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  1. #31
    BANNED colonyofcells's Avatar
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    Comic books can be anything the writer wants it to be whether more fantasy or more realistic.

  2. #32
    Fantastic Member Jon-El's Avatar
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    If a writer wants to approach characters in a more logical way, most of them would be pretty miserable. I think back to THE VIGILANTE series of the 80's. Things get so depressing & hopeless for the main character that he ends up taking his own life. Not a conclusion I'd approve of but given the turns the series took, it wasn't surprising. Actually it was initially but it, sadly, wasn't out of character. Being a super hero would be unbelievable stressful.

    The most realism I want in a comic would be that shown in books of the 70's & 80's.

  3. #33
    Astonishing Member BatmanJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    This is a very good point. Mr. Freeze may not seem realistic in terms of his devices but, unlike someone like the Joker, he has a believable motivation for what he does. To save the life of his wife. I think the best description of the Joker came in, of all places, one of the Adventures of Superman issues where he meets the Joker for the first time. He points out that he seems like a generic idea of a badass as opposed to someone who has a real motivation for what they do. What a little kid would think is cool. Even Batman never told him off like that. Joker isn't a character, he's an archetype. The generic bad guy with the mysterious origin and unknown motives whose supposed to be scary for some undefined reason.
    That sounds like a pretty poor description of The Joker actually. That he doesn't have reasons for what he does is the whole point. It's the "joke." To The Joker the world is absurd and to act otherwise is silly. ("Why so serious" is a perfect and meaningful tagline for him.) Superman may have thought he was talking down to The Joker in that issue but The Joker talks down to that very idea with his every act. There is nothing generic about him. Samuel Beckett (the real one) could have created him. Motivation is a joke to The Joker. It's a rare world view shared in spirit by some of history's heaviest and most respected 'madmen.'

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member BatmanJones's Avatar
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    To address the question at the heart of the thread, isn't it sort of like asking if opera can truly be realistic? I guess so but why would you want to make it so? Art exists to transcend the everyday world. It takes ideas and feelings and makes them grander. And in the process, like all great myth and poetry and art and fiction and theatre, it is able to reach people in a deeper way than everyday things.

    I don't want my comics or other art I experience to be more realistic. I don't want my dreams to be more realistic either. I live in the real world all day long. I don't crave more of that; I crave an allegory that gives me a fuller experience of life.

    Is music realistic?

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    The Woody Harrelson film Defendor is quite a realistic take on superheroes. It doesn't go well.

  6. #36
    Astonishing Member AlexanderLuthor's Avatar
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    Beowulf, the Grendel, stories of the Roman and Greek gods, Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings and every other influential and popular fictional account of good vs. evil is unrealistic (i won't even go into the Bible). For a very long time it seems man has had a desire to hear stories of good vs. evil, heroes vs. villians, and the underdog against impossible odds in an idealized way. Evidently, it's part of the human condition. While our lives have many shades of gray, it seems we like our fictional worlds to very black and white and many times for the protagonist to have special powers
    Last edited by AlexanderLuthor; 06-15-2015 at 11:04 AM.

  7. #37
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    This is a very good point. Mr. Freeze may not seem realistic in terms of his devices but, unlike someone like the Joker, he has a believable motivation for what he does. To save the life of his wife. I think the best description of the Joker came in, of all places, one of the Adventures of Superman issues where he meets the Joker for the first time. He points out that he seems like a generic idea of a badass as opposed to someone who has a real motivation for what they do. What a little kid would think is cool. Even Batman never told him off like that. Joker isn't a character, he's an archetype. The generic bad guy with the mysterious origin and unknown motives whose supposed to be scary for some undefined reason.

    This is also one of the reasons why I think the constant reboots sort of serve no purpose other than to drum up short term sales. If all you do is pit someone like Superman up against the alien-of-the-month anyway, the reboot didn't really accomplish anything. Except now you've put artificial limitations on what you can do with the character because you removed some of the elements that have been built into the character before said reboot. He can't come home to Lois anymore or reflect on his adventures as Superboy in Smallville. Or whichever version you prefer. Even after the Byrne reboot, most of this villains were from space or magic or whatever. He was essentially back to fighting all the same types of things he was fighting before only now less powered. Realism isn't just about pitting characters up against things found in the real world, it's also about how the characters are handled. Before the Byrne reboot, one of the main rules was that the comics still had to be made for children. So while Spider-Man was engaged to be married, Superman wasn't even allowed to actually take his relationship with Lois anywhere.

    One of the most realistic super-hero comics on the shelf today is Batman Earth One. He has no car, he has no super-computer, he doesn't technically even have a cave. He didn't travel around the world to learn every martial art in the world, he was trained at home by Alfred. He also isn't a detective. And fans are divided over whether or not they like him. He is no "Bat-God". So in some ways, you can't win. With characters like Batman, there is a push to see how realistic they can make him but if they do that, you have to take away a lot of the elements that fans enjoy. No one can spend their teens and early twenties going around the world learning all there is to know about martial arts and crime solving and come home and blow their inheritance on fancy gadgets that constantly need to be replaced going out every night and solving every crime in the city on only three hours sleep.
    What? He gets three hours of sleep? Per night? No wonder he's in such a bad mood all the time.

    After making my previous post, I felt I overstated it a bit. After all, almost any fiction that steps one foot outside of reality can be targeted with, "Well, it's inherently unrealistic so why even try to be realistic?" That kind of argument can be thrown at Star Trek or Robert Heinlein or Hamlet, for that matter. So I'll take a step back. There's nothing wrong with presenting something seriously and with as much realism as you can while still maintaining the concept. In the case of Batman, you just have to accept that dressing up like a bat is a valid and not completely insane way of dealing with grief. In fact, it may even lend to the drama to imply that maybe he is just a little bit crazy- just a little bit. You have to accept that he can get all these gadgets and that he can really pull off this secret identity, dodge bullets without having any powers, etc. I think something can be "realistic" (in quote marks to show you don't really mean 100% realistic) within the stretches necessary to have the concept to begin with.

    Interesting point is that, in "Gotham", they gave the Joker a real origin and motives and a lot of people didn't like that because they want the unreality of his being this mysterious archetype about whom nothing is certain, not even his motives. I wonder if he was originally supposed to be scary because he was a clown and many children don't find clowns funny but scary.

    Regarding reboots, hard reboots, yes, I think it is mostly short-term sales. Soft reboots are a bit different. I think some of the intent is that it is harder to take characters in certain directions if you really maintain their continuity. Would a guy whose formative years were the 1920's and who started his carer in 1938-9 really think the way current Superman, Batman, and so on, think? Would they have modern concepts of social norms, etc. Even when you just update and say it happened more recently, I think there is a desire to modernize. Also, the intent is to free up the characters. For instance, now Superman has something going with Wonder Woman I guess. I am trying to avoid using the word "Fanboy" here but that sort of relationship just strikes me as glorified fan fiction. Eventually, the whole Clark/ Lois relationship will have to be rehashed to get things back on track after a few years of the fling mentality for sales.

    I guess I need to check out Batman Earth-One. One of my favorite Batman stories from the late 1980's was one where he threw a punch at a street criminal and the guy blocked or where he threw a batarang and missed or took a punch from a street criminal. I remember another where he fought a mildly superhuman guy and got stomped. To me, this is the essence of the character, the whole concept, a real guy with no powers doing his best with intelligence and luck and resourcefulness. This is the Batman I love, the guy who has a real edge and who is maybe superhuman enough to take out multiple opponents most of the time but he's not always ten steps ahead of everybody else or invincible. I love him when he's not some annoying super god action movie farce like Rambo or Commando. One of the things I liked with the DK movies was that he wasn't incapable of a mistake or of being physically beaten. He didn't dodge bullets. He wore armor, etc. I know this can't work in a team adventure where he's up against superhuman stuff and surrounded by lightspeed moving, planet-tossing pals. But in his solo adventures, this is the Batman I prefer.

  8. #38
    You guessed it mr_crisp's Avatar
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    Not really. Life in a superhero world would be pretty depressing with cities getting destroyed all the time. Who would want to live in a city knowing that they could become homeless at any time due to superhero fights.
    The Gypsies had no home. The Doors had no bass.

    Does our reality determine our fiction or does our fiction determine our reality?

    Whenever the question comes up about who some mysterious person is or who is behind something the answer will always be Frank Stallone.

    "This isn't a locking the barn doors after the horses ran way situation this is a burn the barn down after the horses ran away situation."

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