Next 25

Feb. 21st, 2011

Mutant hysteria, really?

Minor rant on the point about X-Men in the previous post:

If I was in charge of them, there would be none of this passive aggressive 'let's sit around and get attacked' stuff. Let's face it, the public is by default fearful to apathetic about 'thems' and the politicians are only going to be worse.

What I'd do is to try and sell mutant kind as something that benefits the public. So, yeah, superheroics. Of the kind that saves a lot of lives and livelihoods, publically. We'd be first responders to every single major disaster that happens on the planet (and don't tell me that won't fill up a good calender block every year; Mother Nature can be a very mean mistress, followed closely by human stupidity and hatred). And we'd make sure CNN/BBC/etc. gets us on film pulling babies from rubble every single time.

So what if the pundits are trying to sell the 'mutants are bad because they'll eventually replace homo sapiens sapiens' thing? Between their own skins and the nebulous 'future generations', the average human only looks out for number one. And then of course after we're being hailed as saints, any attempt to attack/control us by the government can be spun in ways that will make the politicians bleed (figuratively).

Not surprisingly, sci-fi authors do a much better job at this kind of idea than serial comics. I'm thinking of Anne McCaffrey's Pegasus series, personally.

"Super" useful by what definition

I've been reading some comic parodies on scans_daily, and also been reading some comments/criticism of various comics posted there. I think everyone is aware that one of the downsides of serial comics is that it's so hard for anything to be written that actually affects the Status Quo (TM).

The thought did pop into my mind, though, that of all the highly popular comic heroes - that is, the ones with movies and their own TV series - there's only one that has a track record for doing work other than beating up various nemeses/villains. That's Superman, who is known for also helping around at various natural disasters, especially in the TV series and in ficdom. I seriously can't think of any other major superhero who can say the same.

Is it because they're not design to be helpful in that way? Well, I guess Batman can't really offer much to help out in person for an earthquake; Bruce Wayne's money would probably do more there. Iron Man? Probably in the same boat, I guess. X-Men? Too busy with their persecution complexes, despite the no-brainer positive publicity they stand to gain for their cause if they'd helped out with, say, Katrina. Spider-man? Daredevil? Ok, I guess transportation is a problem there.

So, anyway, here's a thought experiment. What kind of superpowers would be the most useful? )

Next 25