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Pulling Authority & Other Genres


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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

10. the protagonists are mysteriously the only supers on the planet who have figured out how to use their abilities in new and munchkinly effective fashion.

 

Oh Man did The Authority ever beat this one into the ground. It seemed like most of their opponents were made of tissue paper and spun sugar.*

 

*Or where 3rd Edition GURPS Supers. ;)

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

Didn't see this when it first started, but I think one reason that we expect our superheroes to not kill is that they often have the power to stop crime, catch the bad guys, etc., without killing.

 

In other genres, from sword & sorcery to James Bond superspies, this usually isn't an option. Bullets and blades are legitimate threats, so kill or be killed situations come up much more often.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

Too right. Being super means having more options than a crimefighter without powers. If bullets aren't a real threat to you, your life isn't on the line and you can afford to take a chance that your first shot won't take your opponent out. Being a superhero isn't about being a more effective killer, it's about being able to rise above, to at least some degree, the limitations of normal police or firefighters or helpful citizens.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

1.Millar, Ellis and their kind are right.

2.Comics Code is dumb.It should never have existed.

 

I know this is responding to an old post but I do have to say this:

 

If you honestly believe this, then our viewpoints are so far apart that I don't believe we could have a meaningful discussion.

 

I hold my superheroes to a higher standard.

 

To quote another author, and a code of that world's best fighters (paraphrased as I don't remember it exactly):

Do not hurt where holding is enough

Do not injure where hurting is enough

Do not maim when injury is enough

Do not kill when maiming is enough

The greatest warrior is one who does not need to kill.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

Why is it wrong if Authority-like team decides to take over ?

 

In every other genre heroes are ruthless killers.

Killers, often. Ruthless? As in "Without pity or compassion"? Not nearly so much.

 

a) Fantasy: The Simbul wants destroy the nation of Thay and

Elminster in The Shadow of the Avatar Trilogy considered destroying entire realms of men.

And Frodo spared Golum's life. Sure, they deal in swords and spells, but Fantasy heroes aren't as invulnerable, usually, as superheroes. They don't have the same options, and they don't often live in democracies with a due process of law.

b)Horror: Not a lot heroes, but Abramah van Helsing DID kill.

Unlike humans, many horror stories have creatures that are NOT redeemable.

c) Space Opera: Entire worlds are destroyed. Dr.Who happily destroyed the Dalek fleet.

Happily? No. And 'entire worlds being destroyed' is more the act of the Evil Empire than the good guys.

 

d) Military & police: Use lethal force when necessary.

And yet still have folks they must answer to, and rules of engagement. Also, cops aren't superpowered. Their options are limited. Cops that kill casually end up being on trial. Soldiers are at war, a war authorized by their government.

 

e) Pulp,Noir,Modern Action: Same goes here.James Bond and Jack Bauer are ruthless killers.

Bond is Licensed to kill, that's his stichk. Superheroes, many of them, have not been given that authority. Bauer, I'm not as familar with, but unless he's bullet proof see above comments.

 

The Superhero Genre is a somewhat unique blend of other genres, one that has options the others don't, and often have a highly idealistic bent. It is a modern creation, and has a morality set more in keeping with the best of modern ideals rather than the brutal nature of past cultures (sometimes necessarily brutal, to be sure). Some superheroes do kill, but I hope it remains the exception rather than the rule.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

I think there's some pragmatic(both in game and external to it) reasons for having lower lethality settings in a supers campaign.

1. villain writeups are time-consuming, and it sucks to have to keep generating new ones

2. hero writeups are time-consuming too, and it's a big pile o'suck if you go through 6 PCs a year because the villains are all going extreme because you are

3. ethical differentiation is more difficult once killing becomes kosher--after all, there's already a rationalization of all that property damage; next, we get on a slippery slope(that guy would have killed millions, and throwing that loaded school bus was the only way to stop him).

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

I’m probably in the minority here but I don’t have an issue with superheroes that kill at least not in and of itself. Not all superheroes are bullet proof or immune to harm particularly from other superhumans. You can make an argument that the only reason many of them haven’t come across a moment when use of lethal force was the only option is because they’re not written that way. I’m not using the realistic because it’s sort of a useless word when you’re dealing with genres as fantastic as comic book superheroes.

 

BUT, I don’t think any hero should be a ruthless killer, ruthless defined as remorseless, callous and brutal even taking pleasure in murder nor should lethal force by the default option in all situations. As has been said several times, superhumans tend to have more options when it comes to dealing with lesser opponents so most of the time killing would be a choice not a necessity. In some situations, that choice might justifiable, other it wouldn’t be. I like to read stories that have some nuance in that regard and death don’t turn me off instantly.

 

Characters that kills and seem to revel in it, even chose to do it when it’s not necessary, brutality to the point of taking pleasure it… not my thing. And I can and do appreciate supers stories where there’s “always an option C” in when the question: Kill or don’t Kill comes up.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

I’m probably in the minority here but I don’t have an issue with superheroes that kill at least not in and of itself.

 

I tend to agree with you if that is the premise of the comic and world - I enjoy the Ultimate Universe, where that kind of thing is not uncommon.

 

But changing characters that have a silver age glory to them, or worlds where that attitude (or something just a step down from it) has been the operating premise for decades is a bad thing*.

 

Part of the reason I don't like the Punisher. In his own thing he works (the movie was great). In a completely Iron Age setting, fine. But in the Marvel Universe - he would have been taken in by Cap or Spidey for murder years ago.

 

To me, it's all about the baseline assumptions the character is operating in.

 

 

* That change is what I've really disliked about the Marvel U for that last little while, taking what was a solid Silver/Bronze age universe and making it completely Iron. That was what the Ultimate 'verse was for.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

I’m probably in the minority here but I don’t have an issue with superheroes that kill at least not in and of itself. Not all superheroes are bullet proof or immune to harm particularly from other superhumans. You can make an argument that the only reason many of them haven’t come across a moment when use of lethal force was the only option is because they’re not written that way. I’m not using the realistic because it’s sort of a useless word when you’re dealing with genres as fantastic as comic book superheroes.

 

BUT, I don’t think any hero should be a ruthless killer, ruthless defined as remorseless, callous and brutal even taking pleasure in murder nor should lethal force by the default option in all situations. As has been said several times, superhumans tend to have more options when it comes to dealing with lesser opponents so most of the time killing would be a choice not a necessity. In some situations, that choice might justifiable, other it wouldn’t be. I like to read stories that have some nuance in that regard and death don’t turn me off instantly.

 

Characters that kills and seem to revel in it, even chose to do it when it’s not necessary, brutality to the point of taking pleasure it… not my thing. And I can and do appreciate supers stories where there’s “always an option C” in when the question: Kill or don’t Kill comes up.

I tend to agree with you if that is the premise of the comic and world - I enjoy the Ultimate Universe, where that kind of thing is not uncommon.

 

But changing characters that have a silver age glory to them, or worlds where that attitude (or something just a step down from it) has been the operating premise for decades is a bad thing*.

 

Part of the reason I don't like the Punisher. In his own thing he works (the movie was great). In a completely Iron Age setting, fine. But in the Marvel Universe - he would have been taken in by Cap or Spidey for murder years ago.

 

To me, it's all about the baseline assumptions the character is operating in.

Well, hell. Two posts that sum up everything I could have contributed, right in a row. Thanks a lot, guys. :P

 

What I hate about the Iron Age has more to do with needing all the protagonists to be super kewl tough and gritty bub-snikts (plus really, really bad storytelling skills and a few other things) than it has to do with loosening the sometimes ridiculously tight constraints of the Comics Code era. But characterizations that completely fly in the face of the stories I'd been reading for years, without any attempt to justify the changes, are just infuriating.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

I’m probably in the minority here but I don’t have an issue with superheroes that kill at least not in and of itself.

 

I think comic book ethics are inherently flawed. Not killing is admirable, and a value of life is a basic moral premise, but there are times where it is ethical and necessary to use lethal force. Many super-heroes have powers that make the need for lethal force next to nil, and writer's fiat doesn't hurt, but should their powers fail, or not cover a given situation, they could be left with a moral imperative to use lethal force.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

Nobody has so far answered to my comment.

 

Why should the STARDARD for heroism in supers genre be different than every other genre ?

 

Every genre is different with unique traditions and history. Old comics were more violent Pre comics code true, but not nearing the modern violence of the Authority, Sandman and Ultimates. I personally believe the modern definition of hero has changed. I would not consider Mythological Hercules to be a hero by todays standards in example. What did he ever do that was virtuous or heroic. He didn't save any lives or uphold a higher standard of values. He was a warrior not a hero

 

 

 

Real world US military afterall nuked Hiroshima and destroyed Dresden.

 

I suppose they are villains too.

 

These actions in no way make the US heroic, if you believe they do you have a warped sense of morals. Were the actions necessary, who can say for sure. The world is the way it is as a result of these events.

 

What your arguing is basically semantics. To much of the world the U.S is villainous. A smaller portion sees you as virtuous. Canadians see American politics in shades of gray. I don't demonify or lionify entire countries based on the actions of government. All governments are corrupt, to some extent.

 

 

Authority ARE villains if you use Silver Age Comics Code-standard.

 

Did you ever read George Orwell's 1984. Authority is big brother.

Why do you have a bug up your but about the comics code authority?

most of marvels books don't use it; I'd say around 60% forgo the mark. DC has several very successfully adult lines. Would you consider Demon Etregan(Etrigan?) to be comics code authority?

 

I'm a big fan of the Authority, but I'm a bigger fan of Thor(MARVEL).

Why? Authority is great in small doses but the bleak world view gets depressing, it's an uninspiring work (not uninspired, it is creative).

 

But when this genre was invented in Action Comics #1, Superman was violent anarchist.

 

In the first 2-3 years of Superman comic books and comic strips, the Man of Steel was a far cry from the character we know today. Described by co-creator Jerry Siegel as "a thorn in the side of the establishment", this Superman's tagline was not, "Truth, Justice, and the American Way," but rather "Champion of the Oppressed." Instead of super-villians and space aliens, he used direct action to fight slumlords, munitions manufacturers and their lackeys in government, warmongering heads of state, and the execution of innocent people. Within three years, DC had seized control of the character and began transforming him into the toothless symbol of status quo "justice" we've known for decades.

 

God, when was the last time I bothered to read Superman. He is a toothless boyscout, but what does that have to do with the greater world of comics? IMO no character has been more reduced to irrelevance's over the years. Your reference is a one-dimensional slice, not a proper representation of the modern state of comics. I personally can't stand the standard DC Universe IMO the writing appeals more to small children.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

I tend to agree with you if that is the premise of the comic and world - I enjoy the Ultimate Universe, where that kind of thing is not uncommon.

 

But changing characters that have a silver age glory to them, or worlds where that attitude (or something just a step down from it) has been the operating premise for decades is a bad thing*.

 

Part of the reason I don't like the Punisher. In his own thing he works (the movie was great). In a completely Iron Age setting, fine. But in the Marvel Universe - he would have been taken in by Cap or Spidey for murder years ago.

 

To me, it's all about the baseline assumptions the character is operating in.

 

 

* That change is what I've really disliked about the Marvel U for that last little while, taking what was a solid Silver/Bronze age universe and making it completely Iron. That was what the Ultimate 'verse was for.

 

Agreed.

 

For example, Civil War wasn't a bad idea for a story it was horribly executed and Millar took several iconic characters with long histories and personalities and well, wiped his butt with them IMO along with many of the assumptions and tropes of the Marvel Universe.

 

There's a place for all sorts of stories but taking one style and jamming it like square peg into a round hole ususally doesn't work.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

Agreed.

 

For example, Civil War wasn't a bad idea for a story it was horribly executed and Millar took several iconic characters with long histories and personalities and well, wiped his butt with them IMO along with many of the assumptions and tropes of the Marvel Universe.

 

There's a place for all sorts of stories but taking one style and jamming it like square peg into a round hole ususally doesn't work.

 

I was really into "sidelines" for awhile except when the last issue came and Speedball completely 180'd his opinion. First he vehemently believes his innocence for 10 issues, then he automagically flip flops and decides he's the worst person in the entire world. Later becoming the dumbest character concept in the entire world, Penance.

 

Civil war needed a better execution, more issues to develop what mattered. Cap and Iron man weren't represented well, personality or power wise...poorly in fact.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

I was really into "sidelines" for awhile except when the last issue came and Speedball completely 180'd his opinion. First he vehemently believes his innocence for 10 issues, then he automagically flip flops and decides he's the worst person in the entire world. Later becoming the dumbest character concept in the entire world, Penance.

 

Civil war needed a better execution, more issues to develop what mattered. Cap and Iron man weren't represented well, personality or power wise...poorly in fact.

Same goes for Speedball, and all of the other New Warriors (though I believe the team in Stamford was an all-new, all-different team which'd explain their all-n00b-ness).

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

Gee, and here I was thinking that superheroes acted out of a sense of social and moral responsibility. Y'know, doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do (circular argument, I know) and being an example to live up to, something to strive to be and not lowering yourself to the level of the bad guys.

 

And yes, I know that before the CCA, Superman and Batman were very different characters.

 

It's unfashionable, I know but I believe that mercy, compassion, remorse and pity are also heroic qualities.

 

I mean, come on, where's the moral high ground here? Y'know the position superheroes are supposed to be holding because they're supposed to be the good guys?

 

Check out http://www.pulpanddagger.com/pulpmag/editorial68.html for a

different view on Dr Frederic Wertham, the CCA and responsiblity in the comic book industry.

 

Or I do I have this all wrong, gentlemen?

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

Actually, the CCA had very little impact on Superman or Batman. Yes, they went through some noticable changes in outlook after they began, but it wasn't the comics code that did it.

 

For Batman, the change started pretty much with arrival of Robin, in 1940.

 

For Superman, the change came about because of World War II, and because he was on the radio. Again, this was still the early 1940s.

 

The Comics Code Authority didn't show up until 1953 or '54.

 

It was the industry's own response a] to the allegations that people like Frederic Wertham were concocting and b] to the crime and horror comic books that were very well at the time.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

Actually, the CCA had very little impact on Superman or Batman. Yes, they went through some noticable changes in outlook after they began, but it wasn't the comics code that did it.

 

For Batman, the change started pretty much with arrival of Robin, in 1940.

 

For Superman, the change came about because of World War II, and because he was on the radio. Again, this was still the early 1940s.

 

The Comics Code Authority didn't show up until 1953 or '54.

 

It was the industry's own response a] to the allegations that people like Frederic Wertham were concocting and b] to the crime and horror comic books that were very well at the time.

 

Although "Superman's Vault of Horror" would probably have been hilarious.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

having skipped over the last 50 posts or so, if this has been said already, sorry, but i just gotta jump in for a second.

 

firstly, yes, Superman was a much more violent character in his "youth" as it were, but as was stated before, past precedent should not dictate current reality. however, this cuts both ways, and just because Batman had a direct line to Com. Gordon doesn't mean he still should.

 

superheroes doing superhero things ARE breaking the very laws they say they uphold. everytime Supes gives Lex a galactic wedgy, he is acting outside the bounds of law as a vigilante. he was never appointed any amount of power by Metropolis (that i am aware of, but i hate Supes, so i may have missed it). nor was he given special powers by the state or federal governments of the US, nor the UN or any other group that supposedly stands for the entirety of Earth.

 

therefore, the world should not say "hark! yon spandex clad fellow is but a ray of sunshine on a dew-covered morn!" but rather "he's a criminal and obviously insane, and should be brought in in any way possible!" does that reduce his heroism? it didn't Zorro, or Robin Hood, so i'd say Supes is still amongst the moral and just here.

 

the one thing (and one thing only) that i really think the Iron Age has done right is to say "look at these spandex wearing weirdos. what kind of psychological malfunctions must these guys have to think this is a good idea?" i don't think that might makes right, but i do believe that actions have consequences, and everytime Hulk or Supes takes out some building in a fight, i can't help myself but add another $100,000,000 (US) to their tabs. no i think that the people of the Watchmen and Incredibles, and J. Johna Jameson have the right idea. their reaction is psychologically believible and in line with the majority of what people would truly feel. it is simply human nature to distrust and fear what you do not know, after all. however, some will still think that Supes and Co. are the good guys they claim to be, but they should be few are far between, and governments etc should, as a whole, be out to get them. in that way, Civil War makes a lot of sense. did Milar write it well and did it make me happy, etc??

 

not really, no. but he asked the questions that should have been asked.

 

in my opinion, the most interesting part of the superhero is the psychology behind it. much as that of the police or fire fighter, a superhero is already a psychological abnormality. most humans do not have the proper brain activity to do that job for any length of time. the superhero is just 20x more f'd up, because every day IS life or death, not just the possibility of it. not only that, but what toll does the loneliness and isolation of being so freakishly different from your fellow man inflict on their already abnormal psyches? this is what the Iron Age does right.

 

however, while i love Punisher and the new Moon Knight (omg) and others, i do not see the need to senslessly kill all your opponents. Frank Castle has little recourse, since his only power is the the power to shoot guns, and the new Moon Knight is the tale of a terribly confused man who has the tools to do justice but whose mentality is slipping. however, the new X-Force sickens me, from many angles. first, Wolervine with boo..er..X-23 and creator can bite me. but beyond that, its sensless. its the claw patrol. everyone on the team has pointy objects, and they like sticking them into other people...alot. while i think it does a little to rejuvinate Wolverine's character, it really is otherwise total crap. the characters involved are mostly up against normies with guns (which can't hurt the majority because of healing factors, etc). its just blood bath after blood bath. ignorant, sets Warpath's character back 15 years (although even he mentions that at his worst, Cable was nothing compared to this crap). its just disgusting. and the killed my New X-Men, a book full of neat characters and interesting developments and replaced it with this....blech.

 

and thats whats wrong with the Iron Age.

 

me, i'll take the Bronze Age action and the Iron Age mentality and be happy.

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Re: Pulling Authority & Other Genres

 

I enjoyed the little commentary by the OP. I think society has lost its understanding of high moral ground a long time ago with the socialization of the modern everyday public.

 

For example:

 

Wellington was a HERO for defeating Napolian but at what cost?

Patton could not be stopped by Nazi's but at what cost?

George Washington & Others overthrew Englands control of the colonies at what cost?

Grant had massive casualties during civil war, at what cost?

George Bush liberated a people from a despot regime at what cost?

Captain America took an oath to uphold liberty at what cost?

 

I think Marvel, DC, and most media in general need to separate the difference between "rule of law" and what is "lawful". What Saddam Hussein did to to dissidents when he threw them into meat grinders or when he encouraged rape gangs was an example of the rule of law. What George Bush did to Iraq during the Gulf War war was Lawful, there is a differance.

 

If you don't agree on that analogy how about this one.

 

"Edward the Lawgiver" made many laws. You can say that he had been a ruler who made laws. He believed in the Rule of Law. However William Wallace was right and lawful to make war upon him and liberate the Scott's.

 

If you are still confused about what is the difference between Law and Lawful read "The Law" by by Frederick Bastiat

 

It might also help you understand the importance of liberty, and why HERO's such as Captain America were right when they opposed the registration act.

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