Monday, October 8, 2012

Use the whole buffalo

Right, so one of the biggest problems I have with all super hero stories is that they don't do a very good job of actually using their powers (I'm looking at you Hal Jordan). Now I understand that part of it is that comic book writers and illustrators are still trying to tell a good story, but every time I see Green Lantern make a fist with his power ring, I cringe. Could we be less imaginative? I guess the gun is an okay step up, but it still lacks imagination.

I have to confess, Green Lantern might actually be one of my very favorite comic books, but it really has some problems: unimaginative heroes. I mean really, all they would need is to make a pebble out of their will power inside the heart of a bad guy, and viola, big fight scene done.

Okay, it doesn't make a very good comic book, but seriously? I get tired of watching them slug it out with their fists when really all they need is one good solar flare to take care of all the bad guys on that one planet (no really, there's a scene where all the bad guys are on one planet, and they don't nuke the planet because they don't have the fire power). I mean really, did they forget that E=MC^2?

Then there's the last airbender. They really do it right. The benders use their powers for all kinds of things, in all kinds of ways. When I first saw water bending my first thought was that the body is almost 80% water, but I stored it away under the "this is a kid's show and they'll never go there." Then they went there with the blood benders. I was shocked. It was awesome.

So yeah, basically, it boils down to this: your characters don't need more powers, they just need to get creative with the powers they have. And if you want to see what it would be like for a firebender in the morning, just check out this video, I promise you won't be disappointed.

20 comments:

  1. The plot holes in most comics are so big you drive several trucks through them. But it's fiction and fun, so who cares.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE comic books. And I HATE their terrible plot holes. I spend a lot of time looking the other way when it comes to comic books because I love them.

      Delete
  2. love last airbender! it has everything!
    and when the science is plausible a story works, when the writer doesnt care to research, it shows!
    you can be my fact checker reference!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last Airbender is awesomesauce on toast. And I'll fact check for you anytime. I have to use my powers of science for good after all. Otherwise, I'll go evil scientist...

      Delete
  3. Haven't seen any of these shows, but I love the message. It can soooo be used with our writing! We always need to be thinking of how to create a new twist on what's already been done. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely an important thing to keep in mind because it really pulls the reader out of the story if there's one simple way to use a power to solve all the problems. I've seen it in a lot of books and makes me throw them.

      Delete
  4. Such a good point! And I've always been amazed at how creative The Last Airbender has been with using their powers. So clever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the way they use their powers in the last airbender. I love it because it seems like how people really would use powers like that. Love that show.

      Delete
  5. Ironic that you've mentioned this. I'm dealing with "superpower" issues in my WIP and my main concern is that the powers aren't woven intricately enough into the plot. So maybe I just need to think about how they can use their powers creatively.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, now there's a problem for sure, putting a power into the plot can be tough. I have no way to help you because I once came up with a plot to use a power that would evolve towards the end, but when I got to the end with it's almost mystical reveal, I realized the power in it's most basic, unevolved form could do the same thing. No mystical reveal. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

      Delete
  6. What a great point my dear! I need to read The Last Airbender...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See the Last Airbender (though they do have some comic books which are pretty decent tie ins to the series). The awesome thing is that the whole series is on netflix, so just log in and watch it!

      Delete
  7. Wow, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've been watching Buffy on Netflix and it has me think about the sequel to my angel book. I want to really use all their powers to the fullest in that book.

    I still haven't seen the cartoon Airbender, I should really look it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The great thing about Airbender is that it is so tightly plotted you would hardly know it was a series. It's more like a 9 hour movie. I've really enjoyed it.

      Delete
  8. I'm totally with you on your sentiments regarding superpowers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, it just drives me crazy when the good guys blunder around not using their powers to the fullest (or worse, when the bad guys blunder around not living up to their potential).

      Delete
  9. I'm SO nodding along right now. This is actually one of the reasons I get ticked and won't watch superhero movies. But airbender? Sounds phat. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, at Dragon*Con, they have a channel that they play which runs nerdy slogans and commercials, and one of them goes: "If you love Green Lantern, then you'll hate Green Lantern the movie."

      Delete

I love comments! Let me know what's on your mind.