Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » How much can a hero take it?

   
Author Topic: How much can a hero take it?
MartinV
Member
Member # 5512

 - posted      Profile for MartinV   Email MartinV         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Inspired by Christine's thread I realized that heroes are forced to perform serious physical and/or mental tasks, not to mention an occasional beating from an antagonist.

Just today I was watching Mission Impossible 2 and I almost choked from laughing at how much punching can these small guys take. The antagonist was no professional boxer or wrestler yet he survived a series of kicks in the face which in my opinion would brake his neck in an instant.

How far can we go in putting our heroes/heroines at hazzard and still dragging them out of that alive?


Posts: 1271 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JeanneT
Member
Member # 5709

 - posted      Profile for JeanneT   Email JeanneT         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I rarely compare movies or tv to writing, since I generally consider the comparisons less than valid. The media are simply too different but this did make me thing of the movie Bourne Ultimatum. There came a point--I think it was when he crashed a car nose first off a building from a couple of stories up and walked away--that I simply had to laugh.

I try to keep it at least close to plausible. I must admit I once had a main character fall off a cliff and survive which was iffy even though his fall was broken by a tree.


Posts: 1588 | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Marzo
Member
Member # 5495

 - posted      Profile for Marzo   Email Marzo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I seem to appreciate heroes who can't do much, physically. I guess this might be because I'm not a particularly physical person, myself.

One moment that caused me some delight was when the MC of China Miéville's Perdido Street Station, Isaac, (who's got a gut on him) couldn't keep up with the rest of the running group, and also had a difficult time scaling a glass dome.

Having difficulty with these things makes them seem more human to me, I guess.


Posts: 201 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NoTimeToThink
Member
Member # 5174

 - posted      Profile for NoTimeToThink   Email NoTimeToThink         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In movies nothing is left to the imagination, so you have to make the action big enough to WOW as many audience members as possible. If it looks easy to survive, who cares? It is also hard to logically analyze what you are seeing as it happens, especially if they keep the action pounding at you so you can't stop to think.

In a book, the hero can take as much as each reader thinks he can. The writer can give just enough information to let the reader know that the hero is at risk. As the action is described, each reader will interpret and visualize the action to be as large as they can believe is possible; each reader will see it differently, but they should all have the same emotional reaction to what they read.


Posts: 406 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hteadx
Member
Member # 6563

 - posted      Profile for hteadx   Email hteadx         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think you can make your character take as much punishment as you want. You just have to justify how they are able to take such punishment.

As long as you keep to the rules of the world, which you are presenting to the reader, I feel the reader will accept whatever trials or punishment you want to put your characters through.


Posts: 76 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wetwilly
Member
Member # 1818

 - posted      Profile for wetwilly   Email wetwilly         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
each reader will interpret and visualize the action to be as large as they can believe is possible; each reader will see it differently, but they should all have the same emotional reaction to what they read.

I think the emotional reaction is even MORE subjective than what it actually looks like. Each reader brings all sorts of past experiences/knowledge/assumptions/other stuff to the book, and their is no way to predict how each reader will react emotionally.

There are of course some generalizations. When I show a child being psychologically tortured by an adult, I expect the vast majority of readers to side with the child (and I don't want people whose sympathies lie with the adult to have anything to d with anything I've created, anyway).


Posts: 1528 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just another one of those things you see in movies that wouldn't pass muster in so-called real life. Like the cop who gets shot in the shoulder and we see him at the end with his arm in a sling...but I've been told an injury like that is a career-ender...

I'm inclined to the "realism" side of things---if My Hero gets beat up, I'll follow that up with putting him in the hospital for an appropriate time. (Barring some shennanigans involving nanotechnology, like in my latest stab at a novel.)

But people also read to escape, and "realism" pretty much goes out the window. If My Hero can get into fight after fight and still come out with all his teeth, I might just have to let my qualms go...


Posts: 8717 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
InarticulateBabbler
Member
Member # 4849

 - posted      Profile for InarticulateBabbler   Email InarticulateBabbler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No offense meant, but:
quote:

...this did make me thing of the movie Bourne Ultimatum. There came a point--I think it was when he crashed a car nose first off a building from a couple of stories up and walked away--that I simply had to laugh.

A couple of points:
1) He backed off of the 3rd level of a parking garage, and landed on vehicles. The seat cushioned the fall some. And I have witnessed stranger things.

2) Bourne is trained to do stuff like that, and generally doesn't walk away with no injuries. Many of the stunts performed in that movie are really performed by Matt Damon (which validates him walking away after doing it...)

3) The Bourne series are based on novels, which are completely different. Here is one place that OSC and I disagree. He said he picked up the Bourne Identity and put it down disappointed with the plot before he got halfway through. (The only major problem I had was the redundancy of the word "rapidly".) You can't do that with Ludlum's work. He's a master plotter. The story of Jason Bourne, just in that first book, is so much more than the movie ever let it be. In the second book--as opposed to the movie--he's rescuing his wife, not avenging her. She's important to his sanity. And in The Bourne Ultamatum the novel, he's a fifty + year old with a wife and a kid, trying to keep them safe from a world-famous assassin.

As to the posed question:

quote:

How far can we go in putting our heroes/heroines at hazzard and still dragging them out of that alive?

I think, as I just proved, that this is for the reader to decide. How much of a beating did Rocky, Rambo, Jason Bourne, or Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in Predator) go through and remain believable--and how were they conditioned for their situations. I believe that makes a major difference. In all the aforementioned cases, they were trained to deal with much more than the Average Joe, so I expect more out of them. Now, if Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote) were to sneak into a Vietnamese P.O.W. camp...


Posts: 3682 | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JeanneT
Member
Member # 5709

 - posted      Profile for JeanneT   Email JeanneT         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
A couple of points:
1) He backed off of the 3rd level of a parking garage, and landed on vehicles. The seat cushioned the fall some. And I have witnessed stranger things.

2) Bourne is trained to do stuff like that, and generally doesn't walk away with no injuries. Many of the stunts performed in that movie are really performed by Matt Damon (which validates him walking away after doing it...)

3) The Bourne series are based on novels, which are completely different. Here is one place that OSC and I disagree. He said he picked up the Bourne Identity and put it down disappointed with the plot before he got halfway through. (The only major problem I had was the redundancy of the word "rapidly".) You can't do that with Ludlum's work. He's a master plotter. The story of Jason Bourne, just in that first book, is so much more than the movie ever let it be. In the second book--as opposed to the movie--he's rescuing his wife, not avenging her. She's important to his sanity. And in The Bourne Ultamatum the novel, he's a fifty + year old with a wife and a kid, trying to keep them safe from a world-famous assassin.


1) Sorry for my mis-remembering. I was thinking it was nose first, but at the time my reaction was a snort. At any rate, I did not find the chase scenes believable. This was followed by what? Six or eight collisions all of which he walked away from? It was a fun watch but I still reacted with an "Oh, please..."

2) Yes, he did many of his stunts. They were STUNTS with padding and many, many protections. Much of what they show Bourne doing is, in my belief, totally improbable. If you find it believable, we can simply agree to disagree.

3) What do the books have to do with it? I didn't say the movies were the same as the books. They aren't. I much prefer the books, as a matter of fact and don't agree with Mr. Card (as frequently happens lol). They have weaknesses, but I find them enjoyable.

And I find being TRAINED less than a valid argument for surviving the unsurviveable. A skull fracture or a crushed spine is as likely if you are in a car crash are trained or untrained and has the same results with or without training.

Training has a difference in whether you are likely to dodge or hit someone--but if they smash you up side the head, training doesn't help. Ask any fighter with brain damage--Mohammed Ali unfortunately being a classic case in point. (And I don't mean that to be cruel. I'm sincerely sorry he suffers the result of his years in the ring--but it is a fact that he does.)

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited January 25, 2008).]


Posts: 1588 | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SaucyJim
Member
Member # 7110

 - posted      Profile for SaucyJim   Email SaucyJim         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Off-topic I've never read the books, but I found the Bourne series of movies very enjoyable and inspiring for great action sequences.

As far as physical abuse of the hero goes, most of my more action-preferring protagonists are either androids made of titanium and steel and therefore more capable of taking and dishing out a beating, or eight-foot-tall aliens with greater physical constitution than humans. My human-based stories tend to focus more on psychological and/or emotional strain, as opposed to physical exertion.

But when it comes down to it, we authors abuse the snot out of our characters and get away with it; we're worse than some of history's greatest villains in that regard. And personally, I'm not shy about torturing my characters.


Posts: 59 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
InarticulateBabbler
Member
Member # 4849

 - posted      Profile for InarticulateBabbler   Email InarticulateBabbler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

3) What do the books have to do with it?

The original question was about what a character goes through. I wanted to illustrate that the books have a different expectation of what--and how much--a character can survive than the movies do. Valid?

quote:

And I find being TRAINED less than a valid argument for surviving the unsurviveable. A skull fracture or a crushed spine is as likely if you are in a car crash are trained or untrained and has the same results with or without training.

Interesting. So, you think that you can't be trained--also read prepared--for doing a stunt in a time of crisis? So all of those defensive driving courses offered to the Secret Service, Cops, Federal Agents, Body Guards, and Special Forces are all just Hooey, huh? A martial artist will not be better conditioned to take a blow or minimize the effects of one either, eh? There are no tricks, skills, or specialized training that can make you any more prepared, tougher, stronger, better able to physically endure, or psychologically adept than any untrained person, huh? So..why bother training then?

Oh, and your Mohammed Ali argumenmt is invalid. Mohammed Ali got brain damage from fighting other trained professionals--not Dennis Leary in a bar fight...

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited January 25, 2008).]


Posts: 3682 | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
annepin
Member
Member # 5952

 - posted      Profile for annepin   Email annepin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My sense of what's realistic has been drastically changed after watching YouTubes of folks performing parcours and free running. Also, Jackie Chan does some pretty amazing stuff--granted, much he does as a stuntman, but some of it pretty much happens as you see on film.

When it comes to writing and story telling, believability depends on context. Furthermore, you should take into account what kind of story you want to tell. You have some leeway in your characters abilities, so long as it fits into the story.

For instance, if you're trying to tell more of a mythic story, you can make your character survive and do much more than in a "realistic" fantasy. I would personally have been a little disappointed if, say, the movie Troy depicted Achilles "realistically". Perhaps the movie makers took too many liberties (and the movie was horrible for other reasons), but I felt Achilles is a mythic character--I wanted him to be larger than life, and in that sense, the movie delivered. And even in the original Homer, the characters are super-human.

But if, say G.R.R. Martin were to make Jon suddenly fights off thirty men single-handedly, we wouldn't believe it, because Jon was never set up to be such a character. Furthermore, in the context of the story, something more realistic, such a feat would be completely out of place.

(oh, and I couldn't help but think about the Bourne Ultimatum stunt... On a theoretical level, at least. I haven't seen it so I don't know, but it seems to me if the car went head first he'd be more likely to survive--cars are meant to survive frontal impacts at high speeds. The airbags and crumple zones just might help him survive.)

[This message has been edited by annepin (edited January 25, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by annepin (edited January 25, 2008).]


Posts: 2185 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JasonVaughn
Member
Member # 4358

 - posted      Profile for JasonVaughn   Email JasonVaughn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think people can take a lot more punishment - both mentally and physically - than we give them credit for. Just look in the news. There are stories in which I'm shocked people survived.

About 5 years ago I was stabbed 6 times in the chest by a gang, and still had the strength to fight them off and escape. My heart and one of my lungs was punctured. After that I underwent numerous operations, but now I'm at full health. I know that at the time both the doctors and my family didn't expect me to survive, but I did.

There are plenty of examples of people survivng things that, if you read them in a story, you'd think impossible. Look at the guy whose parachute failed and he fell hundreds of feet and survived. I remember a thread last year in which someone asked how far someone could fall and survive. Even the most optimistic replies were less than in the above real life example.

My point is, sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and less believable

[This message has been edited by JasonVaughn (edited January 26, 2008).]


Posts: 61 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Look at the guy whose parachute failed and he fell hundreds of feet and survived.

But also look at how many people failed to survive when their parachute failed...


Posts: 8717 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JustPadric
Member
Member # 7766

 - posted      Profile for JustPadric   Email JustPadric         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps the most prominent moment in a book where I had to stop reading it for a moment in shear awe at how unbelievable the act the hero preformed and lived would have to be in the climatic ending of "Angels and Demons".

I won't describe it here incase there's anyone yet to read the book, but anyone who has will know exactly what I'm talking about. Perhaps the most compelling thing about this 'stunt', is the pains that Dan Brown went to to establish the believablity of the hero surviving the stunt all through out the book. It ended up being a sort of plot point and intresting set up that the book was building up to all along though you didn't know it till the end. It was almost like Dan had been asked by some one to write a scene that could believably discribe how some one could survive something that would normally be instantly fatal.

I think part of the point of any story is deciding what kind of protaganist you have, and to a large extent that decides what sort of story you write. Many of the popular gritty crime novels of the 40's and 50's portrayed gumshoes who where down on their luck, hard noses who usually took a healthy thrashing along the trail towards the final gleaming of what ever truth it was they where after. People expected that, and love the stories just for that reason.

In any story, the whole point is to entertain the reader, and what usually entertains the reader is putting the hero in situations they themselves wouldn't find themselves in. Now adays, especially in movies, alot of audiences are intrested in the specticle, rather than the believablity. As some people have already pointed out, the universe is a vast and strange place, and there are examples to be found out there to support almost any stunt or action being survivable, it simply is up to the author to provide the reasoning.

It ends up being a matter of, "Could I survive that?" verses, "Could the character in this story, as described by the author, survive that?"


Posts: 11 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MartinV
Member
Member # 5512

 - posted      Profile for MartinV   Email MartinV         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm reading Angels and Demons right now. Not the first time so I know what you mean. The amount of action in this book is staggering (in a bad way), not to mention the author's attitude ("I know so much about science and history and you people who read this don't know s...").
Posts: 1271 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TaleSpinner
Member
Member # 5638

 - posted      Profile for TaleSpinner   Email TaleSpinner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think there's a big audience for characters that are (cliche alert) larger than life--able to last longer in a fight, run further and faster than any villain, bed more women (or men, depending on his or her taste) than ought to be decent.

As others have said, it just has to be credible in the context of the story.

To make it credible many stories have extra scenes near the start to establish the hero's (or heroine's) superlative abilities. For example, Bond movies almost always start with a scene that's totally irrelevant to the story, but which quickly establishes Bond as an improbably trained, smart, fighting winner--who likes improbably beautiful women. You know what to expect going in, and if you don't like such improbability you skip Bond movies and go watch something more realistic. (Many movies and books wrap such scenes into the main plot and that's more subtle. Bond isn't subtle, so for 007 movies this simple direct technique works.)

I suspect such heroes more credible also if they have a weakness despite all their strengths. In the best stories it's a human weakness--love (or maybe lust) for another, most often.

Pat


Posts: 1796 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MartinV
Member
Member # 5512

 - posted      Profile for MartinV   Email MartinV         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have grown to hate superhuman heroes with one single weakness (think kryptonit). Human abilities are not like abilites in a video game where you can shut them off or write a bigger multiplier in the console.
Posts: 1271 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SaucyJim
Member
Member # 7110

 - posted      Profile for SaucyJim   Email SaucyJim         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actually, on the subject of humans surviving things (specifically relating to Jason Vaughn's story), one major factor is the adrenalin. It does more than just make us aware, it helps switch our bodies into a fight or flight mode; depending on which side of the line we fall on, our bodies will react differently.

For example, Vaughn's story is a scenario in which case the "flight" response took over, where his body started behaving in a way to allow long-term survival; in a story on the news, a lawyer was shot five times coming out of a courthouse, but because he kept a tree between himself and his attacker (after he had gotten shot in the throat, of course) he was able to survive and even walk into the ambulance waiting for him. I'd call that the classic "fight" response, where his body focused on dealing with the threat instead of trying to escape it.

That could help explain a hero's ability to survive what many would consider the unsurvivable.


Posts: 59 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
annepin
Member
Member # 5952

 - posted      Profile for annepin   Email annepin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
But also look at how many people failed to survive when their parachute failed...

Ah yes, but we don't write stories about those who have failed. Or maybe we do, but then, that's pretty much the end of it.

I, too, have never liked the kryptonite syndrome. It feels cheap and too easy of a device for the villain to get one up on the superhero. And there's always some kryptonite handy just before the climax... and then, conveniently, it's gone and not available to the villain any more.


Posts: 2185 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rommel Fenrir Wolf II
Member
Member # 4199

 - posted      Profile for Rommel Fenrir Wolf II   Email Rommel Fenrir Wolf II         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
if you can get your hands on it the US ARMY combativs TM is a wealth of usefull info for fighting tatics in book wrighting for it gives grate insite on how much a someone can take.
i will get the TM number for you.

RFW2nd


Posts: 856 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JustPadric
Member
Member # 7766

 - posted      Profile for JustPadric   Email JustPadric         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think, as with most things, you have to know your audience as you craft your hero and decide how you want them to be.

I just had to reply to Anne's comments about superman. I know this is going to make me look like a large nerd, but to some extent I still read and keep track of comicbooks and graphic novels, and people who haven't picked them up since the 70's and 80's might be surprised to find what's in them.

There is a whole new front of comic book writers and illistrators who are very intrested in portraying a more realistic hero. Every book approaches this in a differnt way.

A few exmaples:

In the new DC Universe there are several differnt incarnations of Superman. As the audence grew up they realized the Superman was far to perfect, with way to many powers and few to no weaknesses to speak of. They humanized him, as in Smallville, giving him the prosective of a human forced to accept strange powers.

In the cartoon 'The Justice League' which is out on DVD, and was lent to me by a friend I found that the superman portrayed in the shows was bruitish and unthinking. His willingness to rush headlong into any dangerious situation with out thinking generally caused more problems then it solved, leaving the rest of the less powerful team mates to constantly bail the jock-like Superman out of trouble.

There's a new line of Superman pulps that show a Superman of the future, who has grown tired of trying to just save humanity as it fails and has turned proactive, by turning Metropolis into a dictatorship ruled by him. He keeps the peace with an iron fist, and people's humanity is repressed.

The new Avengers books by Marvel are also alot differnt, so much so that the large comic houses have now started releasing a teen line of comics that can explore a bit more adult line of subject matter. The Avengers are petty, and human, they have love life problems, they bicker, argue, abuse substances, and deal with all the day to day problems on top of having super powers. You can also find a bit of a dulled down version of these Avengers on DVD, as Marvel is now realeasing direct to DVD movies of these new, retooled and revisioned heros.

My point being I think there is a growing audience that wants to see some humanity in with their heros. It used to be superheros where avitairs, whose sense of justice and right far outweighed their own personal wants and desires. Now we have comic book publishing houses that release books about the sordid love lives of superheros, who still have to pick up the peices of a shattered heart so they can find it in them to fight off the evil alien invasion.

Some of the most well known authors and writers over the past few years have been making use of this trend to reinvision old heros, themes and plots in new ways, taking the things they loved about their favorite heros and taking out things they found foolish or trite and adding things the found lacking or wanting in the stories.

It gives the reader and the author both a famliar base to work with, but adds to it, so when it's read, the reader can say, "That's cool! I always hated it how Kryptonite was Superman's only weakness." Both can then smile as they explore the fact that maybe a man with almost tottal immunity to pain and fear would probably not be that very cautious about how he handles dangerious situations and would probably cause as many problems as he fixes.

I guess what I'm trying to say in this meandering is, that just because you don't like a character for some reason, doesn't mean you have to get rid of them, sometimes a glaring flaw is far more fun to explore than just throw away.


Posts: 11 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
smncameron
Member
Member # 7392

 - posted      Profile for smncameron   Email smncameron         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

I try to keep it at least close to plausible. I must admit I once had a main character fall off a cliff and survive which was iffy even though his fall was broken by a tree.

You're in good company there *cough* Sir Arthur Conan Doyle *cough*.

This is actually a pretty interesting conversation, not for it's supposed thesis (Answer: Do whatever you need to move the story along), but for the question's it raises about the difference between film and book action heroes.

One major difference is that spectacular crashes and falls are more appealing on-screen. No matter how handy you are with adjectives, seeing it will always be more thrilling. Furthermore, there's a certain implied credibility on-screen. Even if they know about special-effects and CGI, seeing the hero survive the fall can easily persuade the un-alert.

This doesn't happen in books. It's very difficult to impress the reader just by telling him how big the cliff is, so for the most part author's don't bother. In order for the escape to be impressive, they would have to first describe how unlikely it is for the hero to escape, and then have him escape. Not quite as flashy.

It's weird how watching Bond, I don't care that he's just killed have the Soviet Army. But reading Eragorn *shudder* I just can't get over how convenient it is for him to develop powers right before they prove hugely usefull.


Posts: 161 | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
one major factor is the adrenalin.

Adrenalin rushes are overrated. Just the other week, when I got up from my heavy-cold sickbed to discover a rat swimming around in my toilet, I think I got an adrenalin rush---which burned for half an hour---but for the next twenty-four hours I couldn't think straight, couldn't get off the couch (except to go to the bathroom), and couldn't get the energy to get dressed. Plus I think it made the cold linger longer than it should've.


Posts: 8717 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lehollis
Member
Member # 2883

 - posted      Profile for lehollis   Email lehollis         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
My point being I think there is a growing audience that wants to see some humanity in with their heros.

I agree with you, except I think that audience has always been there. Maybe they just didn't know what I wanted, but when I see some of the new superhero stories, I think, "Finally!" I was drawn to Spider-Man as a kid because of his humanity. This is just my opinion, but I think Peter Parker made Spider-Man popular, not the other way around.

Superman also makes an important note about weaknesses. Kryptonite is not his biggest weakness. It's humankind, and Lois Lane. Even if he's indestructible, the best Superman writers kept audiences entertained by putting his friends in jeopardy. Physically, he was (pre-crisis) indestructible, but emotionally it would have killed him to lose Lois or Jimmy or whatever. It was rare, but I think the best writers captured that sense (At least sometimes.)

(One moment I think of related to this was the old Superman movie where he went against what he believed to bring Lois back. It was a good scene not because of how powerful he was, but because of the emotion. Okay, it was a little cheesy too, but I think that is the era it came from.)

Of course, after a while, it gets tiring watching Lois need saving in every issue. There is a limit.


Posts: 696 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
annepin
Member
Member # 5952

 - posted      Profile for annepin   Email annepin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Interesting about Peter Parker... You're right, it's the human in the heroes that's the draw. As you rightly pointed out, even Superman, super though he was, was still a man.

I personally liked Bruce Wayne/ Batman the best because, unlike the others, he had no super powers. He had to do everything with brains, technology, and ingenuity. I can't remember if this was true of the (non-movie) Spidey, too--was it just his suit, or did he have super powers? Don't recall.


Posts: 2185 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lehollis
Member
Member # 2883

 - posted      Profile for lehollis   Email lehollis         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Parker had powers, but the old comic books had his webs coming from invented "web shooters", not his body. The recent movies were trying to update the character for modern audiences. (I think it would have worked either way.) Other than that, the wall-crawling, strength, and agility were all from the radioactive spider bite thing. (If I'm remembering that all correctly.)

I thought the last Batman movie captured the drive/personality of a man who could become something like Batman much better than past movies did.


Posts: 696 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
annepin
Member
Member # 5952

 - posted      Profile for annepin   Email annepin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I thought the last Batman movie captured the drive/personality of a man who could become something like Batman much better than past movies did.

Mm... Christian Bale... Whoops! That belongs on another site.

It's interesting, the idea that "love" is a weakness is used a lot. It's definitely cliche. And yet, it works pretty much every time, doesn't it?


Posts: 2185 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
InarticulateBabbler
Member
Member # 4849

 - posted      Profile for InarticulateBabbler   Email InarticulateBabbler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

I thought the last Batman movie captured the drive/personality of a man who could become something like Batman much better than past movies did.

It should have, it was based on some of the best Batman writers--including the creator and Frank Miller. Like Frank Miller said, "Batman shouldn't be a goody-two-shoes Superfriend, he should be a dark, mentally-unstable vigilante--he watched his parents get murdered, for Christ's sake!"

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited January 30, 2008).]


Posts: 3682 | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2