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Superheroes: the Tacit Warrior Elite


AlgaeNymph
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When I asked how superheroes could be proactive a lot of the replies I got were outright fearful of such a thing.  Logical given genre conventions, where anyone who isn't an aimless vigilante becomes a brutal authoritarian, but why is such a trope part of the narrative paradigm?  I suspect the answer is historical precedent.

 

Like the title says, superheroes are technically a warrior elite, which means more than easily defeating mere mortals.  Being a warrior is a lifestyle, one that separates warriors from everyone else to the point we start using terms like "mere mortals."  As a result warrior elites tend to get, well, elitist.  Not something you want from a government leader, especially when there's precedent for a warrior culture to become ur-fascist.  Indeed, superheroes in fiction are for the most part essentially cops and soldiers, maybe firefighters on a good day.  Since supers are universally considered to be little more than face-punchers at even the best of times it's only logical we'd consider their proactivity to thus follow.

 

So what's the solution?  In contrast to warriors are soldiers, or people who see fighting as a job rather than an identity, who think of themselves as public servants rather than moral superiors.  Still, the media will most likely focus on celebrity demigods more than talented entrepreneurs without a fundamental change in cultural; superheroes have been universally revered through history, but how often do epics pay heed to crafters, healers, and hearth-tenders?  Then again, the storytellers did compose at the behest of the aforementioned warrior aristocracy...

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   While you are absolutely right on many points, the reason that those types of heroes go astray as much as they do is simply that it makes for better storytelling.  Your argument (I mean that word in the “argument for debate” style) is based on a real world viewpoint.  Two people meeting, falling in love and living happily ever after just isn’t as enjoyable to an audience as Romeo & Juliet or Love Story.

   In gaming a proactive hero means a lot more work for a GM. Because that means that the story is only about what one character in particular wants and it’s not necessarily the one the GM wants to tell.  It can also run the risk of one characters quest being the be all, end all of a campaign.  Regardless of the other players who want to do their own things.  I remember a campaign that I played in got stuck in that mode and the rest of the group complained that the game had devolved into “Batman and his 5 Robins.”

   It’s a delicate balance and tough to pull off, making sure that everyone has their time in the spotlight. Blue-Booking is a good way around this if circumstances preclude one on one sessions. 
   This is an interesting subject.  Are you more interested in nuts & bolts ways to deal with this in books and games or in a more philosophical discussion of the trait in storylines?

     Either way is good for me,  happy trails.

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10 hours ago, AlgaeNymph said:

superheroes are technically a warrior elite, As a result warrior elites tend to get, well, elitist.  Not something you want from a government leader, 

Government leaders, most leaders, really, are elites of one sort or another.  They're not literal warrior elites in modern western society, though some may have military experience, but more often political, academic, scientific, media, economic, etc 'elites.'   

 

10 hours ago, AlgaeNymph said:

So what's the solution?  In contrast to warriors are soldiers, or people who see fighting as a job rather than an identity, who think of themselves as public servants rather than moral superiors.

You can contrast soldier and warrior that way, though I doubt either word has quite so precise a dictionary meaning, I think it's potentially a fair contrast.  But, by the same token Warriors tend to act as individuals, concerned with their own honor, prefer to intimidate enemies, protect allies, and follow a code or at least their own conscience.  Warriors can be good or bad people.   In contrast, soldiers act collectively, follow orders and rules of engagement, efficiently 'reduce' enemy forces, 'interdict' their sources of supply, and accept 'collateral damage' as part of doing business.   Soldiers may be good or bad individuals, but they can't manage to be much better or worse, collectively, than the system they serve.

 

Oh, and in western culture, particularly American culture (yes there is such a thing), jobs /are/ an important identity.

 

10 hours ago, AlgaeNymph said:

how often do epics pay heed to crafters, healers, and hearth-tenders?  Then again, the storytellers did compose at the behest of the aforementioned warrior aristocracy...

It does happen.  In the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, Ilmarinen, a major character, is the supernatural smith who makes the wonderous Sampo.  While we have lots of action movies and tv shows about violent heroes, we also revere inventors, the inventor as hero was a strong theme in American literature from the mid 19th through the late 20th century (it's falling out of vogue, today) and that's arguably a crafter archetype (that many superhero origins fit).  Similarly, modern entertainment celebrates and reveres healers - doctors, surgeons, nurses & first responders.  And, getting back to myth, Penelope's maintenance of Ithaca's independence, in spite of a hoard of bullying suitors who would take her husband's place is an important part of the Odyssey, so there's a hearth-tender, too (oh, and another crafter - Trick of the Tapestry, remember).  (And before you call her obscure, how many boys do you know named 'Odysseus'? ;)  )

 

Ultimately, I think we have superheroes for two pretty good reasons:

 

1) America didn't have a stable of pre-Enlightenment heroes, gods & monsters to draw upon.

2) We need stories that illustrate the importance of individual responsibility, and give examples of heroes who are responsible, in spite of having no one to enforce that responsibility on them.  Spiderman's story spells out 'with great power comes great responsibility' very explicitly, but Superman epitomizes it since he has just sooo much power, he absolutely should be corrupted by it, but instead he's a total boy scout.

 

 

 

 

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One of the interesting things about the superhero genre is that, for the most part, superheroes do not see themselves as elite. Being born as a concept from a country and society with a democratic ideal (let's leave aside how often reality falls short of that ideal), they treat less gifted people with equal respect. That respect also includes the societal norms, the system of law and government, that all other citizens submit to. They may sometimes work outside the system to deal with threats it's not adequate for, but in support of the same ideals. Those who clearly don't support those ideals are considered vigilantes at best, villains at worst.

 

When superheroes become more proactive, they start setting themselves up as a separate, unaccountable authority. They begin to act like they have a right to take such action, that they truly are superior. That makes a lot of normal people very uneasy. Once they're outside the common restraints on behavior, how far will they go? These aren't just rebellious human beings, they have power that could cause great harm if out of control. Besides the inherent risk of corruption to the hero from such a situation, the instinct of the normal humans will be to try to impose restrictions on the heroes, which may push them toward even more extreme positions and behavior.

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5 hours ago, Opal said:

Superman epitomizes it since he has just sooo much power, he absolutely should be corrupted by it, but instead he's a total boy scout.

When I was reading your post I thought of this:
image.thumb.png.7c84cc3f46af232718310b598e84a1b7.png

This actually goes on for a couple of pages like this, with each being astonished that the other is a good man.
 

I think the thing of it is that we trust Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent to be on the side of the angels because they are written as good guys.  I don't think a lot of us trust that our fellow man has as good a heart as either of these folks.  I don't think I'd trust myself not to be corrupted by power.

At the risk of bringing real events into a comic book discussion: Right now as I write this my urban area is Rioting.  Again.  It isn't as out of control as the last time, but then the authorities are more experienced this time around.  I wish I knew how to stop it, but there is so much anger and bitterness all through all of it that I don't know what "stopping it" would look like, or if I should, even if I had the knowledge, resources, or power.

I think it was in Kingdom Come where it was pointed out that Superman's real power isn't being faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive, it's knowing whats right and what to do.  All. The. Time.

I think we don't trust proactive supers because believing a mortal would know what to do when the world is going sideways is harder than believing a man can fly.  I'm preoccupied a bit by the violence going on a few miles from me, but I've heard a lot about what "should" be done about things and most of it seems to come from a place of ignorance and fear.  There are so many who believe that if one side or another were punished things would be better.  One side has my sympathies more than the other but I don't believe that a good kicking would correct the problem either way.  I don't believe there is a reasoned middle ground on every issue, but I also don't think that simple solutions fix most real problems.   I don't think the existing system had done a great job of dispensing justice, but I *do* think it would be so much worse of there was less accountability than there is.

To bring this back on topic, I don't think that super heroes would fix as much as we imagine.  I think they would either end up committing atrocities in the name of "justice" or would just keep the lid on longer and let the pressure get higher before it blew.  Either way, right now I'm glad there isn't someone out there proactively Punisher'ing their way through my community.  We have enough problems.

Which is why Proactive Super Heroes terrify me.

But it would be super nice if Superman or Batman would show up.

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4 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

They may sometimes work outside the system to deal with threats it's not adequate for, but in support of the same ideals. Those who clearly don't support those ideals are considered vigilantes at best, villains at worst.

 

Overwhelmingly, superheroes do work outside the system. That's what all the masks and stuff are about.

 

Otherwise they would be cops - or super-soldiers.

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Well, I think of Batman. He acts with a latitude that officers of the government don't have. But when he captures a villain, and has evidence of their wrongdoing, he turns them over to the authorities for disposition. No judge/jury/executioner, he accepts that society as a whole has to choose what penalties are appropriate to impose on a given criminal, and he can't set himself above it in that process. Same with Superman, Spider-Man, and many other heroes.

 

There have also been multiple extended comic runs in which major superheroes, particularly teams, acted as agents of national or world governments. Avengers. Justice League. X-Force.

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There is a scene in one of the Batman story lines where he and dead/alive Robin are talking over a beaten/not dead Joker about the futility of just arresting the criminals only to have them escape/get released instead of killing them and ending it permanently. Batman says that if he ever started down that path he would never be able to stop. He knows he can't become the judge, jury and executioner but he also realizes there is a real need (in his world) for someone with the means and commitment keep the fighting the good fight. He doesn't do it for his justice or his glory. He goes after people the normal system can't, for whatever reason, and then steps back as soon as the system can get a hand on the situation. If the system looses control then he is there again to bring control back to the system. That includes controlling the system when it strays from its own stated ideal. Both Bats and Super follow a code but it is a code others can point to and say "See? Here is what you are supposed to do." And they are able to do this despite their personal feelings while having their personal feelings providing the motivation to take what action is needed. 

In super hero storylines the writer always knows who is who and what the back story is. They know who is in the right and who isn't. Sometimes that is the story, that the character may not know but the writer definitely does. In real life we often don't have the full story. We are not the writer and don't know the full back story so when people in real life start acting like they do it scares us because deep down we can see ourselves as the ones being judged without all the facts.

I find it amusing (cynic that I am) that when, as LL pointed out, the heroes are acting directly at the behest of the government or system it ends up being more unforgiving and tyrannical that when individuals do similar things. I guess this leads back to the Warrior/Soldier argument. One is an individual the other part of a group. One has flexibility, one has regulation and standardization.

 

Ok getting sleepy and feel I am beginning to ramble. Night.

Edited by Lorehunter
Stupid autocorrect.
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Quote

He doesn't do it for his justice or his glory. He goes after people the normal system can't, for whatever reason, and then steps back as soon as the system can get a hand on the situation. If the system looses control then he is there again to bring control back to the system.

 

That's a great way of putting it.  Superheroes exist not to fight crime, but to fight extraordinary dangers.  True, Superman's first villains were all ordinary people and he was just the ultimate geek's wish fulfillment of going around dealing with problems with massive power to back you up.  But in time the concept developed into something less unnerving and troubling, into one you describe above.

 

Superheroes are moral agents of protection fighting evil in a chaotic world.  Their job isn't to avenge or bring justice, their job is to handle what the regular forces cannot, so that the regular forces can then take over.  Modern comic book (and film) writers don't get this: they think its about defending the powerless and bringing social justice, because they think everything is about that.  Superheroes are a special force that a world with superheroes needs because it has monsters erupting from the ground and aliens from space and VIPER agents trying to blow up the statue of liberty. 

 

To a certain extent its about protecting and serving; like Superman stopping a tornado or Green Lantern corking a volcano, the Flash saving people from a flood, etc.  But when it comes to fighting and putting your life on the line, its not about power or control, its about service and dealing with the extraordinary.  Superheroes can do things like fly food to a starving nation and rush a vaccine to a plague around to everyone.  But their combat "warrior elite" level of action is not about the ordinary.

 

For GMs this is a useful tool to understand how to handle writing and running scenarios.  Champions is not like any other RPG because of this. Every other game you're a free agent doing usually self-serving things.  To get treasure, power, advance a cause, gain things and accomplish goals.  Champions is about none of those things.  You don't go home with treasure or a title.  You go home realizing you did good and helped people.

 

Also, that concept helps explain why it is that its rare in comics for the system to be realistically portrayed as broken, corrupt, and lazy as it really is.  Because the system has to work for any of this to be possible.  Spider-Man cannot stop The Green Goblin and turn him over to the police, if the Attorny General is just going to set him free because he was only helping BLM protesters out.  In a world where you cannot trust the system, superheroes have to become vigilantes carrying out justice, because there's none to appeal to or turn criminals over to.

 

That's why movies such as Death Wish and their like became popular, because the system wasn't working and someone had to step up, at least in fiction.  For a Batman character to turn over things to the system when they can handle it again requires the system to work.

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So Algae, after rereading your op I am confused. Are you looking for insight as to :

  1. Why does this trope (warrior elite becoming corrupt because of being elite) existe?
  2. How can we change this trope (elite not becoming corrupt or arch-types other than warrior becoming elite)?
  3. How come there are not similar tropes for other arch-types?

Or am I even further afield that that ? 

Not a critique just looking for clarification.

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40 minutes ago, Lorehunter said:

So Algae, after rereading your op I am confused. Are you looking for insight as to :

  1. Why does this trope (warrior elite becoming corrupt because of being elite) existe?
  2. How can we change this trope (elite not becoming corrupt or arch-types other than warrior becoming elite)?
  3. How come there are not similar tropes for other arch-types?

Or am I even further afield that that ? 

Not a critique just looking for clarification.

I think the OP dislikes all our naysaying about this troop. He sees it as "why shouldn't the heroes be considered Warrior Elite and why should the people cheer them on, worship them, and in general not fear them because of it". 

 

Think of the various pantions of gods. People both worship and fear them. Superbeings are modern gods. Why should we pretend that they don't take advantage of it to their benefit. 

 

Because gods don't get blamed when someone gets hit with a thunderbolt or burns to death. The victims upset a god after all. But superheros are not so far above humans that they can't be held responsible for their actions. 

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1 hour ago, steriaca said:

I think the OP dislikes all our naysaying about this troop. He sees it as "why shouldn't the heroes be considered Warrior Elite and why should the people cheer them on, worship them, and in general not fear them because of it". 

 

Think of the various pantions of gods. People both worship and fear them. Superbeings are modern gods. Why should we pretend that they don't take advantage of it to their benefit. 

 

Because gods don't get blamed when someone gets hit with a thunderbolt or burns to death. The victims upset a god after all. But superheros are not so far above humans that they can't be held responsible for their actions. 

 

I try to work in a variety of reactions in my stories because people are varied. 

 

Sarcopha-Guy became worshipped as a god, much to his annoyance and extreme inconvenience.

 

But elite warriors?

 

The Tonton Macoute in Haiti were instrumental in keeping a brutal dictator in power for decades and were famed for their atrocities. 

 

Saddam Hussein's Imperial Guard was the backbone of his army and were his most loyal troops. Saddam warehoused the bones of the "enemies" he executed (with US troops finding 300,000 skeletons which he'd had boxed up...and no telling how many others were buried across the country from less formal executions).

 

The Russians have their special forces (Spetznaz). A defector wrote a book detailing how they trained their special forces people to kill by putting them in gladiator fights with prisoners from the Gulags.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquarium_(Suvorov) But despite that, special forces troops were held in high regard in the USSR and in today's Russia.

 

Yeah people can worship elite warriors. But there's also plenty of real-world examples of why they should be feared (it's not like I even scratched the surface of all the bad ones).

 

As for superheroes, I prefer most of their activism to be low key and mostly off-screen. Visits to children's hospitals. Helping to build community centers. Social worker in their civilian ID. Big money donor in civilian ID.

 

Yeah, technically almost any hero could do more as mayor, governor, president, or dictator for life...and likely better than whoever was doing that task previously. But that's not what I'm looking for in a gaming experience as a GM. 

 

Now if I was doing a Dark Champions campaign, finding people who have outstanding warrants and bringing them to the police would be proactive, in a sense, because you'd be catching "known criminals" before they commit more crime.

 

Or if you were some kind of Harbinger of Justice, you could shoot someone on the off chance that the might commit a crime at some point in the future (or shoot some husband on the off chance that he might someday abuse his spouse).

 

Maybe do the Harbinger of Driving:

 

He roams the freeways at rush hour and marks out drivers who do something blatantly stupid which endangers all the cars around him. The Harbinger follows him home and caps him, thus improving the gene pool and making the streets literally safer.

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Sure have a lot to respond to...

 

Let's get to it.

 

1 hour ago, Lorehunter said:

So Algae, after rereading your op I am confused. Are you looking for insight as to :

  1. Why does this trope (warrior elite becoming corrupt because of being elite) exists?
  2. How can we change this trope (elite not becoming corrupt or arch-types other than warrior becoming elite)?
  3. How come there are not similar tropes for other arch-types?

I was pretty much just musing, though I wouldn't mind having those questions answered.

 

On 4/13/2021 at 2:16 PM, Tjack said:

Are you more interested in nuts & bolts ways to deal with this in books and games or in a more philosophical discussion of the trait in storylines?

Both, but people here have very much taken the initiative on the latter.

 

21 hours ago, Opal said:

Penelope's maintenance of Ithaca's independence, in spite of a hoard of bullying suitors who would take her husband's place is an important part of the Odyssey, so there's a hearth-tender, too (oh, and another crafter - Trick of the Tapestry, remember).

As someone dating a Penelope it's always good to see her mentioned.  : )

 

And the rest of your points I can't really argue against -- except the crafter.  Sort of.  We see stories about gadgeteers being superheroes but not building great works.  We see Tony Stark fighting terrorists with a super-suit, but not fighting OPEC with clean energy.

 

21 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

One of the interesting things about the superhero genre is that, for the most part, superheroes do not see themselves as elite. Being born as a concept from a country and society with a democratic ideal (let's leave aside how often reality falls short of that ideal), they treat less gifted people with equal respect. That respect also includes the societal norms, the system of law and government, that all other citizens submit to.

Mm-hm, no denying that.  That's what the article I linked to was getting at when referring to soldiers.  To be fair, he was responding to a hack who felt we should embrace a "warrior culture," while ignoring historical examples of such.  Still, I suspect a lot of young comics fans would be all for a warrior culture...

 

6 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Modern comic book (and film) writers don't get this: they think it's about defending the powerless and bringing social justice, because they think everything is about that.

Oh?  Besides the obvious example of Green Arrow, from before "kids these days" were born, I've got a long list.  While Batman told his aforementioned friend that giant monsters tend to step on the little guy, he also dealt with corporate malfeasance quite often, and not just in Heart of IceRiddler's debut in Batman TAS dealt with corruption in the games industry back when we thought crunch time was only something the Japanese did back when we felt they'd buy out the US (or at least the manufacturing sector).  The whole point of the X-Men was social justice.  Superman tackled social injustice back when he was starting out.  Not to mention that his main foes are a corrupt corporate executive and a literal god of tyranny.  He even broke the fourth wall to fight for truth and social justice.  And of course, superheroes came of age in WWII back when we were fighting scarier monsters than the kaiju kind.  A shame that punching Nazis is "politics in my entertainment!"  Say...Cap didn't really take Watergate well, did he?

 

6 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Spider-Man cannot stop The Green Goblin and turn him over to the police, if the Attorney General is just going to set him free because he was only helping BLM protesters out.

And now "bleeding heart liberal judges"?  Think about the logical conclusion of the words you used; that BLM is the sort of group a bomb-throwing lunatic would want to sponsor.  Now that I think about it, that's another unfortunate implication...

 

sigh...

 

So much for this thread being civil.  Though that one's on me; I just had to speak out.

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7 minutes ago, AlgaeNymph said:

Superman tackled social injustice back when he was starting out.  Not to mention that his main foes are a corrupt corporate executive and a literal god of tyranny.  He even broke the fourth wall to fight for truth and social justice. 

 

Yeah, a lot of people these days aren't aware that the Superman radio show played a large role in dismantling the power structure of the Ku Klux Klan by showing the public how silly there were by revealing true insider information about all their secret handshakes and rituals.

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8 minutes ago, AlgaeNymph said:

We see Tony Stark fighting terrorists with a super-suit, but not fighting OPEC with clean energy.


I think the real issue with this sort of thing is that if Stark brand ARC Reactors put OPEC out of business there would be a LOT of knock-of effects and most comic book creators don't want to deal with that.  They want Iron Man punching WhipLash and don't want to tell a story about how gas stations everywhere are out of business because everyone's StarkCar has infinite range now and what that is doing to small town America.  Same with how Spiderman's webshooters aren't standard issue nonlethal side-arms for Police (and pay for Aunt May's healthcare), allowing them to web up low level supercriminals without calling out the Avengers every time Electro holds up a Credit Union.

You do see changed societies in "what if" and alternate future type stories but never in the main continuity.  If Heroes actually changed the world the comics would get further and further from the world people live in.

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43 minutes ago, AlgaeNymph said:

And the rest of your points I can't really argue against -- except the crafter.  Sort of.  We see stories about gadgeteers being superheroes but not building great works. 

 

The point was whether crafters featured in epic storytelling, and they have, both literally in national epics, and more figuratively in modern literature, and, in the case of the 'heroic inventor' archetype are notably featured in American literature, especially 19th/early-mid 20th century adventure fiction, sci-fi, and comics. 

 

That Tony Stark, for instance, doesn't make as big an impact on broader society as all his inventions might imply is just begging the original question of pro-active superheroing.  Often when even a good-guy 'mad scientist' comes up with some major advance, the story keeps it out of general circulation - maybe the hero realizes "the world isn't ready" for the invention yet, often it turns out to be a one-off (there's no more of some key ingredient or there was some cosmic happenstance that made it work that one time), or is lost/destroyed.  That really says more about trying to set serial fiction in a remotely familiar world than anything else.

 

 

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In Tony Stark's defense, he doesn't mass produce ARC reactors mostly out of fear that someone could weaponize it. Either by figuring out how to make it explode or more likely be a power source for whatever weapon you can name (small portable mega-lasers and disintegration beams comes to mind, let alone some crazy in a suit of armor). It should be noted that his own technology has been weaponized before (Armor Wars anyone?).

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8 hours ago, AlgaeNymph said:

the sort of group a bomb-throwing lunatic would want to sponsor. 

IDK why you linked the TV Tropes 'Bomb-throwing Anarchist' or why that particular page is so much less funny and even oddly defensive-sounding than is typical for that site, but, that's your characterization of the Green Goblin (and an accurate one, he's crazy, he throws bombs shaped like pumpkins).  And, IDK if him throwing bombs at one side or the other of a public demonstration would hypothetically say anything about the other side, since, well, lunatic, but, just in case, maybe we could keep it all in-universe:

 

Spiderman should still try to stop Green Goblin from blowing people up, even if a deluded DA has committed to not pressing charges against him for whatever professed ("I refuse to prosecute peaceful protestors who do mere property damage in the course of Hydra's mostly-peaceful protests against reptile profiling.  Free von Strucker!  Defund the Avengers!") or actual reason (like GG's holding his family hostage maybe? that's a classic).  A hero could still be heroic in the same mode, even when the system is being dysfunctional at the moment.  

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One of the things I like about the Champions Universe is that, while the top-tier technology remains in the hands of superheroes and supervillains, quite a bit of "supertech" has filtered out into the wider world and made a substantive difference to that world compared to our real one. In particular, Champions Universe, Champions Beyond, and Millennium City detail those differences. I summarized that info for the Champions Online community, which the curious can read here.

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22 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

One of the things I like about the Champions Universe is that, while the top-tier technology remains in the hands of superheroes and supervillains, quite a bit of "supertech" has filtered out into the wider world and made a substantive difference to that world compared to our real one. In particular, Champions Universe, Champions Beyond, and Millennium City detail those differences. I summarized that info for the Champions Online community, which the curious can read here.

Nice read LL.

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On 4/14/2021 at 4:33 PM, Opal said:

IDK why you linked the TV Tropes 'Bomb-throwing Anarchist'

Because I'm really good at seeing connections based on my broad knowledge.  Bomb-thrower + activist = stereotypes of anarchists.  Admittedly, my talent can result in false positives...

 

On 4/14/2021 at 3:10 PM, archer said:

Or if you were some kind of Harbinger of Justice, you could shoot someone on the off chance that the might commit a crime at some point in the future (or shoot some husband on the off chance that he might someday abuse his spouse).

Only if I knew they were irredeemable, and a good dark champion would do their twenty minutes of prep time first.  For the redeemable ones I'd focus on either therapy -- e.g., changing their means while validating their ends -- or harm reduction -- i.e., getting them to work for me.  Good talent is hard to come by.

 

On 4/14/2021 at 3:28 PM, Jhamin said:

I think the real issue with this sort of thing is that if Stark brand ARC Reactors put OPEC out of business there would be a LOT of knock-of effects and most comic book creators don't want to deal with that.

Good thing we're not confined to the comic industry sausage factory.  ; )

 

On 4/14/2021 at 6:29 PM, pawsplay said:

Superheroes are shamans. They adopt a special role, often using a special name, maybe with an animal theme. Their purpose is to protect their communities from supernatural beings. In their mode of dress and behavior, they stand apart from ordinary people.

Oo!  Now that's a different take, and makes so much sense...

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1 hour ago, AlgaeNymph said:

Because I'm really good at seeing connections based on my broad knowledge.  Bomb-thrower + activist = stereotypes of anarchists.  Admittedly, my talent can result in false positives...

Humble, too.  😜 though, really, that's a very human tendency, creating connections, 'magical thinking,' confirmation bias, whatever you want to call it.  Like our ability to see faces in tree bark, clouds, toast, and photos of the surface of Mars.

 

The Green Goblin certainly throws bombs, and is crazy.  Anarchists stereotypically throw bombs, and may be crazed, but they're not craz-y if I may draw the distinction between extreme action spurred by desperate faith in a belief system and actual mental illness.  So GG isn't an anarchist, he actually /is/ crazy, and doesn't have much of a belief system driving his actions that I've noticed.  In his secret ID he's another evil rich white man, anyway, isn't he?  Y'know, like Lex Luthor, Bruce Wayne, Wilson Fisk, Tony Stark, etc...

 

 

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