Friday, August 2

The Real World vs. the Comic Book World

When comic book fans get together there is always debate about what the super hero would do in such and such situation. There is endless discussion about their abilities, battles and personalities. What's most incredulous - to me anyway - is how these fans debate about the comic book heroes as if they existed in our world. They can't.

The epic battles alone defy the current laws of physics. Then there is the matter of insurance liability for all the damage they inflict, social paranoia at the existence of meta humans, the reaction of the military and the media circus their appearance would create. None of it rings true for this world.

Fans of comic/graphic books often complain movie adaptations aren't faithful if every element  isn't depicted exactly as the original source,  it's disappointing. The disclaimer " I guess they can't show it the way it is in the comics -but still" is just another kind let down.

News flash- it's fiction people. Movies has limited time to tell a story-hence the use of  compression. Many elements can't be depicted because of money, safety and logic. The limitation is the comic book world (CBW) and the real world (RW) are two very different things.

Not matter how much suspension of belief is used the depiction still has to operate with consistent rules. Film makers are notorious for making up rules then promptly ignoring them when they are inconvenient to the plot or the film making process. Fans of sci-fi and fantasy are an intelligent lot. They don't appreciate bad science, faulty logic and capricious rules of physics.They can pick them apart. They know the difference and therein lies the problem. As I said, the CBW and RW are inconsistent with each other so there's trouble when fans attempt to reconcile the two and their logic can be as sloppy as the film makers.

Fans complain about the plot holes in Superman Man of Steel as if he existed in this world but he doesn't. Deep down there is the subconscious wish that the CBW is possible. A desire so keen that when the RW rears it's ugly head, it's reminder to the fan of the impossibility of that wish.

But this is all academic like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. We are talking about fictional characters in a made up world and arguing about how their reality violates ours.

If CBW fans so desire to have that world like this one it's not by wishing the movies were "more accurate" or for a real world super hero, but by adopting the values and ethics these heros are trying to impart to the reader. Honesty, optimism, and justice. By understanding the the consequences of your actions you can be Superman simply by acting like him in your daily life.

No comments: