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Where have all the Superheroes gone?


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Re: Where have all the Superheroes gone?

 

Do superheroes still make sense in this world? Or have we become to cynical and angsty for us to accept them anymore? :(

 

I don't think this is true but I think many have come to believe it is true and when it comes to fiction that's just as, if not more, important than the reality. Several newer writers (as well as many fans) have come to see the world as dystopian, even nihilistic and the concept of superhero (even in its most simple broadest meaning) as a silly notion that is simply too "unrealistic" to deal with. Ironically, some of these writers and fans enjoy things which are just as unrealistic, if not outright silly for other reasons.

 

At least that's been my experience.

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Re: Where have all the Superheroes gone?

 

That is easy to answer.

 

Most of the "Great" modern comic heroes - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, The Hulk, The X-Men - either had to survive or were created during the era of The Comics Code Authority. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comics_Code)

 

While that is no longer in effect anymore, its legacy still 'colors' the Superhero world.

Actually, it started considerably before that. Originally Batman and Superman were both rather violent.

 

But then angry parents complained and publishers decided to play safe rather than risk losing sales.

 

"We had our first brush with censorship over Batman's uses of a gun in BATMAN #1. In one story in that issue he had a machine gun mounted on his Batplane and used it. We didn't think anything was wrong with Batman carrying guns because the Shadow used guns. Bill Finger was called on to the carpet by Whitney Ellsworth. He said 'Never let Batman carry a gun again!' The editors thought that making Batman a 'murderer' would taint his character, and mothers would object. The new editorial policy was to get away from Batman's vigilantism and bring him over to the side of the law. So he was remade as an honorary member of the police. The whole moral climate changed in the 1940-1941 period. You couldn't kill or shot villains anymore. DC prepared it's own comics code which every artist and writer had to follow. He wasn't the Dark Knight anymore with all the censorship."

- Bob Kane, from his book Batman And Me.

In many genres "heroes" are effectively Rebels Against Society.

 

In fantasy, characters on occasion fight City Watch or military of one nation or another.

 

Same goes for space operas, military and cop shows.Even when character supposedly works for authorities, there is still rebel mentality.

 

Sure, our society may be built upon rules and procedures, but they make for bad television. Sometimes you have to bend the rules, rough up the suspects, ignore your supervisors to get stuff done. A Cowboy Cop may be an Anti Hero (as is the case in The Shield). In CSI, the Cowboy Cop is often at odds with the main characters, as he will trample all over the crime scene and/or the suspect's rights.
Military personnel who break all the rules, annoy their superiors, but generally win because they break the rules. Existing largely because of the Rule Of Cool, as in real life, the military needs people they can be certain will stop fighting when ordered just as much as they need people who will start. The primary purpose of discipline is to learn self-restraint, after all.
Yet very soon superheroes had to become Pro-Establishment figures.

 

One reason supposedly was that comics were too violent for kids.Maybe.But another probable reason is that anti-establishment mentality might eventually lead kids to disrespect their parents and that´s unacceptable.

 

From Science Books

 

"The Ten-Cent Plague" tells how the full-color comic strips of early Sunday newspapers gave way to the more elaborate drawings of 1940's comic books. Among the early practitioners were Bill Gaines, who created MAD Magazine (which began as a satirical comic); and a gag writer named Bob Kahn, who became famous after he changed his name to Bob Kane and created Batman.

 

The book details how American kids delighted in the comics' anything-goes mission statement, only to be crushed by the adult sentiment of "Father knows best." Readers' parents, who merely sniffed at early comics as kiddie pablum, eventually felt threatened by their anti-authority attitude.

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Re: Where have all the Superheroes gone?

 

Not to burst any bubbles or anything....

 

but didn't Issue #1 of Captain America have him punching out Hitler on the cover? Released before the US entered the war ....

 

Superheroes have been "dealing with the issues of the day" since the beginning.

 

Superman far more than Cap. He started out punching slum lords, corrupt politicians and the lobbyists who bribe them.

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