Friday, November 09, 2007

I underestimate how much I love superheroes

The work I've done recently has really made me think about superheroes. I'm using that word extremely loosely. What I mean is characters with super powers. They don't have to be vigilantes or act particularly heroic.

I think the word typically evokes costumed heroes with super powers, but I'm mostly interested in the problems and issues of made-up powers.

Apparently I'm not the only one, because the extremely well done show Heroes has a bunch of powered individuals, none of whom is a traditional superhero. I guess they can get away with that since they have folks trying to save the's not about vigilantism but about conflicts between various people with genetically-derived powers.

But they first thing they dropped were costumes, possibly the least sensible part of the traditional hero idea.

I've been wondering what it would be like to receive powers in a world that lacked the fictional universe of superheroes that American comic books provide. Even with that fictional model, I think anyone who received a sudden infusion of superness would think twice before acting as a vigilante. I expect folks would commonly use their powers for gain or to rescue people, but I can't see many folks skipping sleep like Spiderman habitually does to stop a jewel thief or whatnot.

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