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  1. #1
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    Default Heroes and Heroines from broken families

    Hi everyone

    As part of a project I'm working on, I was wondering if there was some sort of background knowledge as to why so many comic book characters, especially supes, come from a broken family?

    I'm talking about at least one dead parent, child abuse, stuff like that. Was there a guiding logic for that? Or a psychological explanation for them becoming superheroes?

    Thank you for everyone reading and commenting!

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Not really sure, but maybe Gypsy? Then she ran away.

    Jubilee's parents were both killed, and she left home to live in a mall.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    I believe academic Farah Mendlesohn has explored that in some of her studies of fantasy and children's literature. She also refers to that Michael Moorcock has made the observation "Almost all romantic heroes and heroines are wounded children" and refers to his Wizardry and Wild Romance: A study of Epic Fantasy from 1987.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  4. #4
    Webcomic Writer Otto Gruenwald's Avatar
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    Dagger, of Cloak and Dagger.

    It's not so much they all come from broken homes as it is cutting down on the number of supporting cast to write. It's easy if the main character's immediate family is all kaput.
    Reimagined public domain superheroes in a 1945 that never was!
    Read the superhero webcomic THE POWER OF STARDUST!

  5. #5
    Mighty Member Zelena's Avatar
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    It's often the story of an individual whom the reader can identify more than the story of a family, which it can be too but it's less frequent. The "hero" can meet the different members of his estranged and sparse family later but it comes little by little…

    And the traumas are also a source of plots…

  6. #6
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    I am no scholar by any means, and the following is merely my own semi-idiotic opinion. That being said:
    There are quite a few superheroes who have come from "broken" families and situations, because I think that society in general has a romantic obsession/connection with a person who has overcome the deepest and darkest times of their lives and taken on the responsibility to do anything they can to assure noone else would have to go through that suffering.
    Its kind of an "underdog" story to the Nth degree, I think. Its the type of person that most of us root for, because of our human compassion of that person's past suffering. Its also, in my opinion, a little more believable that someone who has lost their parents in a horrific event will go to any length, and risk their own lives to save someone else's parents, as opposed to just a well adjusted, affluent person with no deep seeded guilt/need to help others.
    maybe I'm off topic now. sorry

  7. #7
    Boo! From The Shadows's Avatar
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    Tabitha Smith aka Boom Boom/Meltdown I believe. She was mostly raised by her father with her mother gone and she was abused.

  8. #8

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    Bruce Banner's father was REALLY abusive to him and his mother (and I think it was revealed he even murdered his mother in front of him) and this has been used to explain where Bruce Banner/the Hulk's multiple personalities and the Hulk's endless rage came from over the years (to varying degrees of success and failure).
    Last edited by Cyberstrike; 03-26-2020 at 08:36 AM.

  9. #9
    Fantastic Member Gotham citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryves View Post
    Hi everyone

    As part of a project I'm working on, I was wondering if there was some sort of background knowledge as to why so many comic book characters, especially supes, come from a broken family?

    I'm talking about at least one dead parent, child abuse, stuff like that. Was there a guiding logic for that? Or a psychological explanation for them becoming superheroes?

    Thank you for everyone reading and commenting!
    Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it is easiest explain why a character become a superhero using a sudden trauma than using his sense of justice, because it is necessary an excellent work of storytelling to explain why the character has maturated that sense of justice. The authors of Smallville did a wonderful job explaining how much devotion he put in his son's education, laying the foundations for the hero Clark will become, but they needed an entire TV show to do that, while the writers of a comic book have only 20 pages. Obviously there are exception, like the origins of Spiderman or Daredevil (actually they are partial exceptions, because both of them have to face the trauma of their father or paternal figure), because the Peter Parker and Matt Murdock's education and the lives they had during their youth play a great role in the psychological definition of these two characters, but not every writers have the same talent of the creators of Spiderman and Daredevil.

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