As authentic as it gets

I still think when it comes to x superhero being made by x nationality, it feels a lot more authentic than if x superhero’s conceived by writer of y nationality. Maybe not always the case but still. I remember somebody saying that the problem with Captain Britain’s that he doesn’t feel authentically British.

Actually and parsimoniously, it’s safe to say a good number of British superheroes are practically derived from their US counterparts. Captain America gave way to Captain Britain, Spider-Man’s got a feline counterpart in Leopard of Lime Street. Marvelman owes a lot to Shazam (given some of his earlier stories were based on the latter’s).

That’s not to say the British or any other nationality can’t come up with their own superheroes. They did to some extent but I think 2000AD’s Vigilant gives a better idea of what a British superhero team were truly like (chances are some of them come from much unlikelier sources). Excalibur if I’m not mistaken still had American members in it.

For another matter, Peni Parker seems like a Westerner’s idea of what a Japanese Spider-Man could be like but with Toei Spider-Man being the real thing (made in Japan, feels like Power Rangers with Spidey taking on actual monsters). Power Rangers is practically close to the Japanese take on superheroes but because it’s based on those productions.

I haven’t read My Hero Academia yet but I feel as if the original Japanese productions give a better idea of what the Japanese take on superheroes could be like with 2000AD’s Vigilant being the British answer to this.

The British Superhero

It’s one thing to create a superhero who’s British, it’s another to create a superhero comic from scratch using existing characters as made in Britain. Which is practically what 2000AD did with the Vigilant after having bought the rights to the characters and stories they appear in. The only recognisably superhero character’s the Leopard from Lime Street (who’s inspired by Spider-Man).

The rest seem to come from entirely different stories altogether. That’s not to say British people can’t do superheroes. But as with any nationality, their take on superheroes is pretty different as to be lost on outsiders. It’s like the difference between Toei Spider-Man and Penni Parker. The latter’s very much an outsider’s idea of what a Japanese Spider-Man would be like.

The former’s actually done by Japanese staff and one that seems to have more in common with Power Rangers in that regard (that and fighting actual monsters). That’s probably going to be the difference between The Vigilant and almost any American take on a British superhero.

Something from the former forums

I do remember something from the former Comic Book Resources forum (as it’s been replaced by a new one) that somebody assumed both Barbara Gordon and Barry Allen to be of Scottish descent. At some point I’d prefer the latter to be of Dutch descent (Van Allen/Van Halen) but ended up becoming Irish. (Actually I’d blame my then love of Sinead O’Connor on that.)

So far if The Scottish Connection’s any indication (admittedly I seldom read comics), the only confirmed superhero of Scottish descent’s Batman. Though I could make a good argument for Donald Duck, who despite being an anthropomorphic duck, his uncle and relatives obviously hail directly from Scotland (actually they’re immigrants or expatriates).

Therefore he’s Scottish American. Though for most of the part, it’s not that well-explored so.

Accept that he’s grumpy

I still think when it comes to wanting a relationship with God, it seems Christians have a hard time realising he could get angry real badly and can even be spiteful. To put it this way, Kitty Pryde in the comics was initially shown to have a really bad temper, whiny and stuff and still is to some extent. However assuming if people keep screwing up around her that she’s going to lose her cool and beat people up.

Same thing with Stephanie Brown where if she’s stated to be easily offended, that’s the same thing with God. Imagine if Tim Drake kept on bullying her and killing her pets that she’s going to lose her cool and beat him up. She could go all Red Lantern and get mad at the people who bullied her a lot. God is also that vindictive. (If Black Canary is Tim’s aunt and if Tim screwed up, she will get mad too.)

If sometimes loving a person involves accepting them as they are, perhaps it’s time to accept that God has an explosive temper and there’s little people can do about it.

Yup, he’s that grumpy

I still think Christians tend to underestimate how irritable God gets that it seems they have a a hard time realising or accepting it. To put it this, the character Stephanie Brown’s said to be easily angered/offended. Imagine if she constantly got mad whenever Tim Drake namecalls her, kills her pets and even flirts with another girl that you get an idea of how angry God gets.

In fact he can be spiteful, even going so far to cause misfortune. Imagine if Stephanie Brown became a blood-spewing Red Lantern from being bullied a lot by Tim Drake that you now know how angry God gets. Or to put it this way, Kitty Pryde’s also infamous for losing her temper real badly that she even beat up a guy.

Rao help if she’s caught dead beating up her teammates for screwing up that’s exactly how irritable God gets. But sadly most Christians don’t feel comfortable about it even if it’s there in the Bible.

Accessible adaptations

I still think when it comes to superhero comics being so practically inaccessible (with comic shops being hard to come by, said shop might not have enough stock of those comics and even those readers have other things to do), that it seems almost any other non-comics adaptation eclipse them by being more accessible to the masses. They even influence the comics in return.

To put it this way, if Caitlin Snow becomes a werewolf on the Flash programme she will become a werewolf in the comics as well. Same with making Stephanie Brown into a bitter Red Lantern after witnessing Tim kill her pets. It’s going to shape people’s preconceptions and perceptions of the character way more than comics do.

Likewise with the Joker, it’s parsimonious to say that the most influential Joker actor in recent memory is Heath Ledger that it practically spawned memes. (Joaquin Phoenix’s take’s increasingly influential in its own right however with protesters dressing up as him.) Better yet Felicity Smoak.

Originally in the comics, she was somebody’s irritable dark-haired mother. However on telly she was reinvented into somebody else that it influences subsequent comics portrayals of her. If comics are so hard to come by that television and cinema become the major points of reference for character portrayals.

The thing about telly adaptations of superhero media

Whilst this isn’t always the case for almost any media (it’s possible to do faithful adaptations of things like Peanuts and probably Little Women as it was in the past), it seems with superhero media the continuity’s often so convoluted that writers have no other choice but to take liberties with the source material. Practically and nearly impossible to get a faithful superhero adaptation these days.

It doesn’t necessarily help that a lot of superhero comics tend to change writers that in all likelihood there wouldn’t be much of a clear consensus over the characters’ actual personalities. It’s likely Disney and Star Wars have similar issues to some extent, but it’s still clear when you keep changing writers there’s not going to be a clear vision of the character’s personality or fate.

At any rate, usually the televised or cinematic adaptation’s often the most accessible interpretation of the same character or story. Moreso with superhero comics for reasons I said before. It doesn’t help that DC and Marvel seemingly treat superhero comics as if they’re research and development that it’s probably why we’re never going to get a faithful superhero adaptation.

To make matters worse, even if the comics are like the canonical version those in more accessible media adaptations are often the first things to come to mind for outsiders. I.e. it’s like if almost every non-comics medium makes Barbara Gordon Batgirl, it’s going to influence people’s ideas and preconceptions of her that it’s going to have a big say in the comics later on.

In fact superhero adaptations are practically more influential and successful than the source materials are. It’s parsimonious to say that both the Joaquin Phoenix and Heath Ledger takes on the Joker more or less influence people’s preconceptions of him in recent memory. Likewise the Teen Titans programmes are far more accessible and popular than the comics are and will be.

So much so that the recent Titans programme’s practically based on the 2000s cartoon version. Logically the 1960s Batman programme more or less influences subsequent Batman productions. Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman’s obviously based on the Julie Newmarr version with Eartha Kitt’s take paving way for Halle Berry and a future Batman adaptation.

It’s safe to say that the telly and cinematic adaptations are far more influential than the comics are by sheer accessibility that it’s going to inform people’s preconceptions of such a character, unconsciously or not.