Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24
  1. #1
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2,786

    Default Why did alien invasion become the defacto global threat in the superhero genre.

    Robot uprisings magical threats and large scale supervillain team ups all can pose as much of a threat as alien invasion, but for some reason alien invasion seems to be the go to when you want large numbers of superheroes to team up. Why?

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    13,867

    Default

    Outside the Avengers movie, where else was alien invasion used in a team up?
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    8,536

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    Outside the Avengers movie, where else was alien invasion used in a team up?
    Justice League?

    In fairness, if you need a threat too powerful for a group of heroes, invasion is an easy way to go about it

  4. #4
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    13,867

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Justice League?

    In fairness, if you need a threat too powerful for a group of heroes, invasion is an easy way to go about it
    I didn't see that as an alien invasion. Gods were trying to eliminate life on Earth. It was a battle of Super beings.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  5. #5
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    27,670

    Default

    Alien Invasions have been a thing at least since H.G. Well's War of the Worlds and Orsen Wells' 1938 radio drama version of it. It's a standard go-to plot device for a world-scale threat.

    Early Comics may have used it often, though I don't think it's as common as it used to be.
    Original join date: 11/23/2004
    Eclectic Connoisseur of all things written, drawn, or imaginatively created.

  6. #6

    Default

    I paused, and had to think about my writer brain as to the "why" on this. What I got:

    It boils down to "the villain problem". How movies have had trouble creating credible villains to bring all the superheroes together against them as a threat. Alien invasions are simple motivations, but hollow. But in the "heroes getting together to form a team", it creates an instant threat that requires them joining up together. A common uniting enemy that's terrifying. Sure, in theory, you can do a supernatural threat like this... but I think studios are still scared of Fundamentalists if you bring in religious themes. So the default has always been "aliens" or in the case of the second Avengers movie, "robots". Because you can do violence towards metal without getting censors worked up about gore and keep your PG-13 rating.

    But the initial point, "The villain problem". Justice League was building towards the Legion of Doom/Injustice League for the sequel. Uniting all the JL's antagonists together against THEM as a common threat. That's the first time it's really been pitched, because supervillain team-ups often have a bunch of people with selfish intentions who have no desire to work together. To even create a team of super-villains and then write "heroes coming together" in one film?

    That's a lot for a 150 minute movie. Hell, Justice League's Snyder cut to just credibly write the heroes together is 4 hours. Marvel had to establish a whole universe for several years before they even attempted Avengers.

    Because casual audience members won't know who all the villains are without some backstory.

    Aliens and/or robots is the quickest "Point A to Point B" to tell a story like this. And if you do robots, you have to explain where they're coming from.
    X-Books Forum Mutant Tracker/FAQ- Updated every Tuesday.

  7. #7
    Silver Sentinel BeastieRunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    West Coast, USA
    Posts
    11,647

    Default

    Secret underground or island or remote civilizations used to be the mass invasion force back in the 1940s & 50s comics.

    I think Starro and a couple of the Faucet Comics stories in the 60s began the alien invasion push as defacto mass invasion force.

    It is kind of hard to do the "secret civilization" in a satellite-mapped modern world unless they come from another dimension.

    I could see magic creatures or genetic monsters like zombies being a thing again to play on the post-pandemic fears of the unknown. Heck, I think super AI would be more defacto in these times. Or mutants born from crapping up the Earth's environment! I think what Ultron did in Annihilation: Conquest was one of the better super AI invasions beacuse he created a pocket universe to do it first. I can totally see magic or genetic zombies being a thing again to play on the mind-control, chip-tracking conspiracies that are popular. Maybe we get tech zombies because all the tracking chips were actually put there to control people's minds (kind of like the husks in Mass effect)!

    I think the "secret civilization" invasion plays on the fears of "foreigners" or the political fallout of Nazi Germany and the rise of communism. Aliens are just an easier way of doing that. But a lot of modern invasions lack the heart to go there when a force is invading.
    Last edited by BeastieRunner; 04-01-2021 at 07:48 PM.
    "Always listen to the crazy scientist with a weird van or armful of blueprints and diagrams." -- Vibranium

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    16,812

    Default

    Silver Age Justice League and the JL animated series both used alien invasions. Personally, I think the New 52 and DCU origins with them fighting the hordes of Apokolips should count as well.

    I think it's simple as aliens vs heroes became part of the formula a long time ago and modern storytellers know that the audience familiar with that trope and won't question it too much.

  9. #9
    Standing Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    15,032

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    Outside the Avengers movie, where else was alien invasion used in a team up?
    Huh? You probably know better than me how many times in comic books that heroes have banded together to fight an invasion. It's like the most common reason for them teaming up these days--now that it's too awkward to have them involved in real world crimes, politics and wars. The invasion from a bunch of aliens that have no relation to Earthly matters is the safest route. The heroes can kick their behinds and no one is going to be mad at them for doing so.
    🇨🇦
    [Exit, pursued
    by a bear.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    Alien Invasions have been a thing at least since H.G. Well's War of the Worlds and Orsen Wells' 1938 radio drama version of it. It's a standard go-to plot device for a world-scale threat.

    Early Comics may have used it often, though I don't think it's as common as it used to be.
    Case in point, the DCAU's first Justice League tale was versus the White Martians.

    X-Books Forum Mutant Tracker/FAQ- Updated every Tuesday.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Zelena's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    2,824

    Default

    As Tami said, alien invasion is nothing new in science-fiction. Itís even a rather common trope.

    In comics, thereís certainly an evolution, an arms race: from mundane villains at the beginning, threats are more and more global, more spectacular. I see there an influence of movies where a part of the interest is based on expensive and impressive special-effects.

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    13,867

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Huh? You probably know better than me how many times in comic books that heroes have banded together to fight an invasion. It's like the most common reason for them teaming up these days--now that it's too awkward to have them involved in real world crimes, politics and wars. The invasion from a bunch of aliens that have no relation to Earthly matters is the safest route. The heroes can kick their behinds and no one is going to be mad at them for doing so.
    I was thinking we were talking about the team initially forming. Not all the times they got together. For the latter, yes alien invasion is a big cause.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member Gray Lensman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    12,282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by worstblogever View Post
    I paused, and had to think about my writer brain as to the "why" on this. What I got:

    It boils down to "the villain problem". How movies have had trouble creating credible villains to bring all the superheroes together against them as a threat. Alien invasions are simple motivations, but hollow. But in the "heroes getting together to form a team", it creates an instant threat that requires them joining up together. A common uniting enemy that's terrifying. Sure, in theory, you can do a supernatural threat like this... but I think studios are still scared of Fundamentalists if you bring in religious themes. So the default has always been "aliens" or in the case of the second Avengers movie, "robots". Because you can do violence towards metal without getting censors worked up about gore and keep your PG-13 rating.

    But the initial point, "The villain problem". Justice League was building towards the Legion of Doom/Injustice League for the sequel. Uniting all the JL's antagonists together against THEM as a common threat. That's the first time it's really been pitched, because supervillain team-ups often have a bunch of people with selfish intentions who have no desire to work together. To even create a team of super-villains and then write "heroes coming together" in one film?

    That's a lot for a 150 minute movie. Hell, Justice League's Snyder cut to just credibly write the heroes together is 4 hours. Marvel had to establish a whole universe for several years before they even attempted Avengers.

    Because casual audience members won't know who all the villains are without some backstory.

    Aliens and/or robots is the quickest "Point A to Point B" to tell a story like this. And if you do robots, you have to explain where they're coming from.
    One other hurdle for the "villain team" to overcome is how many of them are killed off in the same film they get introduced in. Zod isn't teaming up with anyone, nor is Iron Monger over on the MCU side of things.
    Dark does not mean deep.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    1,692

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    Outside the Avengers movie, where else was alien invasion used in a team up?
    Invasion, Secret Invasion, Operation Galactic Storm, Kree Skrull War.

  15. #15
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    27,670

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shooshoomanjoe View Post
    Invasion, Secret Invasion, Operation Galactic Storm, Kree Skrull War.
    Aren't they all involving the same group of aliens? Kree and Skrull? You might as well lump them together into the same continuing invasion, only with a few breaks in between.
    Original join date: 11/23/2004
    Eclectic Connoisseur of all things written, drawn, or imaginatively created.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •