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    Question Super-heroes...



    A question to all who might be interested in thinking about it - why is that the Super-hero genre, so popular in USA and, to a lesser but still significant degree, UK, but not too much in Europe?

    And... could there be any connection between that and the widespread new theory that «Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus»? Or that most of the contemporary Western military power is from USA and UK?

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    The variety of genres in European comics, and particularly Franco-Belgian comics, is enormous - about the same as literature or cinema. I think that is the major difference. Growing up with all that diversity, few European kids feel attracted by super-hero comics. In my opinion super-hero comics are among the most boring and repetitive there is. I didn't mind them until about 8 years old, then got seriously fed up. I don't understand how so many adults still read them or watch cinema adaptations (except Batman, which is more realistic and closer to the James Bond genre).

    I have always been a fan of realistic, historical comics. But those that I liked when I was a child aren't the same as those as read as a teenager or as an adult. American comics don't have a clear-cut separation between children and adult publications.
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    Well, many if not most of the American super-hero comics are not of excellent quality, but that's beside the point. The issue is not about quality, but about genre.

    Super-hero comics is based in a character that haves capabilities above the human level and that regularly fights for an ethic or otherwise meritory cause. Now, that is quite ancient in Europe - Hercules was, so to speak, the first (Western) super-hero. Meanwhile, the Celtic Gods of Ireland behave a lot like super-heroes - over-humans with special and fantastic weaponry and adventures.
    Also, the super-hero is, to some extent, a contemporary version of the European knight: a lone warrior, fighting for the Good, dressed in a shinning armour (Super-hero suits are always quite shiny).

    As for the quality, well, all levels of quality are possible in virtually every genre. Cheap American movies about Vietnam belong to the «War» genre, but so does the Iliad, which happens to be the first and perhaps greatest European literary work.
    And, for the record, there were great masterpieces in the American comics, such as «Batman Dark Knight» (Frank Miller) and «Watchmen» and «The League of the Extraordinary Gentlemen», made by an European working in American, the English Alan Moore (interestingly, the heroes of the «League» are European, and a sort of first super-heroes of the contemporary age).

    Now, the question remains: why isn't there in European comics a troop of shining armoured champions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tautalos View Post
    Super-hero comics is based in a character that haves capabilities above the human level and that regularly fights for an ethic or otherwise meritory cause.
    The USA is still a deeply religious society (overall, there are many exceptions) with a simplistic black-and-white vision of the forces of good and evil (remember G. W. Bush's speech about the axis of evil and how he was re-elected ?). Super-hero comics are just a reflection of that kind of mentality. As you rightly noted, it echoed medieval stories of knights in shinning armour fighting the good (or what they believe is the good ).

    European bandes dessinées do not have this dichotomy about good and evil. They are either funny* (Asterix, Quick & Flupke, Gaston Lagaffe, Boule & Bill, Agent 212, Le Petit Spirou), fantastic (The Smurfs, Spike & Suzy), sci-fi (The Scrameustache, Apocalypse Mania) or realistic. The realistic category is the most common for teenagers and adults and can be subdivided in historical ( Les Tuniques Bleus, Le Scorpion, Giacomo C., India Dreams) and adventure/action (Tintin, XIII, Largo Winch, Alpha, I.R.$., Niklos Koda). Some historical comics for adults verge on the cynical in their realism (Murena, Djinn, Sophaletta, Les Maîtres de l'Orge).

    * hence the term "comic book"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tautalos View Post
    ....why is that the Super-hero genre, so popular in USA and, to a lesser but still significant degree, UK, but not too much in Europe?
    In the UK there are domestic comics such as The Beano and The Dandy.

    These have a distinctly British Identity, in Scotland there is also the Broons



    They are less popular today and tend to be bought by parents in nostalgia for their kids, they dont really compete with modern forms of entertainment.

    In terms of the super hero element, I don't know if its worth making a cultural generalisation. Most forms of entertainment can be identified as some type of escapism, were people look to escape the reality of every day life. The super hero template plays into every childs imagination, these comics have become huge brands, and I'm sure films like Spider Man and Batman have done very well all over Europe.

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    I feel that in the UK we like our heroes to be more grounded in reality and darker rather than have some clean cut superhero. I have looked over various US heroes and while Batman has a dark nature he still has a very defined moral code. Off the top of my head the only one who kills criminals is the Punisher. Yet in UK comics, especially in 2000AD the heroes are more real, more human. My favourite is Judge Dredd. Some times he is the clear hero in the story and other times he is the face of oppression (see America).
    Johnny Alpha as a whole is a very immoral character. He is a bounty hunter who does not baulk at killing rather than take them alive. Can you imagine Superman, Spiderman doing that?

    Now that a few british artists and writer are now producing some of the Marvel/DC output it is noticable that some of the clean cut US heroes are starting to become darker, more human

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    My superhero is Captain John H. Miller from Saving Private Ryan, played by Tom Hanks. Great people in extraordinary situations doing their job right.
    I never understood the fascination with supernatural powers, maybe a little when I was a kid and though it was real.
    The only superhero movie I can watch is the Fifth Element, but mostly for visuals, music, and exceptional humor with greatly defined characters.

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    Come now, people, it seems that all of you are pointing to the concept that fantasy is inherently childish, while realism is adult. That's quite a simplistic and biased approach. Disney comics like Mickey Mouse are quite realistic, and even anti-magic, while pieces of literature like Alice in Wonderland, Gulliver, Tolkien's works, the Baron of Munchausen, Grimm's stories, not to mention the ancient Pagan myths, are excellent examples of the best fantasy - and they are deeply European.

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    I have nothing against people enjoying these stories. Maybe it's me, I'm completely missing spirituality gen, or superhero gen, not sure.

    My other example of superhero: Jean Luke Picard interrogated by cardassians. "How many lights do you see?" Well written, great piece of psychology with a twist ending.

    Upsetting part for me would be if Superman flew in and saved him at the end.

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    I don't know.



    Yes! Get your hands off that Van Gogh!

    You evil people! And don't even think about using that smoke grenade! Don't you know that then we will not be able to see anything? You must be stopped!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Folkesson View Post


    WATCH OUT CAPTAIN EURO!!!!

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    some of our heroes:


    francisco de miranda, heroe of the independence war


    simon bolivar

    hugo chavez frias

    the rest of the series, all them heroes from the time of the colonization to the independence. from guaicaipuro to simon bolivar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canek View Post
    some of our heroes...
    So you're finally announcing that you're Venezuelan? Or you just admire Venezuelans?

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    francisco mirando also intervined in the colombian independence not only venezuela.. they are heroes of all the latin american people not only venezuela... i'm showing this because (unfortunatly) others latin american countries are not so compromised as venezuela in teaching children about their national heroes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canek View Post
    francisco mirando also intervined in the colombian independence not only venezuela.. they are heroes of all the latin american people not only venezuela... i'm showing this because (unfortunatly) others latin american countries are not so compromised as venezuela in teaching children about their national heroes...
    Understood. In the US, we don't often hear about Latin American heroes in school, other than maybe Pancho Villa. I would be interested in hearing about more.

    I notice that you express a greater degree of pan-Latin American solidarity than I normally hear from other Latin Americans. I've always thought things like disputes between Mexicans and Guatemalans to be unfortunate.

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    unfortunatly you're right... there is some stupid disputes still going on in latin america between neighbours... but i'm confident that things will get better in time. look at the UNASUR for example.

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    Yet, another attept of derail a good thread by @Canek...

    Because it push in the face of others a theme that is not what the user that opened this thread intented: To know why super-hero comics are so much less prevalent in Europe as in the USA.

    (I will report, in a mild manner, this attemt).

    What follows, should be to discuss in each individual country of Europe, which super-heroes, if any, they have and how they compare in inportance with US super-heroes.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Regarding the content of what @Canek said, I will admit that I see as a positive thing to have "action heroes" from the historical figures in Latin America. Nationalism (in the positive sense) is still very weak in Latin America, so anything we could do to boost that, is appreciated.

    On the other hand, we follow the model of super-heroes a la USA, and even I have one or two favorites...

    http://eldelgado.deviantart.com/art/...by-LP-12372328
    http://e621.net/post/show/118508/cap...allo-ultrapato
    http://e621.net/post/show/117833/avi...hero-ultrapato


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    reinaert forget about me and talk about the topic, can you? thanks.

    I will admit that I see as a positive thing to have "action heroes" from the historical figures in Latin America. Nationalism (in the positive sense) is still very weak in Latin America, so anything we could do to boost that, is appreciated.
    of course it is. the world is too much influenced by the noth-american and european culture. some examples:



    the next movies from hollywood: thor (scandinavian deity) and captain america. if others do it why can't we?

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    @Canek...

    The topic is HERE: http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26365

    Why do you avoid it?

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    reinaert i think you are already banned, harassing me is not going to improve your situation. man up and stop ruining threads.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    i guess that USA's cult of super heroes has something to do with so called american dream .. success at all costs..one man against all odds wins and becomes super man...

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    Quote Originally Posted by howyesno View Post
    i guess that USA's cult of super heroes has something to do with so called american dream .. success at all costs..one man against all odds wins and becomes super man...
    I see, they shouldn't have bombed Serbia. ;)

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    Superman is my one-love hero. He's always been! S - for hope

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    I am an occasional consumer of superheroes, therefore not particularly qualified to discuss them.
    But if I have to praise them, I will certainly send them to Wolverine and Wonder Woman.


    The first one because despite being a mutant, he remains very human in his character and his stories (he is shy, rude, quite allergic to razor, he drinks, he smokes ...).




    The second one because I have always been in love with that Amazon ;)


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