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Why is it called "Super Hero movies" as opposed to "Comic book movies"? Reason I need to know is a lot of heroes from mythology and fiction - Beowulf, Hercules, Gilgamesh, Conan, etc.. - are super heroes of a sort, so, if I wanted to talk about the new Beowulf movie or a Hercules movie or something like that, should I do that here or on the mythology forum?
This is a question I thought would pop up, so I'm glad you asked. Basically, for now our focus is this forum is traditional superhero movies. You know, capes and spandex, that sort of thing. :bg:

Anything that doesn't fall into that category should be discussed in the general movies forum.
Tights and flights. Right. Got it.
As long as we're on this subject, maybe someone could share some insight on something I've wondered about a lot on and off at various times over the years: while the obvious analogy of modern super heroes as compared with the super heroes of antiquity is, well, obvious, i.e., Super Man, Bat Man, the Hulk, etc... could be called modern equivalents of super heroes such as Hercules, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, etc.... but the striking difference is the secret identity. 90% of comic book super heroes have a secret identity; now, can you imagine Hercules disguising himself as a mild-mannered scribe until danger strikes...
So, why do you suppose the secret identity is such an important part of modern mythos, whereas it never was prior to the early 20th century?
I think it just became a staple of the genre. If you look at the pulp magazines, which can be said to be the origins of comics in America, not all of the pulp heroes had secret identities. The Shadow did, but Doc Savage didn't.

The reasoning for a secret identity is usually to protect themselves and the ones they love from attack when the hero isn't acting in their capacity as hero. Bruce Wayne doesn't want to have to keep his guard up all the time, after all.

I don't think the mythological characters compare too well to superheroes, because even if they perform super-human feats, they do so usually with the aid of a fantastic setting or supernatural aid. Most comic book superheroes are powered by some pseudo-scientific means.
You know, I'd love to have a pulp heroes forum for those classic old-timey characters but there just are enough new books, movies, and television shows to justify it (yet).

The closest we've come is our Pulp Authors Forum, which it's hard to find a lot of topics for because there just aren't that many people who are into those old books any more.
Actually, gods in mythology often disguise themselves. Maybe there is a connection to the modern super hero's secret identity complex.
Michael Wrote:You know, I'd love to have a pulp heroes forum for those classic old-timey characters but there just are enough new books, movies, and television shows to justify it (yet).

The closest we've come is our Pulp Authors Forum, which it's hard to find a lot of topics for because there just aren't that many people who are into those old books any more.

I've started reading some the recent Doc Savage reprints by Nostalgia Ventures, but with the pile of books on my 'to read' list, it's slow going. Eventually I'd like to read lots of "The Shadow," and "G-8 and His Battle Aces."
Disguises aren't new. I think they reflect the intelligence of the character. For example Achilles hid himself for a time. Cyrano de Bergerac also hid behind an actual facade. Sherlock Holmes had various disguises.

But not necessarily alter-egos. Who fight crime.

Perhaps it's a media concern. That you could remain hidden and anonymous. Yet right out there for everyone to see. Fame and fortune while still fighting crime.
Quote:Actually, gods in mythology often disguise themselves. Maybe there is a connection to the modern super hero's secret identity complex.

The more I think about it, "secret" identities have been around for a long time. Odysseus is disguised as an old man to spy on the suitors at his home.... Aeneas pretends to be someone else when he first encounters the Carthaginians... Robin Hood pretends to be someone else in order to compete in the archery contest... Arthur jousts with Lancelot without revealing that he is king.... one of the knights (is it Galahad?) uses another name for the longest time to prove himself.... and so forth. And of course Shakespeare is all about false identities.

Granted, none of these do it as an ongoing practice, but rather just for a 1-time purpose. But each of those are complete stories, with an ending. As opposed to an ongoing series of stories.

But Zorro and the Scarlet Pimpernel both predate the comics by a few decades anyway.... and in Doyle's "Valley of Fear," the Pinkerton agent Birdy Edwards uses a secret identity to dsguise himself while undercover among the Scowrers, around the same time. In all of those, the hero maintains his disguise for months/years.

That would be a fascinating thesis for someone in Comp. Lit. (or "incomp. lit," as envious English and Classics majors used to jest) - the first secret identity in western literature.
august Wrote:That would be a fascinating thesis for someone in Comp. Lit. (or "incomp. lit," as envious English and Classics majors used to jest) - the first secret identity in western literature.

Envious, huh? I take it you were Comp Lit? :bg: I tend to agree, though...English majors are an insufferable lot. You'd think I'd fit right in, but I loathed most of the people in my own department. Might be a small part of why I still have yet to finish my degree... Rolleyes
LOL, no I was one of those Classics geeks who looked down on the Comp. Lit. people. Actually, no I didn't, but the first five times I heard that line, I thought it was funny as all getout. Wink The ensuing 50, not so much.
Boomstick Wrote:The reasoning for a secret identity is usually to protect themselves and the ones they love from attack when the hero isn't acting in their capacity as hero. Bruce Wayne doesn't want to have to keep his guard up all the time, after all.

True. But modern heroes, if they truly existed in our celebrity-driven mass media circus-type world, would have to contend with paparazzi, tabloids, and stalkers.

I think it would be awesome to see a hero that was forced to live in the same crazy world as Lindsay Lohan, and Shaq.:muahaha:


Boomstick Wrote:I don't think the mythological characters compare too well to superheroes, because even if they perform super-human feats, they do so usually with the aid of a fantastic setting or supernatural aid. Most comic book superheroes are powered by some pseudo-scientific means.

Mythological heroes, such as Hercules and Achilles, were the offspring of Gods. Modern, secular societies raised on computers, steroids, and moon landings naturally lean toward scientific reasons for heroic abilities.

Hence, the X-Men, Spiderman, Hulk, etc...

I view comic superheroes as the modern equivalents of the aforementioned mythological figures.
EDSEL_PK Wrote:I view comic superheroes as the modern equivalents of the aforementioned mythological figures.

In some regards, yes. But what we call mythology now was often part of someone's religion a few hundred years ago. I doubt that even the biggest geek lifts their head to the sky and calls on Superman for aid.
Yep, although by the time any of the stories that we have read made it into print, the creators at least knew they were making it up. Like plenty of people prayed to Zeus... but I doubt Homer really felt he was channeling his god by inventing words for him to say, that just happened to fit the meter perfectly. Wink

Quote:I think it would be awesome to see a hero that was forced to live in the same crazy world as Lindsay Lohan, and Shaq.

I didn't see it, but wasn't that Will Smith movie, Hancock, sort of like that?
august Wrote:I didn't see it, but wasn't that Will Smith movie, Hancock, sort of like that?

That's the same thing I thought, but I haven't seen it either. Iron Man kind of touched on it.

I'm not interested in seeing that aspect of it, but I'm sure some writer will dream it up. Don't be surprised if we see it in the next Batman movie.

I'm more interested in exploring good, relevant story telling within the confines of the classic, do-gooder superhero mythology. I'm tired of the incessant moral grey-zone drama comic books have been presenting for the last 10 or 15 years. I'd like to see someone tell me a story of good guys vs. bad guys, plain and simple. For all the accolades showered on the crop of industry writers out there, there's maybe five that would even want to tackle such a task, probably one or two that would do a good job.
"Hancock" was kind of a strange movie. It received a lot of criticism for introducing a major plot element late in the movie. But he was indeed sort of a "mythological" figure living in modern Earth.
I don't mind a touch of gray, morally-speaking. Moral dilemmas make for good drama, even with a do-gooder.

Think of a character like Daredevil or Batman. Essentially, they're vigilantes. But due to their morality, they are viewed as heroes. It just depends on your POV.

Punisher was more hardcore, like Charles Bronson's 'Death Wish' character. Really, more of a vigilante, and less a hero.

X-Men, for me, was fairly close to how society would treat those with special abilities. The X-Men were put into the awkward position of defending a society that didn't necessarily like them.