Comic Talk and General Discussion *

The current trend of the evil superhero is stupid
Ozoneocean at 9:43PM, April 14, 2021
(online)
posts: 27,766
joined: 1-2-2004
This is very much my own bias here, but I find this trend bloody annoying.
We have Homelander, Invincible, Bright Burn, the Comedian from The Watchmen, and probably many, many more.

It's supposed to subvert the idea of the superhero: “What if they took another path, what if they aren't as nice as they pretend to be…”
Yeah, well that's just a super-villain. Supervillains are as common as anything, you don't have to make a big, clever story about it, nothing they do is novel or interesting really, it's just villainy for villainy's sake.

In fact I'd argue they're way LESS interesting than a proper supervillain story because all of them know they're nasty and bad, there's zero complexity to these characters. Whereas actual supervillains these days are generally always complex and interesting and who often don't see themselves as badguys.

I'd also argue that a proper superhero is also far, far more interesting and complicated than one who goes bad, because going bad is always the easy, less complicated thing to do. Being a hero is fricken hard.
 
bravo1102 at 6:06AM, April 15, 2021
(offline)
posts: 5,402
joined: 1-21-2008
Evil superhero is kind of an oxymoron. The idea of an evil super hero really just being a super villain is spot on though.

The Comedian was a super antihero. Still one of the best ones. Even Batman has has his antihero incarnations. The Punisher and Judge Dredd also come to mind. But not as evil superheroes, super antiheroes who use questionable methods and aren't nice people but not a Lex Luthor or Joker supervillain.
Ozoneocean at 7:04AM, April 15, 2021
(online)
posts: 27,766
joined: 1-2-2004
True


Homelander, Bightburn and the Invincible guy are all just evil superman basically. It's SO disappointing :(
 
theRedDeath at 2:34PM, April 15, 2021
(online)
posts: 79
joined: 1-14-2006
I understand the urge to explore the idea, but the trend has gotten a little out of hand, and what's worse is it's starting to negatively effect how Superman proper is seen and portrayed in media too.

You kind of need the thesis in order to articulate the antitheses, and I think people in charge are starting to lose sight of that in pursuit of a trend.
hushicho at 5:15PM, April 15, 2021
(offline)
posts: 112
joined: 10-4-2007
It's unimaginative, uncreative people who do this, because fundamentally they don't understand the superhero genre, and it's popular mainly among idiots that are on the bandwagon for the next minute or two. Of course it's stupid, because at its root, it's a bunch of people saying "Oh HO! Aren't I clever?"

The answer is no, but people drinking the kool-aid are chatting up the emperor's new avant-garde threads.

There was a surprisingly overall well-written article I read recently that touched on this topic. Maybe it will contribute a thing or two to the conversation.

I used to wish for the things I loved to become super popular, and that was a huge mistake. Children often wish for that, to share that enjoyment with others that may not have experienced it ever before.

Now I wish I'd kept my wishing for when I could actually understand what I would get! I'm encouraged to see the superhero genre not as popular as it once was, and finally people are actually questioning if any of these things we're served up are actually good. I wish nothing I'd ever loved had ever become popular, because all that's happening is that I'm seeing these things utterly ruined by idiots, and praised for doing so by more idiots!

Live and learn, I suppose!
Ozoneocean at 7:44PM, April 15, 2021
(online)
posts: 27,766
joined: 1-2-2004
theRedDeath wrote:
I understand the urge to explore the idea, but the trend has gotten a little out of hand, and what's worse is it's starting to negatively effect how Superman proper is seen and portrayed in media too.
True…
Though I worry we'll swing around from Nazi Superman into something equally silly on the other end: super hippy love-love superman.
You know how these idiots think, you know it'll happen XD

Or they'll decide that “Superman type hero characters are just all too naturally horrible (because look at omni-man and homelander etc), and we don't need these nasty and toxic patriarchal superheroes anymore so let's change it totally to something else…”
-And other tales from the unimaginative dross producers


hushicho wrote:
There was a surprisingly overall well-written article I read recently that touched on this topic. Maybe it will contribute a thing or two to the conversation.
Great article!

Imagination and a good overall view of the genre is missing, yeah. They created a new type of hero story that was totally unnecessary… we already HAVE villains. “What if the heroes WERE the villains?” only needs ONE story, no more because superheroes are built on a totally fictional fantasy of pure justice and solving issues that can't be solved in reality, subverting that is idiotic because it's already a subversion of reality. When you subvert it you just get back to reality again.

“oh, the heroes area really the baddies? Who cares, we already HAVE that with police, soldiers, politicians, celebs who say dumb things etc, why the hell do we need that in escapist fantasy that EXPLICITLY seeks to create a a world that isn't like that?”
 
bravo1102 at 4:51AM, April 16, 2021
(offline)
posts: 5,402
joined: 1-21-2008
I loved the classic SNL superhero spoofs especially the Ubermann “what if” Nazi superman. It was right up there with "what if Eleanor Roosevelt could fly.

Personally that's where all these evil superheroes should stay, the realm of what if, satire and parody.
MegaRdaniels at 2:30PM, April 16, 2021
(online)
posts: 354
joined: 3-18-2016
hushicho wrote:
It's unimaginative, uncreative people who do this, because fundamentally they don't understand the superhero genre, and it's popular mainly among idiots that are on the bandwagon for the next minute or two. Of course it's stupid, because at its root, it's a bunch of people saying "Oh HO! Aren't I clever?"

The answer is no, but people drinking the kool-aid are chatting up the emperor's new avant-garde threads.

There was a surprisingly overall well-written article I read recently that touched on this topic. Maybe it will contribute a thing or two to the conversation.

I used to wish for the things I loved to become super popular, and that was a huge mistake. Children often wish for that, to share that enjoyment with others that may not have experienced it ever before.

Now I wish I'd kept my wishing for when I could actually understand what I would get! I'm encouraged to see the superhero genre not as popular as it once was, and finally people are actually questioning if any of these things we're served up are actually good. I wish nothing I'd ever loved had ever become popular, because all that's happening is that I'm seeing these things utterly ruined by idiots, and praised for doing so by more idiots!

Live and learn, I suppose!


VIDEO PLEASE!!!!!
MegaRdaniels at 2:30PM, April 16, 2021
(online)
posts: 354
joined: 3-18-2016
MegaRdaniels wrote:
hushicho wrote:
It's unimaginative, uncreative people who do this, because fundamentally they don't understand the superhero genre, and it's popular mainly among idiots that are on the bandwagon for the next minute or two. Of course it's stupid, because at its root, it's a bunch of people saying "Oh HO! Aren't I clever?"

The answer is no, but people drinking the kool-aid are chatting up the emperor's new avant-garde threads.

There was a surprisingly overall well-written article I read recently that touched on this topic. Maybe it will contribute a thing or two to the conversation.

I used to wish for the things I loved to become super popular, and that was a huge mistake. Children often wish for that, to share that enjoyment with others that may not have experienced it ever before.

Now I wish I'd kept my wishing for when I could actually understand what I would get! I'm encouraged to see the superhero genre not as popular as it once was, and finally people are actually questioning if any of these things we're served up are actually good. I wish nothing I'd ever loved had ever become popular, because all that's happening is that I'm seeing these things utterly ruined by idiots, and praised for doing so by more idiots!

Live and learn, I suppose!


VIDEO PLEASE!!!!!

:)
hushicho at 3:32PM, April 16, 2021
(offline)
posts: 112
joined: 10-4-2007
I apologize for stepping slightly off-topic with this post, but I have to say I really do love the community here. I really, genuinely, do! XD

To perhaps steer it slightly back toward the topic, though, I agree so strongly with the statement that these are worlds we're designing to be better than the place we live in. In the superhero world, they maintain a status quo, more often than not, because that status quo is worth something. In that world, you can trust the police officer to do his best to protect the children endangered by a villain who doesn't care…not just murder the children in cold blood himself. You can trust the politician who was a little misguided to straighten up and fly right, once he's been shown that he was wrong…not just continue on as before because he got a smack on the wrist. People in the superhero world are supported by this social landscape where people in our world aren't, even if they're primarily helped by independent vigilantes and not the overall society itself.

Even if you create a world that's nearly as shitty as this one, superheroes are a fantastical element that you can't really just cast in the same light. It's far too whimsical to fit, and it ultimately ends up looking extremely puerile and sophomoric, almost every time. Not to mention clumsy and clunky, because that's not what superheroes are meant to be or stand for.

And when you get right down to it, who wants to escape through fiction, right back into the place you wanted to escape in the first place? It's the same reason I can't stand fantastical fiction that turns itself into crapsack worlds for “realism”. Don't confuse realism with verisimilitude, and don't ruin something by thinking that making it “gritty” will attract a huge audience that will stick with you forever.

It won't, and they won't.

last edited on April 16, 2021 3:39PM
Matt Comics at 11:30AM, April 21, 2021
(offline)
posts: 11
joined: 7-11-2020
^ I wish more writers would realize that, because anti-escapism disguised as misplaced realism is a massive problem with many stories and franchises, not just superhero stuff.

anyway…

I'm also biased against that, but “Evil Hero” sounds like a paradox, and most of those characters are written to glorify questionable behavior. If you want to get it out of your system… just go with an Evil Protagonist.

Villains can be entertaining main characters. You don't have to be good to experience conflict, or even fight another evil force. I just wish people could write this without pretending every single villain is a misunderstood puppy waiting for blind acceptance disguised as redemption. This works less often than people think. Redemption shouldn't be so cheap, and sympathetic traits shouldn't overshadow what makes a villain villainous, otherwise what's the point?

generally speaking I dislike trends along the lines of “Good is Boring”. is this really the conclusion we want to leave to future generations? that even fiction couldn't stick to some positive ideals, despite all the wiggle room you have in fantasy settings? Say what you want about the Silver Age's corny cliches, but at least people weren't in love with Moral Ambiguity back then.

and yes, antiheroes are also an option, going a long way back, and coming in several forms. I find them interesting, but I think there should still be a clear line between antihero and villain. (just like how there's one between hero and antihero) This is the line that was broken in the Dark Age of comics, and while the worst excesses have vanished, it left a lasting impression on superhero comics.
Ozoneocean at 9:44PM, April 22, 2021
(online)
posts: 27,766
joined: 1-2-2004
Well said Matt and Hushico!
 
Hapoppo at 7:54AM, April 23, 2021
(online)
posts: 261
joined: 1-26-2007
I think the whole “evil hero” thing is just another byproduct of this deconstruction fetish people seem to have developed lately.

Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine to break down certain social constructs or cultural phenomena, look at them critically, and ask ourselves if they're still needed, in need of some changes, or just a product of their time, but it seems like the current trend is to just say, “Alright, I'm gonna take this thing that's normally considered GOOD and flip it as EVIL, and take this thing that's normally considered EVIL and flip it as GOOD, ‘cuz I’m totes an out-of-the-box thinker!”

The whole point of superheroes is that they're a fictional symbol of good and virtue. They're not a direct representation of law enforcement, or soldiers, etc., who do have serious flaws and in some cases can be corrupt beyond redemption; they're a representation of what the writer thinks these people should be, a positive role model with wild and fun adventures. Yes they have their crises of faith, they fail, they're occasionally misguided and can even turn into supervillains for a time, but at the end of the story they overcome their challenges and save the day. Taking these characters and applying traits to them that make them irredeemable douchebags or outright evil just seems to undermine the whole point of a superhero… evil heroes are basically the alcohol free beer of the superhero world, or as others have pointed out, rebranded supervillains.

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved Google+