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Thread: Comic Book characters, the 'Super Hero' genre, and their current popularity.

  1. #11
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberWar View Post
    Never been much of a fan for superhero comics or any derivative materials. The abilities of superheroes and villains alike are generally ludicrous, and their costumes tend to be much too gaudy for my tastes. The recent movies have even further strengthened my negative view on the genre, especially after they made a black Heimdall in "Thor". I get that minority quotas are the thing nowadays, but for the love of God, shoehorning a Black guy in the role of a Norse deity is just too much for my taste.

    You must'a loved the comics making Thor female a while back then.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberWar View Post
    My favourite character from superhero fiction is probably the Punisher, precisely because he has none of the hallmarks of a traditional superhero - no real superpowers, no tasteless gaudy attire and no bleeding-heart do-gooder moral code. Unlike all those other heroes, he is probably the closest thing to realistic and plausible in the realm of superhero fiction.
    Those are the very reasons so many people like Batman.

    And there are other characters like that.

    Go back to the pulp fiction days and you'll find a few. Some of them even got their own comic for a while.

    By the way... Why not write one that suits you?


    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Special effects don't impress me anymore and the stories are buried under under them.
    Unfortunately it's the same with a lot of movies these days, no matter the genre. They use CGI for nearly everything, including car chases and such.

    Practical Effects are becoming a thing of the past, for the most part.


    Pretty soon they won't even need live actors. John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, etc. will be able to make movies again, years after they died.


    G.D.
    Last edited by Guard Dog; February 12th, 2019 at 04:11 AM.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    All those (several hundred) were donated to a paper drive by my mother while I was off working at a summer camp.
    Yeah, back before I started school, I was given a stack of comics from the 1940's and 1950s that was about 16 inches high.

    I don't remember much about 'em past seeing Batman and Superman in there.

    A relative stole 'em and traded 'em off for a carton of cigarettes.

    I've often wondered exactly what was in there, and how much they'd be worth now.



    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  3. #13
    I think the current spate of super-hero movies is the worst thing that has happened to the genre. The movies are formulaic story telling set to the 'best' special effects technology currently offers. Hugely commercially successful and great escapism. It's just a bit of fun, and that's all the genre will now ever achieve.

    I'm not a massive comic book fan, but i think works like The Watchmen are among the great works of arts of humanity. But it will never take its place among them in the public conscious, because super-hero stuff's just a bit of pretty looking fun isn't it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    Unfortunately it's the same with a lot of movies these days, no matter the genre. They use CGI for nearly everything, including car chases and such.
    True, but some film-makers do it well, while others just add more, more, BIGGER, BETTER, FASTER, MOOOOORE. I was so bored watching the Avengers in what what supposed to be the apex action scene i just stopped caring about anything in the film. The only super-hero film i've seen do it well was Judge Dredd: the action complemented the story rather than just being tacked on.

  4. #14
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    Not to keep beating the movie and TV drum, but have you watched any of the numerous TV shows that are on now?

    Most of them don't go overboard with the CGI or special effects, if for no other reason than they don't have that kind of budget.

    ...and because of that, they spend much more time and effort on the characters and the stories... which is sort'a the reason I started this thread.

    Because when it comes right down to it, those are the important parts, at least to me.

    I like good effects as much as anyone, but if the story sucks and is filled with cardboard cut-outs of people... I've got no time for it.



    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  5. #15
    Not super-hero series. I did see an Avengers cartoon series though. It's for kids (made in the 90s?) - but it did a much better job exploring the characters and developing the story than the films. I don't think film is the right medium to explore the genre, it's too complex to get the grand sweeping treatment it gets - or film-makers just haven't figured out how to tell those stories well - and they never will now they know how to make mega-bucks. It doesn't involve telling stories.

  6. #16
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    Well, first off, 90% of story-telling these days is anchored in money.

    Whether it's a publishing company, a movie studio, or whoever is enabling self-publishing... the dollar is at the root of it all.

    As far as film not being a good medium for telling comic-based stories... I disagree.

    Especially since, when it comes right down to it, 'super heroes' and their stories are just sci-fi fantasy.

    Just as the old myths and legends were in their time.

    The only real difference in Hercules, King Arthur, etc., someone like the Ripley clone in the 4th Alien movie, and any of the Watchmen is... their origin.

    You also have to remember that if the story doesn't make money, no matter the medium it's presented in, it's very unlikely there'll be anymore like it, good or bad.

    ( I personally think the TV series do a better job of mimicking the comics due to them being episodic, and more spread out. There's no need to try and cram everything into a couple of hours. )


    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    Not to keep beating the movie and TV drum, but have you watched any of the numerous TV shows that are on now?

    Most of them don't go overboard with the CGI or special effects, if for no other reason than they don't have that kind of budget.

    ...and because of that, they spend much more time and effort on the characters and the stories... which is sort'a the reason I started this thread.

    Because when it comes right down to it, those are the important parts, at least to me.

    I like good effects as much as anyone, but if the story sucks and is filled with cardboard cut-outs of people... I've got no time for it.



    G.D.
    Please list a few examples of the shows you're describing. All I find is junk that puts more emphasis on CGI and special effects than story or characters.

  8. #18
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    Let's see... Most of the Netflix stuff, specifically Punisher and Jessica Jones.

    Then there's Marvel's Runaways, which I just finished.
    I also like The Gifted, but they're more dependent on special effects than the first two I listed.

    Gotham is also relatively light on effects, though it is a sort of alternate pre-history for Batman.

    I've also just started watching Cloak and Dagger over on Hulu, and although it's been light in the effects/CGI department so far, I'm only a couple of episodes into it, so I can't really say yet.

    Arrow, over on the CW also isn't eat up with much past explosions and CGI'd bow shots.

    Those are about my best recommendations for CGI/Special Effects haters.

    Then again, if you really hate the type/genre, there may not be anything at all that suits ya. *shrug*

    And I also recommend Siren, even though it's not technically a comic book/super hero movie. ( It might as well be, since Lucifer started out in comics, and Siren is a lot more science-based than it. The two are very similar otherwise. )

    By the way... If I describe a young guy running around with a sword that'll cut anything, and an old wise man teaching and training him... Will it be Luke Skywalker and Obi-wan that first comes to mind, or Arthur and Merlin?



    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    Well, first off, 90% of story-telling these days is anchored in money.
    True, for now...

    It wasn't always like this. The Iliad certainly wasn't subject to the same commercial concerns that confront us today. If the internet is successful in decentralisering human organisation there could be another way forward. The post-scarcity epoch is possible. Economic models are as subject to change as anything in this world.

    Anyway, comics and series are as exposed to commercial interests as film, and don't whore themselves out to the same degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    As far as film not being a good medium for telling comic-based stories... I disagree.

    Especially since, when it comes right down to it, 'super heroes' and their stories are just sci-fi fantasy.

    Just as the old myths and legends were in their time.

    The only real difference in Hercules, King Arthur, etc., someone like the Ripley clone in the 4th Alien movie, and any of the Watchmen is... their origin.
    The former has stood the test of time. The most recent stories i can think of that have become myth is the Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos.

    There aren't many (any?) films that do justice to the Greek legends. The written medium just conveys something TV has never been able to capture. That's why books endure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post

    By the way... If I describe a young guy running around with a sword that'll cut anything, and an old wise man teaching and training him... Will it be Luke Skywalker and Obi-wan that first comes to mind, or Arthur and Merlin?
    The Arthurian legends aren't about a young guy running around with a sword and some old wise guy. Among many other things its the struggle of a subjugated Celtic people retaining their identity with the coming of Christianity.

    Anyway, i agree in general that super-hero stories could be the myths and legends for generations to come. But it won't happen while the only factor considered is what sells the most. The money it makes should be one variable in story-telling; not the only one.

    Star Wars is a good example. The original trilogy could easily have become part of Western mythology. But then George Lucas wanted some more money and proceeded to shit on the original mythos. It's soiled now, just one more product for people to consume.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    True, for now...

    It wasn't always like this. The Iliad certainly wasn't subject to the same commercial concerns that confront us today.
    I'll have to take your word for it, since I'm not that old.

    I don't know much about the economic or social situation back then, or what Homer might have gained through writing it, so... I'm not even gonna guess.


    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    If the internet is successful in decentralisering human organisation there could be another way forward. The post-scarcity epoch is possible. Economic models are as subject to change as anything in this world.

    Anyway, comics and series are as exposed to commercial interests as film, and don't whore themselves out to the same degree.
    I wouldn't be willing to bet on that last, either.

    Comics companies have been selling off and licensing character rights for a long time now. In fact, the current buy-out/merger of 20th Century Fox has served the purpose of putting several major characters back in Marvel's hands.

    Also, the movie and comics industry have been well-entangled for a lot of years now.

    In fact, a lot of movies have been given comic series, ( Star Wars, among others. ) as have TV series.

    It's gotten to the point where TV series have been influencing their parent comic titles.

    So I don't think it's fair to say that the comics industry isn't whoring it's self out any less than anyone else in the entertainment industry.

    ( Remember that both Superman and Batman showed up in movies and TV all the way back in the 1950s. )



    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    The former has stood the test of time. The most recent stories i can think of that have become myth is the Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos.

    There aren't many (any?) films that do justice to the Greek legends. The written medium just conveys something TV has never been able to capture. That's why books endure.
    Do you think there's any place on this planet where you could find someone who doesn't know who Superman or Batman are?

    How 'bout Deadpool? And keep in mind he's only been around about 28 years or so.



    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    The Arthurian legends aren't about a young guy running around with a sword and some old wise guy.
    I didn't say it was. But if I'd asked that same question in 1975, what do you think the answer would have most likely been? As opposed to now?



    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    Among many other things its the struggle of a subjugated Celtic people retaining their identity with the coming of Christianity.
    I wasn't asking about what it is, I was asking from the perspective of how people are likely to view it... Especially in light of all the movies and TV shows on the subject.


    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    Anyway, i agree in general that super-hero stories could be the myths and legends for generations to come. But it won't happen while the only factor considered is what sells the most. The money it makes should be one variable in story-telling; not the only one.
    How much money it makes is a good indicator of how widely spread through the population a thing is and how well liked/accepted it is these days.

    Also, if that's what the larger percentage of viewers/readers want... doesn't it stand to reason that's what's going to be written/produced?
    ( There've been a lot of movies/TV series made that didn't do well enough for any more to be produced, despite a large percentage of people wanting more. But that percentage wasn't enough, especially in light of other factors, all of which had to do with money being made elsewhere, by other people. )

    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    Star Wars is a good example. The original trilogy could easily have become part of Western mythology. But then George Lucas wanted some more money and proceeded to shit on the original mythos. It's soiled now, just one more product for people to consume.
    For a lot of people, it still very much is a part of their personal mythos. Yeah, there's a certain percentage of that audience that's pissed off with the last few offerings, but they haven't quite given up yet.

    ...and if it turns out there's a large enough financial reason to do it, Disney will make efforts to repair the damage.

    You can count on that.



    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

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