair in the cliche/convention stack. The ones that have one will usually have some giant well equipped or elaborate base. Batman has the Batcave. Superman has the Crystal Fortress.
The ones without a base are either nomads (Hulk) or we just never really see their home life.

Spider-Man. Not a nomad, lots of home life, no super lair.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-06, 12:05 AM
Spider-Man. Not a nomad, lots of home life, no super lair.

That's one. :)

Inclusa
2011-Nov-06, 02:06 AM
It sounds like Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, X-Men, Ironman are some of the best known superheroes, with relatively well-received movies as well.

Tony Stark's never going to win the Mr. Stability prize, either.



I watched both Ironman movies while on the airplane (Air Canada); both his technologies and personality can be hardly called "stable". Are they in the test repo (just a note from Linux)?

Gillianren
2011-Nov-06, 05:15 AM
Wonder Woman has not had a well-received movie. In fact, her recent TV show was axed, though that was in no small part because of outrage from the fans over the changes made to things like her costume.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-06, 09:59 AM
Are they in the test repo (just a note from Linux)?
Development, not test.

He's an inventor foremost, any new idea gets added to the suit immediately, that IS the test.

Doodler
2011-Nov-06, 01:41 PM
It was specifically mentioned that he carried Kryptonite with him "just in case."

As I read that, during the "Superman's death" marketing riot, Kal-el gave that to him, as an insurance policy.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-06, 03:06 PM
As I read that, during the "Superman's death" marketing riot, Kal-el gave that to him, as an insurance policy.

Just before that, actually. It was Lex Luthor's kryptonite ring (during the time when there was only 2 pounds of kryptonite on Earth). Bats found it after Luthor the first "died" of cancer, and Superman told him to keep it. Presumably in a lead-lined compartment.

DonM435
2011-Nov-07, 05:01 PM
. . .

Heroes are always good looking-- Men are muscular, tall and lantern-jawed. Women look like supermodels. No one wants to be saved by a short, fat, bald Superman.

Back in the 1980s, DC Comics published a multi-volume guide to their comic universe (or universes) with a page for every character. Hair and eye color were included.

I noted that, once you tossed out the strange-looking aliens, upwards of 95% of super heroes had blue eyes, as if that were somehow the only acceptable color for a super hero (or supporting character). Most had black or blonde hair, but even those with brown, red or white hair still had the blue eyes.

There might be a clue there. (Us green-eyed folk can't make the initial cut.)

Gillianren
2011-Nov-07, 06:48 PM
Ask Tiffany Aching about girls with brown hair and brown eyes.

Delvo
2011-Nov-07, 09:51 PM
The problem with Superman is how do you create a worthy foe without bringing magic into things? Sure, Superman could take out the Joker in his sleep, but that would like unleashing the Alien in a petting zoo. In contrast, Batman would struggle with a lot of the foes Superman faces, but Batman also "cheats". There was mention once that {Batman} Knows the weakness of every superhero he works with, and carries something in his belt to deal with them if they go rogue.This is why the worst thing that keeps happening to comic-book superheroes is the "crossover". Characters with such disparately imagined strengths & weaknesses, based on such different versions of how reality and superpowers work, which naturally set up such different kinds of stories, just don't belong in the same story together, but they keep getting slopped together anyway. They'd all be better off just sticking to their own separate premises.

Solfe
2011-Nov-07, 10:22 PM
Super heroes in comics always strike a pose, to the point where normal gestures look unusual.

DonM435
2011-Nov-08, 12:53 AM
This is why the worst thing that keeps happening to comic-book superheroes is the "crossover". Characters with such disparately imagined strengths & weaknesses, based on such different versions of how reality and superpowers work, which naturally set up such different kinds of stories, just don't belong in the same story together, but they keep getting slopped together anyway. They'd all be better off just sticking to their own separate premises.

DC put Superman and Batman together in World's Finest Comics circa 1940, as these were their best selling characters, and managed to keep it going for decades. But they had to work hard at it. Even though Superman has a "super mind" (perfect memory combined with super-speed reading), he had to be relatively dumber than Batman in the crossover stories just to let the latter hero shine.

They continually published these stories with five or six heroes teamed up to defeat some menace that any one of them could have handled in their own book.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-08, 05:17 AM
Would a team-up of the sort where the heroes beat each other up first and then team up to beat up the bad guys already be lame enough to count as a cliche?

Noclevername
2011-Nov-08, 05:23 AM
Would a team-up of the sort where the heroes beat each other up first and then team up to beat up the bad guys already be lame enough to count as a cliche?
It's been a cliche since the Silver Age, at least.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-08, 06:56 AM
Of course it's an old hat but I'm not entirely sure if it's specific enough to count as a cliche. Perhaps it is so formulaic already that it does qualify.

DonM435
2011-Nov-08, 01:42 PM
Though it seems ridiculous today, the idea that a pair of eyeglasses could be an effective disguise may have carried more weight in times gone by. I remember Steve Allen writing that 1950s television viewers would continually confuse him with Dave Garroway, as they were among a very small number of celebrities who wore glasses on camera. The old comedian Phil Silvers explained on a talk show that he now required powerful contact lenses that made his glasses useless, but he still wore the emptry frames because nobody could recognize him without them.

Nowhere Man
2011-Nov-09, 01:30 AM
Would a team-up of the sort where the heroes beat each other up first and then team up to beat up the bad guys already be lame enough to count as a cliche?
Let's You and Him Fight.

Fred

madman
2011-Nov-10, 06:42 PM
SkepticJ "Supervillains don't die. They'll always be back somehow"

its becoming the norm for superheroes as well these days.
its so bad that recently the human torch was killed off in the fantastic four, and the producers of the comic
boasted that thats why its the worlds greatest comic magazine. (but he'll be back soon)

also, thor just died in the "fear itself" saga, but he's immediatley back and appearing in the "deviants saga".

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on cliches?

most (if not all) superheroes tend to be able to take a lot of physical punishment, regardless of whether their
"power" has anything to do with physical "sturdiness".
they often make leaps from high places (more than 10-15 feet) and land without any problems. or get whacked
hard enough to send them flying dozens of feet without even being bruised (instead of being crippled).

although recently things have gotten a bit extreme with characters that actually can "take a lot of punishment",
for example, wolverine can now get basically annihilated or to put it another way, get virtually all of his organic
material blown off (leaving almost just his adamantium skeleton left) and then fully reconstitute his form due to
his "incredible" healing properties.
this is completely different to a scenario that was played out back in an 80s' issue of uncanny x-men (in a
flash-forward story) where he was blasted down to his skeleton by a sentinel (with the premise that this had
killed him).

**********************************

recent cliches that follow themes like old cliches?
badguy characters that are politically correct bogeymen

in the old days you might see "reds under the beds" or "yellow peril" types (see the origin of ironman) but these
days it terrorists (usually arabic). which unfortunately i can't say any more about in this forum due to the site
imposed political ban (except to say that often the association seems a bit stretched so that the word "terrorist"
can be thrown around).

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-10, 11:17 PM
SkepticJ "Supervillains don't die. They'll always be back somehow"

its becoming the norm for superheroes as well these days.
its so bad that recently the human torch was killed off in the fantastic four, and the producers of the comic
boasted that thats why its the worlds greatest comic magazine. (but he'll be back soon)
There are only three people in the Marvel Universe that it's safe to expect to stay dead and they're Captain Marvel, Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy, if any of those are revived you know it's a fake.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-11, 12:41 AM
It used to be said of comics that the three people who would never come back from the dead were Jason Todd, Bucky, and Uncle Ben. It appears that's down to just Uncle Ben. Though Thomas and Martha Wayne are pretty certainly dead.

madman
2011-Nov-11, 05:54 AM
the captain marvel that died of cancer? and as Gillianren pointed out? jason todd came back as the "red hood" and bucky came back as maybe the winter soldier? or possibly also took on the identity of captain america", and he might have died again the other day??

***************************
there might be a few more that have never been resurrected, for instance when the x-men series was rebooted back in the late 70s' (combining wolverine, cyclops, storm, colossus, nightcrawler and banshee); there was another team member called thunderbird who was an american indian. he died in the 2nd installment and i don't think i've seen him since.

although more recently colossus and kitty pryde have both died and come back. and so has hawkeye from the avengers (i think?) besides a future version of the invisible woman who came back in time to die?

**************************

back to cliche stuff?

a newer type of cliche is the way the comics frequently (marvel in particular) get rebooted solely for marketing purposes. the spin goes "kids are intimidated by large issue numbers on the covers indicating that the comic has been around for donkeys' ages and don't want to feel that they're coming in late to a characters' history" which is bull since the producers will keep track of the total and switch the numbering system back when it gets to a milestone like the recent bunch of marvel titles that hit the 600 issue mark.
but the more often they can pony up a reason to reboot a comic and make a song and dance about "issue one" (or whatever) the more they feel they can entice new customers to their products, so they'll keep doing it as often as they can. i think dc has just gone and rebooted most of their titles to get in on the action.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-11, 06:29 AM
most (if not all) superheroes tend to be able to take a lot of physical punishment, regardless of whether their
"power" has anything to do with physical "sturdiness".That is an action movie/comic/whatever cliche tho, not a specific superhero cliche.

madman
2011-Nov-11, 08:15 AM
maybe not "specific" only to superheroes, but fairly "typical" of them (as well).

captain swoop
2011-Nov-11, 09:22 AM
reboots mean new costumes, that means lots of new action figures and other marketing for people to buy.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-11, 06:50 PM
Action figures of comic characters are actually a pretty small market. It's movie reboots that sell a lot of merchandise.

madman
2011-Nov-11, 06:58 PM
"reboots mean new costumes"

sometimes, for some characters, but not always (hulks' purple pants never change). and yes, reboots help with marketing.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-11, 07:01 PM
a newer type of cliche is the way the comics frequently (marvel in particular) get rebooted solely for marketing purposes. the spin goes "kids are intimidated by large issue numbers on the covers indicating that the comic has been around for donkeys' ages and don't want to feel that they're coming in late to a characters' history" which is bull since the producers will keep track of the total and switch the numbering system back when it gets to a milestone like the recent bunch of marvel titles that hit the 600 issue mark.
but the more often they can pony up a reason to reboot a comic and make a song and dance about "issue one" (or whatever) the more they feel they can entice new customers to their products, so they'll keep doing it as often as they can. i think dc has just gone and rebooted most of their titles to get in on the action.

DC started the whole reboot game with Crisis On Infinite Earths. They've also done at least three canon reboots since then (five if you count the Legion of Superheroes "threeboot"). At least Marvel still has the original titles around, DC sweeps aside all their old continuities when they reboot.

madman
2011-Nov-12, 12:07 AM
yes, dc started it (with a mini-series) to streamline and simplify their continuum, but this time its most of their titles that have been rebooted (all at the same time).

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-12, 01:21 AM
Action figures of comic characters are actually a pretty small market. It's movie reboots that sell a lot of merchandise.

Hulk was rebooted because Ang Lee's submission was . . . bad.

Superman Returns, again, because they got ludicrously bad in the '80s.

The upcoming Spider-Man, again because 3 was just . . . oh, wait, there wasn't a 3. It was just a bad dream, like X-Men 3.

Batman Begins, again, starting over from the [trash] piles Forever and Batman and Robin.

DonM435
2011-Nov-12, 05:43 AM
I suppose that the first time that this happens to a book that you're reading regularly, your own Universe is shattered, sort of.

After awhile, you don't care. Then, you stop reading comics.

They can kill off anybody they want to, and bring them back as soon as they want to. In such Universes, only taxes are certain.

KaiYeves
2011-Nov-12, 01:38 PM
There are only three people in the Marvel Universe that it's safe to expect to stay dead and they're Captain Marvel, Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy, if any of those are revived you know it's a fake.
I like to jokingly point out when this topic is brought up on comics sites that in one of Chris Claremont's early X-Men issues, the astronaut character Peter Corbeau says "I remember the Apollo I fire and the friends I lost that day.", and that, since this was never mentioned again, Gus Grissom should be on that list.

captain swoop
2011-Nov-13, 06:24 PM
I don't see the point of the Batman Reboot. Why not just give him some new adventures? What was the point in re-doing the origin and putting in the second rate new Joker?

Gillianren
2011-Nov-13, 07:43 PM
If you're referring to Heath Ledger, you have an odd definition of second-rate. But in the case of the Christopher Nolan Batman reboot, he was trying to establish the character in a more realistic universe. Not completely realistic, of course, because there is no Batman in a completely realistic universe. But a lot of the classic villains aren't possible in this universe, because they are essentially magic.

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-13, 07:47 PM
I don't see the point of the Batman Reboot. Why not just give him some new adventures? What was the point in re-doing the origin and putting in the second rate new Joker?

They did.

Batman Begins had batman fighting The Scarecrow and Ra's al Ghul. Neither of which had been in movies before.

The Dark Knight had him fighting The Joker, again, sure. But it was a different Joker. I prefer Ledger's Joker, actually. Much more psychotic, less theatrical. Which if you had a person like The Joker around, is probably what he'd be like.

The upcoming one will have Bane, finally given a decent movie.

captain swoop
2011-Nov-13, 09:20 PM
If Ledger hadn't done himself in would his Joker be thought so good?
Jack Nicholsons Joker is superb.

As for 'more realistic', do me a favour, we are talking about a comic book character. Who cares about re working his origins to include some fashinable martial arts and eastern mystic mumbo jumbo.

Just get on with Batman having and using some cool gadgets.

'Batman' and 'Batman Returns' are first class filns, they did go down hil lfrom there though. Like Superman after number 2.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-13, 09:55 PM
Nicholson's Joker is overrated. Ledger's Joker was so good that, if I hadn't known that Heath Ledger was playing the part, I would not have recognized him.

The fact is, for those of us who actually care about superheroes as a genre, there is an obvious difference of more than just mood between the Tim Burton Batman and what Christopher Nolan is doing with the character and the universe. The issue is not Batman/Bruce Wayne. It is that there is no place in the Nolan Batman for even the Penguin, much less Poison Ivy or Mr. Freeze as they appear in the execrable Schumaker film. Batman has always used martial arts; in the original comics--by which I mean the ones from the '30s--he knew several styles of martial arts, not just the cheesy style of the '60s TV show. Don't get me wrong; I like the Burton Batman and Batman Returns, but they aren't anywhere near in the same league of film as the Nolan ones.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-13, 11:48 PM
Not only did he know martial arts in the original comics, he carried and used a gun.

In my opinion, the best Joker stories are the ones that threat the character seriously and let Him be the one who is treating the world as a joke, that allows him to be much nastier.
The Nicholson Joker treats the character as a joke.

The Nicholson Joker wouldn't be able to conceive of trying to break commissioner Gordon by drugging him and showing him pictures of his gutshot nude daughter (Batman: The Killing Joke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_The_Killing_Joke)), while it was well within the range of Ledger's Joker.

It's basically the difference between the Batman stories before and after Miller and Moore took a good look at the character. Which, to get back to several previous complaints in this thread, they did totally without reboots, just by a change in outlook.

Van Rijn
2011-Nov-14, 12:36 AM
I don't see the point of the Batman Reboot. Why not just give him some new adventures? What was the point in re-doing the origin and putting in the second rate new Joker?

It was meant to appeal to a new audience, and it's been long enough (since '89) to redo that one. Reboots aren't intended for the fans of older versions.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-14, 12:37 AM
One of the things I find so fascinating about superheroes as a genre is how an ostensibly very small change can alter quite a lot of a story. Nicholson did a fine job of playing what the Joker would be if he were Jack Nicholson. But Heath Ledger played the Joker.

Van Rijn
2011-Nov-14, 12:45 AM
Nicholson's Joker is overrated. Ledger's Joker was so good that, if I hadn't known that Heath Ledger was playing the part, I would not have recognized him.
[...]
Don't get me wrong; I like the Burton Batman and Batman Returns, but they aren't anywhere near in the same league of film as the Nolan ones.

I have to disagree there. I very much liked Nicholson's Joker and the Burton version of Batman. I did not like Ledger's Joker. My main reaction to the recent reboot movie was that it was too long. I actually found myself looking at my watch waiting for it to be over already.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-14, 12:58 AM
The recent movie wasn't a reboot, it was a sequel. The previous one was the reboot, if reboot it was. Personally I don't consider the last movies reboots, but rather to be movies based on a very different period of the comics.

As a guess, I think a large part of the divide here is determined by whether people has read (and liked) the Miller and/or Moore Batman stories, since the new movies are firmly set in that newer style rather than the 70's/early 80's style the previous set was based on.

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-14, 01:31 AM
As for 'more realistic', do me a favour, we are talking about a comic book character. Who cares about re working his origins to include some fashinable martial arts and eastern mystic mumbo jumbo.

Just get on with Batman having and using some cool gadgets.

Okay, which James Bond movies do you prefer?

Myself, I go with the pre-Lazenby Sean Connery ones, and the first Daniel Craig one. With GoldenEye as an outlier - it's just so fun.

The Moore ones, for the most part, ugh. I like For Your Eyes Only, though--they dialed back the cheese with that one.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-14, 07:18 AM
But in the case of the Christopher Nolan Batman reboot, he was trying to establish the character in a more realistic universe. Not completely realistic, of course, because there is no Batman in a completely realistic universe.Heretic! Batman lives!

---


If Ledger hadn't done himself in would his Joker be thought so good?I should certainly hope so. It's a different story if he could've pulled it off if he had "just" said no to drugs and thus saved his life.

---

BTW is talking and wise-cracking during fighting a specific superhero cliche? I have read too few American action comics of any other variety to know, really.

Delvo
2011-Nov-14, 07:49 AM
If Ledger hadn't done himself in would his Joker be thought so good?Given the fact that the accolades over his performance began well before his death, this is not a hypothetical question, but a matter of history. There is no possible doubt about the fact that it "would" happen because it DID.

And the much much much much better acting isn't the only thing that made it work better anyway. The Joker was written better this time, as a crazy criminal instead of as a walking joke. And he and his background (what little anybody ever knew of it, including his contradicting stories about it) and visual presentation made sense this time, with the face paint, hair dye, and costume all being part of his deliberate persona rather than being given a cheesy implausible excuse about a dip in a chemical vat which could never possibly have had such effects. It also worked better together with the theme connecting him and Batman in this movie, since it meant they both looked the way they looked by choice to adopt a persona. (It also helps that Batman's own reason for his choice of persona was given a much better explanation this time, both logically and emotionally/thematically: that instead of trying to strike fear into his enemies as they'd said in some previous incarnations, as if criminals were already scared of bats, in these latest movies he's facing his own fear of bats and setting out to make the criminals share that fear.)


Jack Nicholsons Joker is superb.It wasn't even Joker at all. It was JN with face paint... not entirely because of JN's acting, necessarily; the lame writing surrounding him essentially turned the character he was playing into a JN character anyway. He, along with everything else about the pre-Bale/pre-Nolan Batman movies, was just a continuation of the theme of the TV series, mocking the comic books rather than just making a TV show or movie out of them.


Who cares about re working his origins to include some fashinable martial arts and eastern mystic mumbo jumbo.Wow. That's like complaining that somebody "reworked" Iron Man to have a metal suit, or "reworked" Superman to be from another planet, or "reworked" Thor to have a big hammer.


Just get on with Batman having and using some cool gadgets.Wow. I can't even come up with analogies severe enough for that one, because I don't know of another superhero with whom the WHOLE POINT was nearly as much about what's going on inside the characters' heads and NOT about their powers or gadgets. This is essentially a demand to take what makes Batman Batman out of Batman.

Jim
2011-Nov-14, 12:45 PM
BTW is talking and wise-cracking during fighting a specific superhero cliche? I have read too few American action comics of any other variety to know, really.

"If I were at full Slayer strength, I'd be punning right about now."

Yeah, I'd say so.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-14, 07:44 PM
Given the fact that the accolades over his performance began well before his death, this is not a hypothetical question, but a matter of history. There is no possible doubt about the fact that it "would" happen because it DID.

After he died, I went back and looked at a lot of his movies, and it's interesting that you can almost see the point where he decided he really wanted to act, not just be a teen idol. The thing is, "say no to drugs" is an oversimplification--those were prescription. I saw a clip of him on Ellen talking about Brokeback Mountain, and he cracked a tooth during filming because of how he was playing the character. If anything, I think Heath Ledger serves as an example of both the best and dangers of Method acting.


And the much much much much better acting isn't the only thing that made it work better anyway. The Joker was written better this time, as a crazy criminal instead of as a walking joke. And he and his background (what little anybody ever knew of it, including his contradicting stories about it) and visual presentation made sense this time, with the face paint, hair dye, and costume all being part of his deliberate persona rather than being given a cheesy implausible excuse about a dip in a chemical vat which could never possibly have had such effects. It also worked better together with the theme connecting him and Batman in this movie, since it meant they both looked the way they looked by choice to adopt a persona. (It also helps that Batman's own reason for his choice of persona was given a much better explanation this time, both logically and emotionally/thematically: that instead of trying to strike fear into his enemies as they'd said in some previous incarnations, as if criminals were already scared of bats, in these latest movies he's facing his own fear of bats and setting out to make the criminals share that fear.)

Though "criminals are a cowardly lot" is a direct quote from Batman's original '30s decision as to why to become that. It's silly and has been for some eighty years, and it's a good thing that Nolan chose to jettison that.


Wow. I can't even come up with analogies severe enough for that one, because I don't know of another superhero with whom the WHOLE POINT was nearly as much about what's going on inside the characters' heads and NOT about their powers or gadgets. This is essentially a demand to take what makes Batman Batman out of Batman.

Spider-Man, to a lesser extent, but that's always conflict about his powers. Batman is probably the most emotionally complex DC character of all time, not that it's a terribly difficult title to achieve. But the reason he chose to use the gadgets was that he is not at all well.

Van Rijn
2011-Nov-15, 05:25 AM
It wasn't even Joker at all. It was JN with face paint... not entirely because of JN's acting, necessarily; the lame writing surrounding him essentially turned the character he was playing into a JN character anyway.


I don't usually like Jack Nicholson. I did like him as the Joker, however.




He, along with everything else about the pre-Bale/pre-Nolan Batman movies, was just a continuation of the theme of the TV series, mocking the comic books rather than just making a TV show or movie out of them.


I flatly disagree. I remember having arguments with people who didn't like the '89 movie because they were expecting something like the live TV show or earlier animated shows. This was a much darker story with a deadly Joker.

Van Rijn
2011-Nov-15, 06:04 AM
The recent movie wasn't a reboot, it was a sequel. The previous one was the reboot, if reboot it was. Personally I don't consider the last movies reboots, but rather to be movies based on a very different period of the comics.


It was Batman versus the Joker. Maybe "remake" would be a better description than "reboot."



As a guess, I think a large part of the divide here is determined by whether people has read (and liked) the Miller and/or Moore Batman stories, since the new movies are firmly set in that newer style rather than the 70's/early 80's style the previous set was based on.

I see both movies as being part of a trend: The '89 movie was a "grittier and edgier" version of Batman versus what had been on TV. But the recent version is even grittier and edgier than the '89 movie. As crazy as he was, the JN Joker had some style and the Burton Gotham City was weird but interesting. In the recent movie, though, the Joker was just another dangerous psychotic in a Gotham City leached of the weird and fantastic.

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-15, 06:28 AM
In the recent movie, though, the Joker was just another dangerous psychotic in a Gotham City leached of the weird and fantastic.

Aren't all, or at least most, of Batman's nemesi psychotics?

I mean The Riddler, The Scarecrow, Two Face, Catwoman, The Penguin, Mr. Freeze . . . these are not people who're right in the head.

SkepticJ
2011-Nov-15, 06:41 AM
But the reason he chose to use the gadgets was that he is not at all well.

What do you mean by that? The no-gun thing that has existed over much of Batman's history?

Was Batman really so disturbed from the beginning, or did he get that way after the Silver Age in the hands of writers who gave the character the Watchmen treatment.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-15, 07:02 AM
What do you mean by that? The no-gun thing that has existed over much of Batman's history?

Was Batman really so disturbed from the beginning, or did he get that way after the Silver Age in the hands of writers who gave the character the Watchmen treatment.

He's a man who dresses up as a bat and beats up armed crooks. Read some of the early Golden Age Detective Comics from the 30s and 40s. He was a pulp-style vigilante back then. He didn't get to a no-killing phase until the Silver Age.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-15, 07:08 AM
He's a man who dresses up as a bat and beats up armed crooks. Read some of the early Golden Age Detective Comics from the 30s and 40s. He was a pulp-style vigilante back then. He didn't get to a no-killing phase until the Silver Age.

Oh, yeah. Heck, he uses a gun in the very first comic!

Van Rijn
2011-Nov-15, 08:21 AM
Aren't all, or at least most, of Batman's nemesi psychotics?


My point was that he was just psychotic. For me there was nothing interesting about this character. By comparison, the JN Joker was fun to watch, as was Hamill's Joker in the '90s animated Batman. They were completely nuts but interesting. In this recent movie, though, I didn't want to watch Joker, I just wanted the character to be dead.

Tog
2011-Nov-15, 08:49 AM
To me, the newer Joker was more interesting, specifically because he was not fun to watch. Joker is damaged, and he wants to show the world that anyone can be that damaged too. That was the whole theme behind "The Killing Joke." How he set up each situation to basically torture people psychologically was much more interesting to me than Nicholson's Joker who was basically in it for the money to start. I don't recall why he wanted to gas Gotham at the end, It's been a long time since I've seen it.

Ledger's Joker had a distinct goal in mind from the start and followed it through all the way to the end. He doesn't want to burn the world, he wants to soak it in gas and hand out matches.

I think the first two Burton versions were good, but they were still sort of campy. In that spirit, Nicholson's Joker was very good. Ledger's Joker would have been totally out of place there. That makes me wonder how Hathaway's Catwoman will stand up.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-15, 08:56 AM
At least she looks like she'll fit right in... I don't think Catwoman needs to be campy any more than the Joker does. Most Batman villains are too over-the-top to fit in Nolan's Batverse tho.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-15, 09:11 AM
Most Batman villains are too over-the-top to fit in Nolan's Batverse tho.

I remember a discussion on some forum about which Batman villains could be realistically fit into the Nolan films. The consensus wha that most wouldn't fit; Although if you think about it, Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghoul aren't exactly the most realistic villains themselves, an immortal and a guy who generates fear, but they got tweaked just enough to make them fit in. Maybe other Batcrooks could be slightly touched-up to give them verisimilitude-- for example, the first Clayface was just a guy in a fright mask. The Penguin has, in some recent incarnations, ditched the trick umbrellas and become an underworld information dealer. Riddler is like some real-life criminals and serial killers who leave "clues" to taunt the cops.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-15, 05:32 PM
To me, the newer Joker was more interesting, specifically because he was not fun to watch. Joker is damaged, and he wants to show the world that anyone can be that damaged too. That was the whole theme behind "The Killing Joke." How he set up each situation to basically torture people psychologically was much more interesting to me than Nicholson's Joker who was basically in it for the money to start. I don't recall why he wanted to gas Gotham at the end, It's been a long time since I've seen it.

I don't think there really was a reason other than "how do we show that he's evil?" It's true that the Joker's motivations don't exactly have to make sense, and it's true that the Hamill Joker's prime motivation tended to be "because it's funny," but it still doesn't work for me. Personally, I think the best Joker is either Ledger or Hamill, which I admit is a bit of a study in contrast. However, it depends on which universe he's inhabiting, and each man portrayed a Joker who made sense for the universe they were in. Ledger's Joker gave me cold chills quite a lot of the time. It's still funny to him, but the important thing is that funny to him is funny to a crazy man.


Ledger's Joker had a distinct goal in mind from the start and followed it through all the way to the end. He doesn't want to burn the world, he wants to soak it in gas and hand out matches.

Quite. After all, burning it yourself is too easy.


I think the first two Burton versions were good, but they were still sort of campy. In that spirit, Nicholson's Joker was very good. Ledger's Joker would have been totally out of place there. That makes me wonder how Hathaway's Catwoman will stand up.

Frankly, I have a soft spot for the third, though it isn't very good. I think there's one moment in it where we see what a wonderful Two-Face Tommy Lee Jones could have been if the script had been worth the effort, and I think first they horribly miscast the Riddler then wrote the role to fit their horrible miscasting. But I always did think Val Kilmer did a decent job at the role.


I remember a discussion on some forum about which Batman villains could be realistically fit into the Nolan films. The consensus wha that most wouldn't fit; Although if you think about it, Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghoul aren't exactly the most realistic villains themselves, an immortal and a guy who generates fear, but they got tweaked just enough to make them fit in. Maybe other Batcrooks could be slightly touched-up to give them verisimilitude-- for example, the first Clayface was just a guy in a fright mask. The Penguin has, in some recent incarnations, ditched the trick umbrellas and become an underworld information dealer. Riddler is like some real-life criminals and serial killers who leave "clues" to taunt the cops.

There's a comic wherein the Riddler tries to stop doing it and literally can't, too. He does it because he has a subconscious need to get caught. I suppose you could do up Poison Ivy as an ecoterrorist of some sort, and it's just the odder bits of her character which wouldn't carry across. And then there's Harley Quinn, the character created for the animated series who was so popular that they added her to canon. But then you get the question of whether she could carry a film as the villain on her own, no Joker.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-16, 06:30 AM
Yep, the fan base is much enamoured of Harley Quinn and the word is a lot of people rooted for her to be in the next Batmovie.

---


Although if you think about it, Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghoul aren't exactly the most realistic villains themselves, an immortal and a guy who generates fear, but they got tweaked just enough to make them fit inRa's isn't all that unrealistic if you don't take into account he's supposedly immortal. Otherwise he's basically an evil Batman without a costume.

Scarecrow worked in BB because he was very toned down and that is precisely the problem. If you, say, make the Riddler just another serial killer then what is really the point?

Tog
2011-Nov-16, 08:58 AM
The Riddler toned down would be Zodiac, from San Fransisco around 1970.

I don 't think Harley Quinn could carry a movie by herself. She's to dependent on Joker to establish who she is. It would be like the Adventures of Robin (Which has probably been done, but that doesn't mean it was a good idea.)

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-16, 04:07 PM
It would be like the Adventures of Robin (Which has probably been done, but that doesn't mean it was a good idea.)
As far as I remember he (Dick) changed his superhero name to Nighthawk (no, it was Nightwing, I just looked it up) as part of distancing himself from Batman, after which Batman got himself a new Robin (just how sick is he, he's been through 5 different Robins so far, all of which got dropped when they grew out of adolescence, except for the ones that got dead before that).

Apparently changing style worked for Robin, though it can easily be argued that it was exactly because they avoided the stories being The Adventures of Robin.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-16, 07:50 PM
The Riddler toned down would be Zodiac, from San Fransisco around 1970.

Leading to the question of, "Could Batman have caught the Zodiac?"


I don 't think Harley Quinn could carry a movie by herself. She's to dependent on Joker to establish who she is. It would be like the Adventures of Robin (Which has probably been done, but that doesn't mean it was a good idea.)

I think she could have if she'd interacted with the Joker in a movie first to set her up. Harley is really a tragic figure, one of several in Batman's Rogues' Gallery. Obviously, there was something wrong with her before she met up with Mr. J., because she was inclined toward going along with him, but she could have been the ultimate example of the Nolan-Joker's philosophies.

Taeolas
2011-Nov-17, 01:28 PM
the captain marvel that died of cancer? and as Gillianren pointed out? jason todd came back as the "red hood" and bucky came back as maybe the winter soldier? or possibly also took on the identity of captain america", and he might have died again the other day??

***************************
there might be a few more that have never been resurrected, for instance when the x-men series was rebooted back in the late 70s' (combining wolverine, cyclops, storm, colossus, nightcrawler and banshee); there was another team member called thunderbird who was an american indian. he died in the 2nd installment and i don't think i've seen him since.

although more recently colossus and kitty pryde have both died and come back. and so has hawkeye from the avengers (i think?) besides a future version of the invisible woman who came back in time to die?

**************************


Returning from the dead is the Comic cliche and a major trope. Pretty much everyone agrees that even if you see the body, the character will be back eventually.

The big 3 "Never returns" used to be Jason Todd, Uncle Ben and Bucky... Of course 2 of the 3 have come back so that's out the door.

Marvel's Captain Marvel (cancer one) has come back many times, but usually just for a quick visit via time travel and such, or as an alt-universe one. (the recent Thanos Imperative had 616 being invaded by forces from the "Cancerverse", a universe where Death was beaten, and Captain Marvel was the avatar of Life in that setting).

Bucky came back as Winter soldier, replaced Steve as Captain America during Steve's year dead for tax reasons, and officially kept the Captain America title when Steve came back. He was killed by Sin (Red Skull's daughter) in Fear Itself, but looks like he's coming back soon as Winter Soldier again.

Thunderstrike was the X-Men who was killed in the first X-reboot way back then. For the most part he has remained dead, but he shows up occasionally, sometimes in spirit form to help his brother (also a mutant), or in actuality. Most recently he popped up during Chaos War with a bunch of other dead X-people. That same crossover restored the original Alpha Flight from their 'dead' status.

While Johnny Storm was supposedly killed in the Negative zone, no body was found, and IMO, he'll be back soon. Other signs seem to be hinting at that too.

And of course, the mother of all resurrection cliches has been hinted at returning for ages now. Jean Grey (aka Phoenix) has been hinted at coming back from the dead any time now, and signs are getting clearer that she'll be back Soon(tm).

On the flip side, one death I'd love to see restored would be Kurt. Considering Magik, Piotr, Kitty (granted never really dead), Cypher (another of the 'never returning' guys, brought back about 5 years ago) and a few other mutants have come back recently, I'm sure his time will come soon. Hopefully he'll come back and kick some sense in both Scott and Logan's head. (Scott leading a team called Extinction? LOGAN running the Mutant school? WTH are the X-writers on, and why aren't they sharing it with the rest of the class?) Of course the entire premise behind Schism is just face palmingly bad to begin with, but that's another matter....

Paul Beardsley
2011-Nov-17, 01:49 PM
Returning from the dead is the Comic cliche and a major trope. Pretty much everyone agrees that even if you see the body, the character will be back eventually.

I don't think anything throws me out of a story as thoroughly as this trope. There are many reasons why I generally don't like comics, but this reason is near the top.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-17, 02:49 PM
Thunderstrike was the X-Men who was killed in the first X-reboot way back then.

Thunderbird. Thunderstrike was a Thor replacement from the Avengers.

Also, the ANAD X-Men weren't a reboot, just a new team in the same continuity.

Taeolas
2011-Nov-17, 03:50 PM
Right my bad. I'm horrible with names on a good day. :) I knew he was Thunder something. :)

As for the new team being a reboot or not, it's probably quibbling over semantics. Nowadays, a shakeup like that would probably be advertised as a reboot since that's the term of the day for that sort of team shakeup.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-17, 07:40 PM
The big 3 "Never returns" used to be Jason Todd, Uncle Ben and Bucky... Of course 2 of the 3 have come back so that's out the door.

Yes, I believe someone mentioned that.

KaiYeves
2011-Nov-18, 01:42 AM
Returning from the dead is the Comic cliche and a major trope. Pretty much everyone agrees that even if you see the body, the character will be back eventually.

The big 3 "Never returns" used to be Jason Todd, Uncle Ben and Bucky... Of course 2 of the 3 have come back so that's out the door.

Marvel's Captain Marvel (cancer one) has come back many times, but usually just for a quick visit via time travel and such, or as an alt-universe one. (the recent Thanos Imperative had 616 being invaded by forces from the "Cancerverse", a universe where Death was beaten, and Captain Marvel was the avatar of Life in that setting).

Bucky came back as Winter soldier, replaced Steve as Captain America during Steve's year dead for tax reasons, and officially kept the Captain America title when Steve came back. He was killed by Sin (Red Skull's daughter) in Fear Itself, but looks like he's coming back soon as Winter Soldier again.

Thunderstrike was the X-Men who was killed in the first X-reboot way back then. For the most part he has remained dead, but he shows up occasionally, sometimes in spirit form to help his brother (also a mutant), or in actuality. Most recently he popped up during Chaos War with a bunch of other dead X-people. That same crossover restored the original Alpha Flight from their 'dead' status.

While Johnny Storm was supposedly killed in the Negative zone, no body was found, and IMO, he'll be back soon. Other signs seem to be hinting at that too.

And of course, the mother of all resurrection cliches has been hinted at returning for ages now. Jean Grey (aka Phoenix) has been hinted at coming back from the dead any time now, and signs are getting clearer that she'll be back Soon(tm).

On the flip side, one death I'd love to see restored would be Kurt. Considering Magik, Piotr, Kitty (granted never really dead), Cypher (another of the 'never returning' guys, brought back about 5 years ago) and a few other mutants have come back recently, I'm sure his time will come soon. Hopefully he'll come back and kick some sense in both Scott and Logan's head. (Scott leading a team called Extinction? LOGAN running the Mutant school? WTH are the X-writers on, and why aren't they sharing it with the rest of the class?) Of course the entire premise behind Schism is just face palmingly bad to begin with, but that's another matter....
I must say, I am quite thrilled to meet a fellow X-Fan on BAUT!

Noclevername
2011-Nov-18, 03:44 AM
I must say, I am quite thrilled to meet a fellow X-Fan on BAUT!

Frankly, I stopped reding after they had Scott dating the White Queen, and Jean's ghost coming back to okay the relationship.

Taeolas
2011-Nov-18, 01:27 PM
IMO, the Utopia story arcs were generally good. It was refreshing to set up most of the X-Teams away from the East coast, and in/around a city that is known to be progressive. It seemed that the Mutant hate storylines were on a downturn for awhile. The X-Teams were even interacting with the rest of the MU in a somewhat consistent and logical way. (Other than ignoring the fact that Logan was apparently in about 20 places at once, and on every team at once, and had the mutant ability to not get jet lag, abilities apparently shared by Peter Parker, Ben Grimm and Wade Wilson of course)

Of course the X-Editors had to ruin that by tossing that *bleep* that is "Schism" at us. I mean seriously, having a bunch of kids take over the Hellfire club, and then launch a Sentinal attack? Heck, having Scott try to give the UN an Ultimatum about the Sentinels that hadn't otherwise been a problem, in a world where the big picture was still reeling from the results of Fear Itself? Having a simple Sentinel attack be the straw that breaks Utopia's back? Ugh, there was so much off about that entire story arc and its results.... Hopefully X-Factor can continue to avoid that junk fest as they seem to be avoiding it so far. New Mutants is having a hard enough time dancing around it as is so far. Part of me is hoping that they may send some of the Gen Hope kids to Avengers Academy to get their heads straightened out a bit better too for that matter.

TheBrett
2011-Nov-18, 09:45 PM
Ledger's Joker really isn't a fully developed human being so much as he is anarchy and chaos incarnate. I think that's why they didn't give him any conclusive back-story (unlike the Nicholsen Joker), and it's a good decision - it makes him seem all the more dangerous and unpredictable, a "man from nowhere". Nicholsen's Joker felt more like a "conventional" superhero's villain. Not to mention that you're always very aware that it's Jack Nicholsen playing a part (that tends to hold true for most of his movies).

On topic, I think two of the biggest cliches/conventions are the tendency towards "power-ups" as a form of story-telling, and the weird separation of the societies in these stories from the characters. Think of the Avengers, where you've got

1. A guy with super-tough and lightweight body armor, complete with compact energy storage that's well beyond anything we have now.

2. A man who can transform into a giant with many times his normal mass, without needing to consume that amount of mass to do it.

3. A super-human with a shield that ignores Conservation of Momentum.

4. A literal Norse God from a real Pantheon of them.

Anyone of those would turn society on its head (the theological implications of the Norse Pantheon actually existing would be huge, for example), but it still looks exactly like our real world. I don't know why, either - is it to preserve the "wish fulfillment" aspect? Comic fans not wanting their stuff to openly turn into Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

Gillianren
2011-Nov-19, 12:07 AM
I think it's because it all started out so normal, and by the time you get actual Norse Gods and things, it's too late to make it realistic in people's reactions.

KaiYeves
2011-Nov-19, 12:51 AM
Frankly, I stopped reding after they had Scott dating the White Queen, and Jean's ghost coming back to okay the relationship.
Oh, I didn't say I liked the new storylines, just that it was nice to meet someone else who was aware of them.

madman
2011-Nov-19, 02:27 AM
i didn't like schism.

and mostly (for me) the thing that makes or breaks a comic is the art/ists.
i can ignore the recent-ish marvel comics downturn in the maturity of the characters (into the 20-something style boyfriend/girlfriend gee-whiz infatuation) as long as the art is good.

for example: bachalo is good to see doing "wolverine and the x-men", but i don't like pachecos' art on uncanny x-men.
pelletier and miki did a nice run on incredible hulks recently (issues 630-635) and now they're doing a split-art series called "fear itself: the fearless", although i don't like the work of the other guy (bagley) and wish that they'd gotten the cover artist (adams) to do that job instead, since he's fairly similar to pelletier and miki.

john romita jr is great on kick-*** and for a while he was doing the avengers...now acuna has taken over and i like him too so i'm not so sad that jr jr has dropped out?
epting on FF is great, kitson is crap.
i like ribic's covers on uncanny x-force and opena's art for the interior.
eric powell has gotten better and his new run of the goon (#34-36) is looking good
tyler cook is not bad but i miss guy davis on B.P.R.D and am waiting for mignola to return to hellboy next year (although duncan fegredo is good too)
the new version of darkwing duck was great but its now stopped at issue 18.
jusko does beautifull covers for warlord of mars and alex ross is the reason why kirby genesis is a success, but the other titles like "silver star" and "captain victory" are going to bomb due to the poor art.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-19, 06:43 AM
Not to mention that you're always very aware that it's Jack Nicholson playing a part (that tends to hold true for most of his movies).
Which is why I think there are many cases where using him was a bad miscasting choice, e.g. The Shining.
Because it tends to skew the movie from being an "ordinary man experiences extraordinary things that turns him crazy" movie, which is interesting, into "Jack Nicholson is crazy again", which had already gotten rather boring by 1980.

Inclusa
2011-Nov-20, 08:59 AM
Which is why I think there are many cases where using him was a bad miscasting choice, e.g. The Shining.
Because it tends to skew the movie from being an "ordinary man experiences extraordinary things that turns him crazy" movie, which is interesting, into "Jack Nicholson is crazy again", which had already gotten rather boring by 1980.

Of course it gets boring to see actors in same or similar roles over and over again.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-20, 06:55 PM
Not if they do it well, and it's better than seeing someone in a role in which they ruin the movie by being miscast.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Nov-20, 07:26 PM
But there's definitely such a thing as lazy casting.

Gillianren
2011-Nov-20, 07:50 PM
Oh, sure. One of the things I like best is being pleasantly surprised by someone in a movie; I have been disappointed by casting in advance of movies and then totally blown away during by how good the person was. This has never happened with Jack Nicholson, though he's been quite good in movies where he's playing Jack Nicholson.

JCoyote
2011-Nov-23, 05:01 PM
Resurrecting characters is a marketing issue many times. Killing them off inappropriately is sometimes a writing problem, an attempt to create a good story when someone was out of ideas. Killing a character because the creative team didn't like them is even worse, and it has happened too.

If you kill off a longstanding character in serialized fiction and it isn't an utterly amazing story, then I think a serious crime has been committed. I lay some of the resurrection tendencies on lax editing when it came up to killing a character in the first place.

And I don't have much problem with bringing characters back IF the seeds of their return are laid out before they die. It's not jarring or cheap if a plausible solution was established but only if it was done in preparation not in hindsight. Of course, plausible in comics is different than the real world. But in any fiction, the measure of all this is internal consistency, not consistency with the real world.

One I was surprised stayed dead was Sunfire in the Exiles. A few issues before her death she was bitten by a vampire, and her sun based powers were causing havoc with the "infection" but she as "cured" in a haphazard way. Then she dies suffocated under a building collapse weeks later. But vampirism which resurrects people 3 days later added to pre-established unpredictable interactions with her powers for randomness leads to easy resurrection whenever you feel like it. Those factors left me surprised they didn't.

Most characters though don't have any decent framework for return laid out.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-24, 07:38 AM
Killing them off inappropriately is sometimes a writing problem, an attempt to create a good story when someone was out of ideas. Killing a character because the creative team didn't like them is even worse, and it has happened too.

If you kill off a longstanding character in serialized fiction and it isn't an utterly amazing story, then I think a serious crime has been committedI generally disagree with this view. No character in an ensemble cast should be immortal if the series, the show or whatever is about the risk of death - and not even if it isn't. Obviously a character's death should involve a meaningful story but then again, all episodes and issues should involve meaningful stories. Even killing somebody off because the writers don't like him makes sense from that viewpoint - how many meaningful and interesting storylines they are going to concoct around a character they detest? I don't think all that many. Of course you can also just retire a character instead but in the superhero world, it amount to the same thing given the regularity at which they resurrect.

JCoyote
2011-Nov-24, 10:22 AM
Killing off a character because I don't like them is wrong if somebody does like them. This IS an important point in serialized fiction when the creative team is subject to change and sales are subject to market pressure; an unpopular death is the most likely to be temporary. In which case I do consider it the original writer's fault for not planning it well enough. A meaningful death can appease fans of a character and occasionally have them asking NOT to bring the character back because it spoils their story. It is uncommon, but a good reason to put some actual thought into treatment of well-established characters.

Superhero series at their core are not about the risk of death, indeed they are often about immortality of a sort. This is why characters are so hard to kill and make it stick.

tnjrp
2011-Nov-24, 10:57 AM
On the contrary, IMCO it is absolutely right to kill off a character you don't like if you "own" the character. It's your work, not somebody-who-likes-the-character's.

It's difficult to make a long-running character's death stick in the superhero comic circuit because the fans pay $$$ for the death issue and $$$$ for the resurrection/reboot issue.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Nov-24, 01:56 PM
It's difficult to make a long-running character's death stick in the superhero comic circuit because the fans pay $$$ for the death issue and $$$$ for the resurrection/reboot issue.

Once you realise this, surely it's time to stop reading comics? Or at least the kind of comic that does that. They're basically lying to you.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-24, 02:35 PM
Cliche-- the secret identity! It's so common that it goes unnoticed as a cliche. If a real person, especially a teenager as so many superheroes start out as, suddenly found out they had superpowers, would their first thought be "I might someday develop powerful enemies that might threaten my loved ones, therefore I must hide my identity from the world"? Or would it be "Hey, I can FLY! I'm gonna be FAMOUS!"

Paul Beardsley
2011-Nov-24, 02:39 PM
Cliche-- the secret identity! It's so common that it goes unnoticed as a cliche.

In which case it's not a cliche. A cliche is not simply something that's been done lots of times befoe; a cliche is something that clunks because it's been done lots of times before.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-24, 03:00 PM
In which case it's not a cliche. A cliche is not simply something that's been done lots of times befoe; a cliche is something that clunks because it's been done lots of times before.

It clunks now. It went from being a stylized pulp/Golden Age convention, to an accepted part of superhero reality, to an overused cliche. Most modern-created comics mock the concept, or show it as implausible given modern DNA and surveillance technology. In Ultimate Spider-Man, the government knows who he is even before his first webs are dry. Other heroes frequently go maskless and/or by their real names.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Nov-24, 03:10 PM
It clunks now.

In which case it doesn't go unnoticed any more! ;)

Gillianren
2011-Nov-24, 07:00 PM
Graham is reading some older comics (as in not current) right now, and a character in one of them has one of those weird back stories--he aged faster than usual so had the brain of a two-year-old in the body of a teenager, and he's from the future, and apparently he used to live inside a video game--and they stuck him in a normal human high school in Alabama or something. And so naturally he's been labeled a freak and is getting picked on. I pointed out that this is because they have chosen a terrible way to socialize him, and they should really start with people who understand why he's acting like that, not make him pretend from the outset that he's just like everyone else.

Noclevername
2011-Nov-25, 12:49 AM
In which case it doesn't go unnoticed any more! ;)

YOU'RE MAKING MY HEAD SPIN! http://www.prophecychat.com/forums/images/smilies/th_panicsmiley2.gif

tnjrp
2011-Nov-25, 06:54 AM
Once you realise this, surely it's time to stop reading comics? Or at least the kind of comic that does that. They're basically lying to you.I largely have stopped reading comics. Years and years ago, in fact. The last superhero comic I've read is Rising Stars and the only comic I follow currently is Sillage (Wake for the USAnians).

HenrikOlsen
2011-Nov-25, 10:02 AM
I still read superhero comics, but there days it's not the mainstream DC/Marvel crud but rather stuff like The Sandman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sandman_(Vertigo)), The Boys (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boys_(comics)), The Invisibles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Invisibles), Transmetropolitan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmetropolitan), Preacher (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preacher_(comics)), Chronicles of Wormwood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronicles_of_Wormwood) and such.