Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Write Your Book: Act 11- Normal Powers or… SUPER Powers!

Write Your Book: Act 11- Normal Powers or… SUPER Powers!

There are some things that I think American Comics do better at than Manga, and that is the establishment of super powers.  Comics seem to delve into the mythos of these powers. They may manifest themselves abruptly and implausibly, e.g. from nuclear power plant explosions, but as long as there is some sort of explanation I’m happy.
There are many examples where Manga does not try to justify their peculiar story settings and character. They can have a whole of school of ninjas, samurais, martial artists, psychics, sorcerers, super geniuses etc. without offer so much as where they came from. Sure, swordplay is embedded in Japanese culture but it seems improbable that their samurais can perform aerial acrobats and slice through rock. There should be a limit to exaggeration. Furthermore, Manga’s concentration of super powers, more often than not makes them not so super. All I’m asking is for super powers to be used sparingly. What’s special should stay special… if that makes any sense…

Iron Man is not a Manga, but there is something to be learnt from the movie’s depiction of super powers. Iron Man is no more than a man in a high-tech suit, yet the process of building and acquiring such powers makes the story believable. On many levels, Iron Man is only as strong as the man inside the suit. Super powers and supervillians need a humble beginning. The audience need answers. Unless, a fantasy world is developed and elaborated to perfection, it needs some ground in reality.

I’m not saying we can’t have an underground sect of magical, shape-shifting, super aliens whom plot to enslave the human race. You can, but the following questions need answering:

Write Your Book: Question of Power

a.) Where did they come from?

b.) Why do they have powers?

c.) How did they arrive on Earth? Have they always been there? If so, how come they have yet to successfully dominat the surface world?

d.) How did this secret sect come to be? How has it remained a secret for this long?

e.) Why are these creatures hell-bent on antagonising humans? What do they hope to gain? 

f.) How did the humans first learn of this ‘secret’ sect?

g.) What are the humans doing to combat this threat? How have they managed to fend against this invasion for so long?

h.) Is it possible that the humans have powers too? 

…And so the questions go on…

Super powers have limitless potential and can make for a very interesting read. But as they say: “With great powers, comes great responsibility”. (Write your Book