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  1. #1

    Default Why do we read superhero comics as opposed to Star Trek?

    I sorta know the answer, but I'm hoping others can elaborate it for me, so I can get it clear in my head.

    I'm a long time member of this forum, and I like my DC comics, especially Batman, Green Lantern and, after the Robert Downey Jr movies, Iron Man. But I'm more a hard-core science fiction fan than a superhero fan, and I like the intellectual concepts inherent in that genre. Star Trek, of course, is the leading mass media example of that, when the writers ask, "What If?" as in, what if there was an alternate universe (the dark mirror episodes), or what if we had genetically-engineered humans (Khan Noonian Singh).

    Yes, superhero comics can also deal with serious issues, like arms dealing (Iron Man 1) or the corruption of the military-industrial complex (the original Robocop movie). But, while we can accept ourselves in a starship warping at faster-than-light speeds, we cannot accept a person putting on a cape and flying, or, for that matter, women showing cleavage and beating up on the bad guys. And yet we like them.

    I'm asking because I'm thinking of doing some writing, which I've been wanting to do for many years, and, yes, I'm thinking of the superhero genre.

    So why do we like superheroes in tights and capes?
    Last edited by Green Lantern wannabe; 11-12-2018 at 06:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    American comics at some point became seen as kid thing, And industry hasn't full break that stigma.This is important because scifi gets complex and mature and doesn't fit age bracket/audience comics are going after. Whereas Manga in Japan isn't aimed at specific audience and doesn't have stigma like the US. So all sorts of genre and content are available in comic form and read by adults.

    American Comics can deal with serious issue but the American market has been train view to comics for kids, So you will never get push for that type of content(scifi) until American market makes serious turn at adults. That said the american indie market supports wider variety of subject matter so if you are thinking of writing comic and doing scifi you actually have place for that.

    Why do we like Superhero comics? Great wish fulfilment with fantastic things happening and they have really good stories of good versus evil in this format

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Killerbee911 View Post
    Why do we like Superhero comics? Great wish fulfilment with fantastic things happening and they have really good stories of good versus evil in this format
    Thanks for your input. I think this has a great deal to do with it, because, when I was in my teens - a long time ago - I had the fantasy of going out and being a superhero after school. And this would be different from most sci-fi because a super hero has powers that typically come from his body, as opposed to a sci-fi hero using a spaceship.

    Yes, there are exceptions, like, say, Batman, but, even then, his utility belt is with him at all times, and his adventures often don't center around the Batmobile. Star Trek, by contrast, center around a space ship while Babylon 5 center around a space station. Again, there are exceptions, like the Matrix, but the best sci fi involve a universe or surrounding, where there is a scientific or technological difference from our world.

    I'm fleshing out the answer, which I've an intuitive sense of, so, everyone, please chime in.

  4. #4
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    Personally, I never was a big fan of the Star Trek universe. I started reading the DC comics and my all-time favorite superhero is The Flash. So I never really thought of reading Star Trek. I've watched the series though.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by KyCoo View Post
    Personally, I never was a big fan of the Star Trek universe. I started reading the DC comics and my all-time favorite superhero is The Flash. So I never really thought of reading Star Trek. I've watched the series though.
    Thanks, my friend. I think the idea of wish-fulfillment is central to why we read comics, but why do you like the Flash?

  6. #6
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    I like them both but there's just more volume with superheroes. If I don't like the one Star Trek comic put out that month, I have 50 some-odd new superhero books as an alternative.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceWayneJr. View Post
    I like them both but there's just more volume with superheroes. If I don't like the one Star Trek comic put out that month, I have 50 some-odd new superhero books as an alternative.
    Yes, there's far more volume with superhero comics, and I had a thread on this forum about that quite awhile ago. But what attracts you to superheroes as opposed to science fiction?

    I like them because it's a personal fantasy, as in the individual having powers that others don't have and being able to go out and do things by himself. There's some literature out there, of the politician like Winston Churchill or JFK, being the lone gun fighter who goes out to save the people under him, and there's something about this in our sub conscious.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member Uncanny Mutie's Avatar
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    Because Star Trek is boring as hell.

  9. #9
    Silver Sentinel BeastieRunner's Avatar
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    I love supers and am ambivalent to Star Trek BUT ...

    I think Trek has handled the heavy themes 100x better than the best super hero stuff to date.
    "Always listen to the crazy scientist with a weird van or armful of blueprints and diagrams." -- Vibranium

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeastieRunner View Post
    ]I think Trek has handled the heavy themes 100x better than the best super hero stuff to date.
    I agree, which leads to the question of why we would read super hero instead of ST. I think, as someone said, it's wish fulfillment, as in, I'm a superhero, someone special, as opposed to a flunky in uniform on a star ship.

    Thanks for your input.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeastieRunner View Post
    I think Trek has handled the heavy themes 100x better than the best super hero stuff to date.
    No question there.

  12. #12
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Lantern wannabe View Post
    I agree, which leads to the question of why we would read super hero instead of ST. I think, as someone said, it's wish fulfillment, as in, I'm a superhero, someone special, as opposed to a flunky in uniform on a star ship.

    Thanks for your input.
    I think more people would rather have the ability to level a city with their thoughts (or fists, or breath) than they would the opportunity to live in a utopian society.
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  13. #13
    Silver Sentinel BeastieRunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Lantern wannabe View Post
    I agree, which leads to the question of why we would read super hero instead of ST. I think, as someone said, it's wish fulfillment, as in, I'm a superhero, someone special, as opposed to a flunky in uniform on a star ship.

    Thanks for your input.
    Wish fulfillment. Even some of the heavy stuff is rather light.

    Humor. Lots of intentional and unintentional humor.

    Brevity. You can pop in out of super stories relatively easily compared to Star Trek.

    Longevity. Supers have been around a long time.

    Nostalgia. Most kids aren't exposed to Star Trek till they're much older whereas with supers, you probably had a favorite growing up.
    "Always listen to the crazy scientist with a weird van or armful of blueprints and diagrams." -- Vibranium

  14. #14
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    I just like individual heroes.

    I'm not as fond of guys who are part of a homogeneous team. Give me a single guy with laser vision over a bunch of guys with energy rifles. Or a one-man army trying to defeat his foes on his own over deputized agents who are bound by red-tape and prime directives. And I suspend my disbelief easier for that lone hero with the bow and arrow than I do for that SWAT team of guys with interchangeable modern weapons.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    I just like individual heroes.

    I'm not as fond of guys who are part of a homogeneous team. Give me a single guy with laser vision over a bunch of guys with energy rifles. Or a one-man army trying to defeat his foes on his own over deputized agents who are bound by red-tape and prime directives. And I suspend my disbelief easier for that lone hero with the bow and arrow than I do for that SWAT team of guys with interchangeable modern weapons.
    I think that's the crux of the issue, Jon Clark. The superhero is a lone gun fighter or swordsman, going out to fight evil all by himself, which has been part of our mythos for untold millenia. And many of my favourite stories do involve a superhero going off by himself. Despite my onscreen name, my favourite hero is Batman, but even Hal Jordan was often a lone green lantern, despite being a member of a corps.

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