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Iconography


Bengal
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You know, I have a detective/martial artist character with a utility belt. Every picture I draw reminds my wife of Batman.

 

With a cape, without a cape, with the ears, blah blah blah.

 

It's the utility belt that is the only thing that stays the same.

 

Is a ultility belt so unique or iconic that it "belongs" to a certain character?

 

Are there other items that are so evocative of certain specific characters, that for another character to have one steps on that character's schtick?

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Re: Iconography

 

Originally posted by Bengal

You know, I have a detective/martial artist character with a utility belt. Every picture I draw reminds my wife of Batman.

 

With a cape, without a cape, with the ears, blah blah blah.

 

It's the utility belt that is the only thing that stays the same.

 

Is a ultility belt so unique or iconic that it "belongs" to a certain character?

 

Are there other items that are so evocative of certain specific characters, that for another character to have one steps on that character's schtick?

 

Well, for me, I know that if I see any character with a shield it reminds me of Captain America. I would agree that the 'utility belt' (or vest, or bracers, or whatever) does evoke shades of the Dark Knight and I think one of the main reasons is that, for the longest time, no other character even had anything remotely resembling it. Probably, in the same vain, why you'll never see another character try to protect their secret identity by just putting on a pair of eye glasses...to Clark Kentish :)

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Re: Re: Iconography

 

Originally posted by Dr. Rune

Well, for me, I know that if I see any character with a shield it reminds me of Captain America.

 

I have tried SO many times to create a character with a shield gimmick, but no matter what, they just end up screaming Captain America. Cap has definitely cornered the market on super shields. You'd have better luck creating a guy with a huge indestructible hammer.

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Re: Re: Iconography

 

Originally posted by Dr. Rune

Well, for me, I know that if I see any character with a shield it reminds me of Captain America. I would agree that the 'utility belt' (or vest, or bracers, or whatever) does evoke shades of the Dark Knight

 

Well, shields are less of a problem if you have a sword or something like that to go with it. There are plenty of Knight type characters around.

 

I'm not so sure that vests, bracers and so on necessarily say 'Batman'. It should be possible to design something that isn't such a problem. Even a belt doesn't have to be a huge giveaway. After all, Robin's utility belt supposedly has its container doohickeys on the inside - so it looks just like a plain old belt from the outside. (Of course, it's rather loose.)

 

It is true that Batman tended to carry a wider variety of "stuff" than most other characters. Even the other non-powered detective types rarely if ever had quite the range of gear he had. That of course means that they would need less elaborate load-bearing gear.

 

You know, you could probably go with military-style gear. That would look sufficiently different from Batman for most people.

 

In the end, though, the real answer is: "don't stress!"

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I think the utility belt concept was inspired by the infantry-style military belts worn by soldiers. You could go that route and have the belt look more military rather than comic booky.

 

Other non-utility belt routes you can go are:

 

- Bandoliers

- Harnesses

- Holsters

- Backpack

- multi-pocketed flight vest-type gear

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Originally posted by xgotghrrl

I got three and they all belong to the same hero...see if you can guess who.

 

Tiara

Bracelets

Lasso

 

and how iconic are they, well I've never seen a cowboy themed hero use a lasso

 

Wonder Girl had the Bracelets and Lasso too, although not the Tiara.

 

Actually, when you think about it, a lasso isn't exactly an obvious choice for Wonder Woman to have.

 

Batman has a rope which he does use for entangles, but he doesn't see to use it lasso style. Then again, if you dug deep enough, you could probably find an example or two.

 

DC's cowboy themed Golden Age character, The Vigilante, apparently did have a lasso, although I've never really seen him in action.

 

Incidentally, he was one of the Golden Age characters to persist well into the "Dark Age" of the 1950's, at least in backup stories. Others who managed this kind of survival included Robotman, Aquaman and Green Arrow. This was during the period when the only DC superheroes with their own titles where Superman (and Superboy), Batman and Wonder Woman. I've considered using this period (c. 1952) as the basis for a setting. "The old heroes have faded away, and only a handful are still active" works for me. Of course the temptation would be for this to become an early Silver Age game, since new heroes would start popping up. I'd personally rather go with the "last few supers" approach, though.

 

Hmm. A tweak of the Hero System history document might work - perhaps a few supers did keep operating for a while after 2020. Nah. I'd write out most of the others earlier on and set it in the present day.

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