They are going ahead with a Justice League movie

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Flying Spaghetti Monster, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    Well, yeah.

    I always thought the JL cartoon did a good job of showing their powers but not making it easy.



    BWAH HAH HAH HAH.
     
  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    He just needs to be the fastest man alive to be the Flash.

    It's not really a handicap if that how the character is presented.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    At that time, in the '70s, that was much less the case than it had been a decade or two earlier. Marvel's comics had become more intelligent and sophisticated starting in the '60s, and by the '70s DC was catching up, but it was some time more before animation started to catch up with the trend. Superfriends, for most of its run, was far younger-skewing and far stupider than the comics being published at the same time.

    Although the last season or two in the mid-'80s, retitled Super Powers Team as a toy tie-in, became somewhat more sophisticated and closer to the comics -- and the story editor on those seasons, Alan Burnett, went on to become one of the key creators behind Batman: The Animated Series and the rest of the DCAU in the '90s-'00s.


    Actually I think there's a very good reason, if you take a more realistic approach to the physics of it than the comics usually do. Even if you set aside the biological improbabilities and assume a character could move and think with such incredible speed, there's also the issue of how that would affect the surrounding environment. Running at hundreds of km/h could leave hurricane-force winds in your wake. Try grabbing your damsel in distress and yanking her from a standstill to such a high velocity in a split-second and you'll liquefy her internal organs with the acceleration, if your arms don't simply tear right through her.

    And when something cuts through the atmosphere fast enough, it compresses the air in front of it faster than it can be pushed aside, and that heats it considerably. Run at thousands of km/h and you'd heat the air to plasma and have a deadly fireball preceding you. Then there are the limits of gravity to consider. Hit 29,000 km/h (about 8 km/s) and you'll be at orbital velocity and won't be able to keep your feet on the ground -- and get to 39,600 km/h (11 km/s) and you'll reach escape velocity and go flying off into space.

    So it's easy to impose practical limits on speedsters if you make a few concessions to realism -- much as The Avengers limited how high the Hulk could jump so that it wouldn't look too ridiculous. It's easier to sell the really absurd stuff in cartoon form than in (apparent) live action.

    It's basically the "world of cardboard" principle, to take the term from Superman's speech in the final Justice League Unlimited episode. Superman could exert far more power than he usually does, but he holds back because doing so would cause too much destruction to the environment and people around him. He only cuts loose with his full abilities when the stakes are so high that he has no alternative. (The same principle comes into play in the recent DVD movie Superman vs. the Elite.) You could easily say the same about the Flash -- that he can run as fast as he needs to (short of orbital velocity, at least), but generally keeps it slower out of concern for the safety of the people he's interacting with or the bystanders in the area.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    I know, I was there. ;)
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    If you know, then why did you make such an incorrect statement in the first place?
     
  6. Icemizer

    Icemizer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    I would hope we could get away from the "realistic" version of things and truely enjoy our superfriends and their amazing abilities to the full. Let Marvel make the real, give us the legendary.
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    Because it is a correct statement. The JLA was a comic targeted for children. I know, because as a child in the 1960s I read the JLA comic. There were elements that teens and adults might get, but the core audience was intended to be children. Yes,Marvel and later DC began to increase those elements but even in the early 70s the idea that kids were the primary audience was still prevalent.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    But the point is that there's a story issue here, as we've been discussing -- making the heroes too powerful is weak storytelling because it makes it too easy for them to save the day, or makes it inconsistent when they fail to fix a problem as easily as they should be able to. I'm not saying they should take a more credible approach for its own sake, but because it's a handy solution to that storytelling problem: it gives you ready-made limits that you can impose on the characters and thereby make it more credible that they're facing real challenges, and more interesting as a story because they have to be creative to solve their problems rather than just, say, repairing the Great Wall of China by throwing a stern glare at it.

    Too many people think that science and credibility are a straitjacket to storytelling. In my career I've always found them to be just the opposite -- a source of new solutions and new possibilities, a foundation that lets you build higher.


    But that still isn't a fair comparison, because it gives the grossly incorrect impression that Superfriends at the time was written at anywhere near the same level as the Justice League comics at the time. They were worlds apart. Even the "kid-oriented" comics of the '50s and '60s weren't as dumbed-down, superficial, and sanitized of violence as Superfriends was. At least in the comics, the characters actually had secret identities and lives outside of their hero roles. At least in the comics they had some semblance of actual personality. At least in the comics they were competently drawn. There is just no comparison between the crap that was Superfriends and the comics it was based on, regardless of the age of the target audience.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    My comment was directed at the statement "You got to admit the concept of the justice league is fairly juvenile."
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Oh. I didn't notice that. Perhaps because it doesn't make any sense. It's a fantasy concept, but that doesn't make it intrinsically juvenile. Mars was completely off base with that statement.

    Besides, the JL was the descendant of the Justice Society from the '40s, and in those days, while comics were certainly written to be accessible for children, they were by no means exclusively for children. They didn't really have the same sense of narrowcasting we have today, that notion that something made with children in mind is somehow excluding adults. Things like comics and theatrical cartoon shorts were made with both children and adults in mind, and were highly popular among both. It's true that Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent led to self-imposed industry censorship that stripped comics of much of their adult appeal in the '50s and '60s, but I don't think it's fair to say that the concept of the JSA or JLA was intrinsically aimed at children. Heck, the concept of legendary superhuman heroes banding together in a common cause goes back to the ancient myth of Jason and the Argonauts, or to Gilgamesh teaming up with Enkidu.
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    I think comics in the 40s, 50s and 60s were written with the idea children would be reading them. And to the public's mind they were thought of as Juvenile fiction. Just as Harry Potter is Juvenile fiction, though I read them as a man in his 40s. That juvenile appeal is why "Think about the Children!" type campaigns against comics in the 50s and Potter in the last decade have made the news. Many libraries still file all comics under Young Adult fiction. Is Watchmen really a YA title?

    The JLA and the JSA were super heroes, which is a fairly juvenile wish fulfillment fantasy concept. Some of the people creating comic were barley out of their teens. Some like Joe Kubert were teenagers. Yes super heroes are inspired by myth and legend, including the Argonaunts, the Round Table and the Merry Men but they were still written with a young audience in mind.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Even if that's true, it still has nothing to do with Superfriends. It's invalid to suggest that the market for the television show was determined by the market for the comics. Different media have different target audiences -- that's the whole point of doing different media adaptations of a franchise, to expose it to new audiences. So the target demographics for one interpretation can be completely different from those for another one. That's why today we have comics that have gotten profoundly adult-oriented to the point that they're thoroughly inappropriate for children, while at the same time their animated adaptations are quite child-directed. The divide between comics and animation wouldn't have been nearly so extreme in the '70s, but there were still clear differences in what audiences they were targeting. Each one was an independent creation with its own demographic and economic considerations independently shaping its choices. Therefore, it is wrong to say that the target age group of the comics had any bearing whatsoever on the target age group of the show. The target age group of any Saturday morning animated show of the '70s would've been children even if it had been based on something strictly for adults.
     
  13. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6deDMtw0OJ4[/yt]

    :lol:
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    Well, I haven't really been discussing Super Friends. Other than mentioning is was a TV show aimed at juveniles based on a comic book that was originally aimed at juveniles, it hasn't come up in my posts.

    I was thirteen when it came out. Probably on the edge its targeted audience. That's usually the age were comics and cartoons fade away as an interest for many kids. But being a JLA fan, I watched it and found it bland, especially compared to the comics and the cartoons I watched when younger.
     
  15. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    I believe the idea was that comic books were a kind of picture book, thereby comparable to such works as The Cat in the Hat, and those of Clifford the giant red dog. When I was young and just learning to read, I had lots of picture books including some of various Grimm Faerie Tales, those picture books were easier for me to comprehend because it contained fewer words and had pictures so I could imagine the situation being described in text. I am of the older generation (45 years old) and I have to admit, getting caught reading a comic book is still something of an embarrassment to me. I read novels without pictures just fine, but sometimes those comic book stories are a bit intriguing, its a pity these characters aren't written about more often in novel form, the comic book format is somewhat limiting, and I find the stories in them sometimes kind of compressed, because the artists and authors have only so many frames to tell their story in, comic book heroes tend to be 90% punch and 10% talk. In a novel, superheroes can be more philosophical, there is still plenty of action, but there is also a lot of mystery solving, the structure is closer to a James Bond Movie, the characters try to figure things out, then they get in trouble and have to use their superpowers to get out of it. I think it took the comic book publishers a while to realize that adults were also reading their books, then we start having comic books that get a bit too graphic for children.
     
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Out of my brain on the 5:15
    They were based on comic strips. Some of the first comic books were comic strips reprinted in magazine form. The level of writing varied from character to character.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    That's ridiculous. That's like assuming that because Teletubbies and Dora the Explorer are TV shows, all TV shows must be for toddlers. Or that since Penthouse and Hustler magazines are porn, then Life and National Geographic must be porn too. It's a spurious confusion of the medium with its content.


    Well, I'm only a bit younger, and it doesn't embarrass me at all. Comic books are a medium, not a genre. They're a delivery system for stories, like television or novels or plays, and like those, they're not the least bit limited in what kind of stories they can tell. Over the decades, there have been comics written with every age group and audience in mind, just as there have been books and movies and plays and TV shows made with every audience in mind.

    As stated above, the first comic books were compilations of newspaper comic strips, which were aimed at all ages. A lot of them were written for children, but others, like the EC horror and satire comics of the '40s and '50s, were written with more adult audiences in mind. (My father used to have some old issues of comics like Panic and MAD -- in its original form as a comic before it became a magazine -- and they had lots of adult humor, sexually suggestive cartoons, and the like, sedate by modern standards but quite risque for the era.) The accusations in the '50s that comics were contributing to youth delinquency (propagated by people making the same mistake I'm hearing here, assuming that all comics were meant for kids, even the clearly adult ones) led to the institution of the Comics Code and an era of censorship that reduced most mainstream comics to inoffensive kid stuff (while more adult comics were driven underground and became even more graphic and subversive, as for example the work of R. Crumb). But that started to give way in the '60s and '70s. Then the '80s gave us seminal works like Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns which deconstructed the sensibilities of prior comics from a far more adult and cynical standpoint, and comics creators thereafter embraced the darker aspects of those works, making comics more and more violent and graphic and extreme and very, very much not suitable for children, to the point that one of the main problems the comics industry faces today is that its readership is shrinking because of a lack of comics aimed at new, young readers.

    And then you have countries like Japan and France and Italy where comics have never been limited to a single age group. In Japan, comics are widely read by all demographics and can be about anything from cute talking animals to teen romance to golf and tennis to history to science fiction and fantasy to hardcore fetish porn. As I said, they're not a genre, they're a medium, and they can encompass all genres.


    There are movie heroes that are like that too, but not all movies are like that. The problem is that too many Americans think all comics are superhero comics. That's not true at all. There are comics about all sorts of other subjects; you just have to look beyond DC and Marvel and see what else is out there.

    There are superhero comics that get very philosophical. A lot of them are just shallow action, but again, it's Sturgeon's Law: most of what you get in any medium, any genre, is going to be forgettable, but some of it is going to be superior, exceptional work. There are countless bad or shallow superhero comics, but there's also Watchmen and Marvels and the like. You just have to let go of stereotyping and judge the works individually rather than damning whole categories.
     
  18. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Location:
    Kansas City
    The darker tones and subjects in the (excluding much of the Silver and Bronze Age bullshit pressured on by the CCA) also pretty much makes Comic Books a bit different than picture book learners for children or any child's book containing pictures.

    Sequential Art story telling is hardly just for kids.
     
  19. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Hotel Transylvania
    The problem with a Justice League movie is that Super Friends exists. When people think of JL, they think of how campy and stupid Super Friends was and not the recent more modern JL cartoons.

    Joss Whedon pretty much had a clean slate with the Avengers, who were not that well known outside the comic book fans.
     
  20. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Hotel Transylvania
    Funny. I thought being "realistic" was Nolan's gimmick with Batman?
     

Share This Page