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Message started by Gary A. Markette on Jan 16th, 2012, 1:08am

Title: Are super heroes sci fi?
Post by Gary A. Markette on Jan 16th, 2012, 1:08am

Here's another topic for discussion: Are super heroes science fiction--or simply the stuff of comic books? Most comic super hero origins contain an element of science fiction--Superman from another planet; Spiderman, bitten by a radioactive spider; Green Lantern,super space police forces; the XMen, mutant mensches. My question: do any of the comic crew qualify as legitimate science fiction? Do motion pictures validate them--or are the flicks simply a way to cash in on adolescent hero worship? Can any of them match the literary validity of Farenheit 451? Whaddya think?

Title: Re: Are super heroes sci fi?
Post by Jeangoldstrom on Jan 16th, 2012, 8:42pm

Interesting question, Gary.

Are super-heroes s-f? Hmm...IMO they are a blend of sf/f. That would be science-fictional fantasy. Think Bradbury; think Sturgeon.

At one time (let's say before the 1960s) super-heroes were lucky to be even _two_ dimensional, as we saw them in comic books. But when Marvel Comics began building back-stories for their Fantastic Four, Spider Man, Thor  -- and my fave, Dr. Strange -- I think, again IMO, they began to assume that crucial third dimension that enables us to take them reasonably seriously. (By the Eye of Agomoto!)

-- Jean

P.S. Yes, I know, the DC creative people had constructed a strong back story for SuperMan even before that time. This is just personal prejudice, I think, but I always found it difficult to see anything beyond that 2nd dimension for SuperDude. But his fans definitely do, and there are hordes of them.

Title: Re: Are super heroes sci fi?
Post by Gary A. Markette on Jan 17th, 2012, 1:02am

Back stories, yes. I stopped reading comic books just as things were starting to get really interesting. I missed the "noir" sories and the "alternate universe" stuff. I speculate that the influx of Japanese artwork (Manga) and concomittant complex story lines forced the Marvels and DCs of the comix biz to ramp up their quality. Of course, few today know of Dr. Strange and the dread Dormamu because, for some odd reason, that particular Marvel creation never seemed to click with the readers. Focus shifted to the X-Men, their sexy costumes, and the "dark" Wolverine. Spiderman stayed relevant and the movies reinvigorated Iron Man (while the Thor flick seems to have missed the mark). DC kept pace with the Batman movies but stumbled a bit with Green Lantern. Then, of course, there were the non-Marvel/DC characters and plots by people like Frank Miller. All told, we seem to be in the midst of a new age of comics and sci-fi/fantasy rules Hollywood's roost. Still, I sometimes yearn for the simple joys of Hot Stuff and Wendy the Good Little Witch  ;).

Title: Re: Are super heroes sci fi?
Post by Jeangoldstrom on Jan 18th, 2012, 7:43pm

Here's something I just read today -- Peter Parker, the alter ego of Spider Man, died! In the comic, I mean. (Boy, am I a back number! Probably everybody else in the world already knew this, right?) He has been replaced by some guy named Morales -- I didn't get his first name. I really try to pay attention, but...

-- Jean

Title: Re: Are super heroes sci fi?
Post by Gary A. Markette on Jan 19th, 2012, 3:43am

Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, Jean. I didn't know that either. As I mentioned, I stopped reading comic books just about the time things really got interesting (or just weird). Are we sure that Parker's "death" isn't part of some sort of "alternate universe" thingee? Any Spiderman fans out there who can set the record straight? I know that Superman "died" over on the DC side in one of their alternate universes (they seem to have several).

Favorite DC Comics: Batman, Green Lantern, Doom Patrol.
Favorite Marvel Comics: Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Dr. Strange
Other favorites: Hot Stuff, Herbie (the Fat Fury), Brain Boy (REALLY obscure)

Title: Re: Are super heroes sci fi?
Post by Adrienne_Ray on Jan 26th, 2012, 4:44pm

Gosh, I hope Spiderman didn't get killed off. Why would anybody take over his alterego? I would make up my own super hero identity. But that's just me.
A interesting book to read is "The Physics of Super Heroes" by James Kakalios. Not only does it attempt to make the comic books more believable (and therefore closer to science fiction than fantasy), it has a lot comic book history. Oh, and it teaches you a lot about science also.

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