My pet peeve with superheroes with no powers, why do they act like they're having fun?

Discussion in 'The DC Animation Forum' started by CyberCubed, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    This is something that always bothered me about superheroes with no powers. Unlike Batman, these characters appear like they actually enjoy fighting crime and view it as, "fun" or "enjoyable."

    I'm talking about characters like Robin (especially when he's younger), Batgirl, Green Arrow, Huntress, etc.

    They look like they actually enjoy being put in harms way and act like they have fun even though they could be killed with one well placed bullet to the head. Unlike the characters with powers, it just makes no sense for these guys to actually enjoy doing what they;'re doing. With Batman its understandable, but not so much the others.
     
  2. PapaGreg

    PapaGreg Came for the ribs

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    I dont see the problem why should't they be happy that they are saving people and beating up bad guys despite being in harms why isn't every superhero in harms way whether they have powers or not, superman has to look forward to Luthor sneaking a kryptonie cookie in his lunch but he seems happy, The Runaways are probable the most vunerable super hero team but they seem to be mostly happy, hell Spiderman talks smack and makes jokes like a DJ and is rouge gallary consits of guys who can go toe to toe with the Avengers so I dont see whats the problem here
     
  3. Lighthammer

    Lighthammer Bringer of the Light

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    To do what non-powered heroes due takes a certain amount of insanity and a certain amount of wanting to ride the adrenaline levels.

    It's not undifferent from thrill seekers or even those going to amusement parks (on some level). It's all about the thrill of living on the edge.

    It actually makes sense when you think about it in that context.
     
  4. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!

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    I think this is really dependent on the personality of the superhero, and the younger they are, the more likely they are to have that kind of daredevil attitude. Teenagers think they're indestructible, which is one reason why military forces throughout history have wanted relatively young people in the front lines. The task of preparing someone for combat is easier when they already have a low sense of their own mortality. So, having a character like Robin or Batgirl enjoying the ridiculously dangerous is perfectly plausible, IMO.

    I never really got the impression that Green Arrow enjoyed being a crimefighter in quite the same way, though. If anything, I'd say that's just keeping with his inspiration from Robin Hood, who also had no super powers and was stuck in a crummy situation with little reason to be happy, but kept his roguish charm nonetheless. I think you could argue that keeping that sense of humor is a perfectly valid psychological defense mechanism when you are facing lethal peril on a daily basis.

    Besides, people are weird and I don't mind having superheroes who really seem to like being superheroes, whether they have powers or not. If every non-powered superhero was as dour and serious as Batman, I think things would be awfully boring.
     
  5. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    Fixed that for you. :)

    Basically what Ed says. There has to be a sense of fun and adventure in these shows, or else you probably drive away kids who likely aren't interested in grim tales of law enforcement.
     
  6. Silverstar

    Silverstar Game On!

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    Like others have said, first not all non-powered superheroes act like happy-go-lucky daredevils, and second, why shouldn't superheroes, powered or not, act like they're having fun? Maybe they are, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Superhero stories are supposed to contain an element of fun to them. They're escapist fiction. Sure, the "driven by angst and vengeance" shtick works for characters like Batman and Wolverine, but every superhero isn't Batman or Wolverine, and in truth even they can be portrayed as fun and have been so, as well they should be. If all we got from our costumed heroes was darkness, bitterness and angst, then superhero stories would be very boring and depressing, and kids (and adults too, for that matter) wouldn't be as attracted to them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  7. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    Superheroes are not supposed to be, "fun" unless its aimed at very little kids like Teen Titans Go and is purposely silly.

    A young teen should not be happy about jumping across rooftops and punching bad guys in the face especially since one bullet will put you out of commission. The idea of Batman putting his sidekicks into harms way makes no sense at all.
     
  8. BigFatHairyDeal

    BigFatHairyDeal Defender of the Universe

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    And I would argue that comic book superheroes were originally intended for kids. Justice League Unlimited was a rated Y7 show. The very idea of Robin and Billy Batson was intended to get younger kids more interested in the book.

    I get that comic books now are rated for teens and up, but a lot of that has to do with that the people who were buying them were the young adults who finally had disposable income and were still interested in the subject matter.
     
  9. PapaGreg

    PapaGreg Came for the ribs

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    You watched the original Teen Titans and that was fun hell in Young Justice Robin was the one who was smiling the most compared to the team
     
  10. Silverstar

    Silverstar Game On!

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    So I guess the original Superman, Batman and Marvel Cinematic Universe films all leading up to The Avengers must have been only been watched by 6-year-olds then. No way millions of adults found those films to be in any way fun.

    It makes about as much sense as 4 ordinary pet turtles getting exposed to green goo and then mutating into butt-kicking ninjas who battle against alien brains and an evil guy wearing a cheese grater suit, or a kid who changes into a lightning powered he-man possessing the attributes of legendary gods and heroes just by uttering a particular made-up word, or a scientist who morphs into a monstrous green giant whenever he gets angry. Lots of things in comic books don't make sense if you approach them logically. For those who get swept up in how "real" fictional stories are supposed to be, I usually refer them to the last verse of the MST3K theme. It's fiction, dude. Probably best not to overthink it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  11. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord

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    Disagreed. Fun superhero tales are also suitable for adults who don't take the medium too seriously as well.

    Heck, The Avengers and the other Marvel Cinematic films manage to be fun despite being aimed at the older audience.

    Agreed. And even then, I'd add that shows like X-Men and Batman TAS managed to still insert some fun into the stories, or at least not going overboard on the darker material.
     
  12. Dusty

    Dusty Superman.

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    What?... Then what are they supposed to be? Are they supposed to be boring, sad, full of nothing but angst?... Superheroes were and are meant to be fun, that's their whole existence; why they were made, (escapism and fun.) ... Does someone need a hug? j/k Cyber. ;)


    BTW fun doesn't always mean "silly" it means "enjoyment" as well. :)




    D.
     
  13. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!

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    You mean I've been doing this wrong for 30-odd years? And none of you guys TOLD ME?!? You're all fired.

    Kidding aside, I could not possibly disagree with your first statement more. As I've written before, I think the worst side-effect of the post-Alan Moore & Frank Miller superhero comic book world of the 80's was that not only could you take superheroes seriously, but you had to take them seriously, and that attitude has led (and still leads) to some truly, spectacularly awful comics. There's more than one way to do superheroes right. I like a good grim, dark, serious superhero story as much as the next guy, but I also like my Dan Slott She-Hulk or vintage 50's Superman or nutso-crazy stuff like the old school Doom Patrol or The Middleman or Runaways or The Tick (which is purposely silly, but not aimed at very little kids).

    Relating to your second point, I'd argue that the idea of Batman makes no sense at all. No way he's keeping that secret identity for longer than a few weeks given the modern surveillance state. No way he's not ending his own crimefighting career in a pool of his own blood within a week of putting the cowl on. No way he keeps doing this day after day, month after month, year after year with so little to show for it in the end. Pick anything you want about Batman and scratch hard enough, and it won't make sense at all either. And if, contrariwise, Batman's not happy about fighting crime, it's not because jumping across rooftops and punching bad guys in the face are things that makes him sad, or because he's always thinking that one bullet will put him out of commission. If that's not what makes Batman the grim, dark avenger of the night, then I don't think that's sufficient reason why his teen sidekicks can't balance him out.
     
  14. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord

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    That's certainly a factor to a degree, but I think another problem is that like some of the animation fans, some comic book fans don't settle for enjoying their hobby, but feel the need to validate it. You know, push for more "adult material" so that they can prove to their peers that comics are mature. Kind of like how a good portion of adult animation relies more on vulgar content rather than clever writing and humor.
     
  15. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    I always assumed Dick should be just as brooding as Batman. He lost his parents to crime in a similar fashion and was made an orphan.

    So why is Dick constantly shown to be cracking jokes and lighthearted when in costume no matter what show it is? Whether it was B:TAS, Teen Titans or Young Justice they always portray Dick Grayson as carefree and light spirited. He's always the source of comic relief unless there's something major going on.

    I mean if it weren't for Wally there would be no humor in DC shows either.
     
  16. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord

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    Because there are different circumstances that give him more of a reason to move on:
    A. While Bruce had Alfred, he didn't exactly have someone who shared his desire to deal with the criminal element. Dick in contrast has Bruce to provide that kindred spirit.

    B. Some interpretations of Batman tend to avoid having him confront his parents' killer, thus he lacks the closure that might soften him up (or in the case of Batman Adventures #17, Joe Chill did die in the story, but Bruce is never made aware that he killed his parents). Dick on the other hand tends to actually stop the man who killed his parents and thus has a reason not to be as brooding.

    Heck, YJ even has Batman mentioning that by taking Dick under his wing, that he won't have to turn out like him.
     
  17. trance2009

    trance2009 Fun to play with not to eat

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    All the non powered heroes have some odd Freudian reason they do what they do.
     
  18. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator

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    I seriously disagree. I don't see why Superheroes can't be fun and not aimed at really little kids. I can enjoy some of the more dark and serious superheroes, but I don't think that all Superheroes have to be like that. Teen Titans Go isn't even a good example of fun superheroes in my opinion. Based on the few episodes that I did watch, being superheroes came off as an afterthought for the characters and it was more focused on an unlikable group of kids and their wacky adventures than anything to do with being a superhero. The original Teen Titans series certainly had more fun in it than Teen Titans Go does in my opinion and it was appealing to older crowds.

    Nothing about Batman makes any logical sense when you take the time to think about it, or anything about superheroes for that matter. There comes a point where you need to have a suspension of disbelief when it comes to fiction and this is one of those cases. Besides that, I'm pretty sure that the concept of having teenagers being happy about fighting crime is at least in part so that kids could imagine themselves fighting crime and be more interested in checking out the comics.

    Dick being as brooding as Batman would feel kind of redundant. Besides that, he's able to get more closure by being able to take his parents' murderer down, while Bruce couldn't. Like Antiyonder mentioned, there was also that line from Young Justice with Batman saying that he took Dick under his wing so that he wouldn't turn out like he did, so that's another obvious indicator as to why he didn't become exactly like Batman. Plus, I thought that the concept of Robin was introduce to lighten up Batman a bit for kids, so turning him into another Batman would seem rather strange with that in mind.
     
  19. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Because it is fun. They get off on it. The danger heightens the the experience and makes them feel more alive. Alan Moore covers it pretty well in a Green Arrow/Black Canary backup story called "Night Olympics."
     
  20. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Active Member

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    Time to go waaaaaaaay old school.

    When Robin was first introduced in the Golden Age, he was referred to in the hype as "that laughing young daredevil". He always has been a free-wheeling sort.
     

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