|tanithryudo (tanithryudo) wrote,|
@ 2009-02-02 08:52:00
GW update and fic-induced ramblings about Superman
Canthan New Year festival was this last weekend. Since I was out for most of it, I only had time to run the characters on my account through the Canthan quests. In the end that was about 300 or so lunar tokens...and no mini-ox. Yes, I know my luck sucks. In the end I threw in the towel and just bought a mini for 30k. Dedicated it on my ranger's HoM. (Speaking of mini's, also noted my Necro got her 2nd bday present; it turned out to be a juggernaut, which I dedicated on my assassin's HoM.)
The entire rest of the festival, I just left my laptop running and afk'ed away on the nine rings. Spent about 50k or so on tickets and got my lucky rank to 2. Should help with lockpick bonus in the future.
Also, the festival was very generous with party and sweet points. Managed to get Aoki on cashew's account to rank 1 Sweet Tooth and Party Animal. I still have a bunch of crates of fireworks leftover, since they can only be used in the GH.
Outside of Guild Wars, I finally weaned myself off the Chinese BBS for fanfiction (however long that lasts). I've been reading mainly LnC (Lois & Clark TV series) fanfiction lately. It started off with being curious about some of the links on the main fanfic archive site, and then snowballed from there. The authors of this fandom, I note, tend to write long. A great many of them like to write fics which are a few hundred KB in length, and that's only one part of a series. Also, the archive is still updated weekly with new works, which is impressive for a dead series (went off the air in the mid 90s).
Writing isn't too bad either, though I think that mainly has to do with the fact that the targeted demographic for the TV show was probably the best for good fanfiction (adult female audience). So far most of the writing have managed to keep Lois as a strong female protagonist without turning her into an annoying Sue (ala Lana of Smallville), and a Clark aka Superman without much of the "superdickery" (ala the comics).
Though, reading so much LnC fics got me musing on the differences with the other portrayals of the iconic character of Superman. Compared to the latest comics (based on what little I recall from CBR and a recent skimming of a few graphic novels at Borders) and what I've heard about the 2006 movie, there is one interesting difference. LnC (and the other TV version of the character as well in Smallville) portrayed him as intrinsically Clark Kent, whose "disguise" is Superman (tho not yet in Smallville continuity). The comics/movies portray it the other way around, and it's Superman/Kal-El of Kypton whose "disguise"/secret identity is Clark Kent.
How much of a difference does that portrayal make on the character, I wonder? On the one hand, you basically have someone who is supposed to pretty much be a human with human flaws, albeit with a very moral character (not talking Smallville here), who just happens to have all these extra powers that he uses to "help". On the other hand, we have a person who has a somewhat alien cultural background and who presumes to act for what he judges to be the good of humanity. Which one is more to praise/admire? Which one should we (as in the humanity in the story) have more cause to fear and be worried about?
Well, the character being fictional, I guess the comparison would largely come down to the writer that writes the character, and of course the elements of the plotline involved. And just comparing the works themselves, I'd have to say there's a lot to worry on both parts. One the one extreme, we have Smallville to showcase what happens when the character is characterized as a very fallible human with powers. One the other extreme, some of the comics (especially some of the older ones and the elseworld versions of the mainstream character) go the other extreme on the jaw-dropping blunders that this demigod can pull with some of his strange alien logic (the Vanishing arc being a good example - WTF were you thinking arbitrarily creating a pocket dimension with a fake paradise just because of a random comment out of your wife's pillow talk and then not locking the entrance?!).
And then, there is the school of thought that the best use of great power (in a society that can't stand up against it) is for the user not to use it. This wasn't from any version of Superman or any other comic-inspired work, of course. In fact, I think I first read of it in a Highlander fic. So I guess this is sort of the third extreme, a very... MiB-ish way of looking at things. Then again, is that the right stance to take either? Is there a moral duty for someone who has powers to help "more" than those who don't? I mean, to take a non-powered example, if you can swim and you see someone who is drowning, do you have a moral duty to save them? If you see a mugging and there's not enough time to call the cops (and assuming you have the self defense skills to prevent it), do you have a moral duty to disarm/disable the mugger? If you overhear a crime taking place (embezzling, drug dealing, etc.) do you have a moral duty to report it? Now throw in superpowers, where the character can run into burning buildings and stop criminals with guns with no harm to self, and overhear things from halfway around the planet... well, do they still have that moral duty to intervene? At which point should the line be drawn?
Finally, are there any manga variations on the superhero genre? The only thing that really come to mind for me was Sailor V (which, IIRC, had generic fights against normal criminals and such, while Sailor Moon series tends to only be reactionary responses against specific groups of villains).
Add: Rumbles thread