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JoeZhang January 6 2013 03:19 PM

Logical conclusions and superhero universes
 
Most mainstream superhero universes limit the impact of superheroes so that they remain largely 'the world outside my window' - there have been a few notable exceptions such as 'Fantastic four: Big Town' which look at the possible impacts of advanced technology on an alternative Marvel Universe and also WildCats 3.0 which looked at how Spartan used advanced technology to try and change the world (by inventing things such as unlimited batteries).

So if the marvel and DC universes were real - what sort of social/technological changes would you expect to see? (leaving aside the fact that earth would be a likely hell-hole with a wrecked economy if everything wasn't destroyed)

Off the top of my head -

* Moon would surely be inhabited by mankind, if not further given that humans routinely have access to FTL technology

* The question of Alien life would be a settled one - surely only such much "it's a fake" that people can suggest given the amount of evidence in both worlds

* Energy would be cheap and plentiful

* Religious matters would be even more disputed than now - with people claiming that characters like Thor are demons and the like

* Increased numbers of people worships polytheistic religions?

FPAlpha January 6 2013 03:40 PM

Re: Logical conclusions and superhero universes
 
I'm a pessimist at heart and first thing that comes to mind are military issues.

Which nation has the most powerful superheroes? They will replace the nuclear arsenal as the method of deterrent and in the case of single persons like Superman could tip the scale decisively on who gets to be a superpower or not.

I'd also think that military budgets would have sizeable chunks of it sunk into genetics and/or biotechnology research to be able to produce powers on demand.

Socially i think our world would be wrecked when the first Supervillains with global powers appear, i.e. powers that are way beyond a normal humans abilities or ability to counter such as Superman.
The first time someone like that would kill some civilians the world would explode in demands or regulation and/or "permanent solutions" like methods to remove superpowers or prison for life (real life sentences and not those you get out of after 25 years). People are on principle distrustful or more powerful people.. in our age that means those hulking bodybuilder types. Now imagine if this guy is normally built (maybe athletic) but who could throw you to the next city or fly through a mountain.

In that regard Marvel's Civil War was brilliant in bringing up these issues (whatever you think of the practical execution) in that it posed the question what would happen if Supervillains become a true danger to Average Joe (something all comics neglected when they let their Superheroes battle it out in densely populated areas).

On the more positive side i think those Heroes who use their powers responsibly could improve lives tremendously. Think of a person whose abilities it is to make plants grow.. he'd make a fortune working for a wood company or on a wider scope send him to the rainforest and let him re-forest the entire area over time.. he'd pretty much be able to set his own salary.
Then there are people like X-Men's Forge who instinctively can invent new technology or actively analyze existing ones.. he'd be set for life in any technology company improving their products at an astounding rate.

Caliburn24 January 6 2013 04:27 PM

Re: Logical conclusions and superhero universes
 
Democracy would collapse as any sort of meaningful political ideal.

When certain individuals are clearly superior(with both the brainpower and strength to back it up) why would they want to obey the powerless masses? Even if the Prof. X's of the world would submit to it, the Magneto's wouldn't.

I think a sort of neo-feudalism would tend to emerge, as nations collapse, and populations fall in under one super-powered being or another.

There would also be a huge surge and revitalization of the eugenics movement(if superpowers can breed true) creating a new institutionalized racism worldwide, as everyone tries to breed better, more powerful individuals.

Gov Kodos January 6 2013 04:32 PM

Re: Logical conclusions and superhero universes
 
Are we talking a world where one kind of superhero predominates? Tech heros like Ironman or Batman, accidental ones like Spiderman or Flash, or born to power like Superman or Thor? One kind predominating might have predictable results- tech or accidents will have copycats or attempts to recreate the accidents, natural ones might have more paranoia about elite heroes, as well as slavish or cult followers trying to assert a creed of behavior based on the natural superior or opponent to the super being.

Mr. Laser Beam January 6 2013 07:28 PM

Re: Logical conclusions and superhero universes
 
Quote:

Caliburn24 wrote: (Post 7495492)
Democracy would collapse as any sort of meaningful political ideal.

When certain individuals are clearly superior(with both the brainpower and strength to back it up) why would they want to obey the powerless masses? Even if the Prof. X's of the world would submit to it, the Magneto's wouldn't.

Exactly. That's why I sided with Senator Kelly in the first X-Men film, for example. How can there be any privacy in a world where telepaths exist? And how can you protect against characters who can shape shift (impersonating anyone they want) or walk through walls (thus being able to steal whatever they want)?

The simple fact is, people who can do anything will do everything. The existence of mutants would only make the problem worse.

Icemizer January 7 2013 01:30 PM

Re: Logical conclusions and superhero universes
 
I think those thinking that democracy or any government would collapse are way off base. Huge armies exist today with weapons of mass destruction and are held in check by other armies with weapons of mass destruction.(Super simplified yes I know) The same would hold true in a world populated with super villians and super heroes. They would hold each other in check. Sure you have a Doom in Latveria but you would have a SHIELD or Checkmate to keep tabs on them and keep them in line.
More worrisome is the introduction of super technologies into the economic structure of the planet. Unstable molecules would severly alter the clothing industry. Teleportation would ruin the shipping industry. There would need to be a ban on laser weapons. Gene altering chemicles would need to be kept in lockdown least the entire population mutate.

Caliburn24 January 7 2013 05:23 PM

Re: Logical conclusions and superhero universes
 
Quote:

Icemizer wrote: (Post 7499248)
I think those thinking that democracy or any government would collapse are way off base. Huge armies exist today with weapons of mass destruction and are held in check by other armies with weapons of mass destruction.(Super simplified yes I know) The same would hold true in a world populated with super villians and super heroes. They would hold each other in check. Sure you have a Doom in Latveria but you would have a SHIELD or Checkmate to keep tabs on them and keep them in line.

Except that nations and governments have numerous internal checks, balances and innate stability that super-powered individuals(often with extreme traumatic experiences in their pasts) would not have. You have power that in some cases would compare to weapons of mass destruction, and are giving it to people with no accountability or responsibility to anyone but themselves.

I do think a lot of governments and nations would collapse in such an environment. As more and more 2nd, and 3rd world nations realize they can't deal with certain super-powered individuals, the UN would probably be asked to step in. The UN would probably gain much enhanced powers, maybe even becoming a sort of one-world government, complete with its own military and teams of supers to bring worldwide stability.

JarodRussell January 7 2013 05:27 PM

Re: Logical conclusions and superhero universes
 
Well, it would be fun once in a while if someone with the bank account of Bill Gates didn't give a single flying fuck and interfered in hot spots like Syria, and that doesn't even have to be military actions. A lot of problems in this world are just there because of the inactivity of nations. While the UN does nothing, hundred thousand people die just like that. Sometimes it would be refreshing if someone actually had the ability to shake these things up.

That's the essence of any super hero, someone who is not part of the same old ineffective and corrupt system and does the right thing at the right time.

Just recently I had a nice talk with my nephew. "Why doesn't Santa come to everyone's houses and take their guns away?" It would be so simple, wouldn't it? That's what a superhero would do. Like Superman single handedly got rid of all nuclear weapons in that one film.




I don't think nations would collapse because of that. I think most countries would start attacking that guy because, even if he was 100% good and always did the right thing, he'd be a great pain in the ass of the leaders.


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