Re: What are some issues/lackings/annoying tropes/overdone cliches/etc. in super hero fiction?

#5
Capes and teams. Oh man, it's always the same thing where it becomes a world filled with heroes and villains, and the heroes have a team called the Protectors or the Justicars or something and they have really good press but actually there is tension bubbling at the surface... and then said team consists of cheap expies of Marvel and DC heroes.

The worst sin for superhero stories for me is when they feel like they are ripping off Marvel or DC. Those universes have so much ridiculous, stupid lore behind them that makes them so interesting, and unfortunately any other superhero universe simply isn't going to have the ability to build an 80-year history from scratch. So it has to be done a different way or it won't grab me.

Re: What are some issues/lackings/annoying tropes/overdone cliches/etc. in super hero fiction?

#6
I think this genre built on cliché. The secret identity, the costumes, the trauma that makes a hero realise his responsibility, etc. I don't think it is bad, actually. Maybe don't look at them as clichés, but traditions. 
As of the powers... I really don't think a superheroes needs a new, flashy new power nobody ever seen before. The costumes, names, powers all just background, the character and its stories what matters. 

Re: What are some issues/lackings/annoying tropes/overdone cliches/etc. in super hero fiction?

#9

MuralBoi Wrote: The title says it all. I am just trying to acquire some people's thoughts on the topic.


Here is a short list:

1) The main challenge in a superhero story is that it's very easy to create powers that are too unbalanced and broken, which will make it very difficult for the author to keep everything under control.
2) with super powers, there is a profound impact on the whole society, technological, medical and political. Will you be able to manage all the consequences in a credible way to create a realistic world?
3) Forget about superheroes, in the real world if people like that existed, the majority of them would use their power for their own benefit and heroes would be a minority among super humans. Why would they do that? Because our world is profoundly unjust and inegalitarian by its very nature. Another result would be very difficult to believe, unless you could create a set of script justifications for it.

4) Um... actually, just thinking about it, the list is so long that it discourages me from even thinking about it, so write it down... lol. But if you're able to get past the basics, whether you skillfully hide them or through intelligent world building, you could write a story worth reading.

Re: What are some issues/lackings/annoying tropes/overdone cliches/etc. in super hero fiction?

#10
Since the 90s there's been a trend of deconstructing the genre where authors try to envision the consequences of having powers on society as a whole.  I hate this trope.  It always leads to plotlines where governments are "secretly" evil, the strongest villains have non-combat powers, and a ton of the story turns in exposition about how the "superhero registration committee" exists, how powers work, and how society reacts to superpowers.  Most of these things are not about superheroes!  They're just excuses to write drama and do worldbuilding in a setting that is inherently somewhat ridiculous because you have superpowers.  Like, realism is great and you can write good stories but at the same time how much do you actually need in a setting where people can fly?  Personally, I'm happy with a semi-coherent hand-waving over the entire plotlines authors tend to dedicate to these things.

It's also a hotbed for cookie cutter stories because in worlds like this you HAVE to team up or you will be outclassed so everyone is in a team of some kind.  There is always some world conspiracy ending threat, even the mindless kill everything villains are secretly a part of this wider conspiracy somehow.  There will always be an extended plotline involving the government making the MC's life hell "because laws" or some other dumb thing.  There will always be a plotline about how the government wants the super to come work for them for some vague reason.  There will be a chapter explaining how people research powers and what the scientists have discovered about rules for powers, etc. etc.

I think deconstructions are pretty much played out by this point.  Most of the interesting ideas have been done and done well enough that there's no real point in rehashing them again but people still do it over and over and over again.