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what would happen if a Superhuman came to earth?

28 Mar 2016 19:01 #47022 by fats
Hi all,

An interesting article as to what would happen if a person not of this world arrived.

uk.movies.yahoo.com/post/141615450166/wh...an-really-arrived-on

what do you think, is the article got it nailed or is there something else that could happen?

Fats

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28 Mar 2016 20:44 #47025 by shadar

fats wrote: Hi all,

An interesting article as to what would happen if a person not of this world arrived.

uk.movies.yahoo.com/post/141615450166/wh...an-really-arrived-on

what do you think, is the article got it nailed or is there something else that could happen?

Fats



As I see it, it depends on what the alien looks like and acts like when first arriving. Answering the question regarding Superman (whom we know and understand), or any superhuman, is completely different than the more general question of a powerful alien, who might not even look like us. Even if he was humanoid, what if he looked and talked like a Klingon? Or some spider-like being who drooled venom?

The key is that most people would slot him into whatever sci-fi or comics pigeon hole that he seemed to fit in, and then treat him accordingly -- at first.

Beyond the points raised in the article, which apply to Superman only, the prerequisite to offering a further opinion is to decide how this alien looks and acts when he first arrives.

0) Has he studied Earth and does he understand our varieties of customs and governments and fears and aspirations? Or is he clueless. The last is most likely given we humans have enough trouble figuring out our own world. We might all look insane to an alien who is advanced enough to travel between stars. Or maybe our differences were too minor for him to even care about.

1) Does he go out of his way to appear friendly, to make pledges of friendship (and to whom) or are his intentions unknown. Does he even reveal his reasons for coming here?

2) Does he show himself in a powerful, militant country (Russia, US, etc) or does he land in Singapore or Stockholm, or maybe even some third-world country? Is he drawn to Earthly power or does he carefully avoid it?

3) Does he ignore national governments and talk only with the UN, or does he start talking to just one government. How does he deal with the media? Who does he associate with?

We are world filled with hatreds, fears, worries and jealousies of every kind, not to mention competing religions, and Sci Fi has mostly prepared us for bad outcomes when dealing with aliens. So its likely it would not go well in any case.

Bottom line... Fat's question is too broad to answer. The original article (asking what would happen specifically if Superman arrived on Earth) is bounded enough to answer to some degree.

I suggest redefining the question.

Shadar

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28 Mar 2016 20:57 #47026 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic what would happen if a Superhuman came to earth?
this hits the basics, as all such lists will.

The variables are what science/powers the visitor has. One of the Things about MoS and BvS is that they increased the alienation of Superman. In other incarnations, he's a farm boy, raised American. This is true in MoS, but he spent so much time wandering the world in MoS trying to find a place to fit in, and figure out what he should do. In other words, he's more alien in mindset, not just powers and biology.

(This is relevant to the "not necessarily for Truth, justice and the American Way".)

It is spot on with the troubles that someone would face to TRULY address problems. We have more than enough food and energy to handle everyone on Earth, it's corruption that gets in the way of helping everyone.

One of the bits that I really like about BvS, is the age old question about Batman. Is he Batman that puts on a Bruce Wayne Suit, or Bruce Wayne that puts on a Batman Suit. BvS Batman is very much Bruce Wayne, and Alfred even points out to him a few times that "Batman was ineffective, Bruce Wayne got this intel..."

In other words, depending on the alien/powers (or in this case Batman), is the person more effective at reaching their goals by simply using their powers out in the open. Bruce Wayne, his company, and his Billions, likely do more good than Batman did, and it should be the first tool that he pulls out of his box, rather than the last. Batman is the tool used when nothing else will work.

The thing the article misses, as it's focused a lot on "Superman" ... but this is still true of Superman in the comics (a bit less so in the movies) He's got access to advanced Kryptonian technology and Science.

Superman has never made any effort to use/adapt that technology to help Earth. There should be some advances in Battery technology and energy generation that could be disseminated w/o causing too much havoc. And if he has some method of water purification/desalination that was much more efficient that what we have that would be a transformative event for the planet (though also might spark a population growth wave that we don't really need).

But he's not trying to use any of that to help people on Earth. Instead he puts on a suit and flies around and catches bad guys. At least in the comics there are a lot of super-powered threats for him to handle.

I like to label this the "Oracle Problem" ... in that I think when she was Oracle Barbara Gordon was far more effective than Batman was (let alone Batgirl). Just look at the comics where she's coordinating large groups of heroes, the JLA, etc in some disaster relief, and all the crime she tracks down and has operatives handle. She's outsourced batman's 'smarts' and effectively spreads that around into more situations. She's a force multiplier. She gave it up to put back on a suit and fight crime. They might be dealing with this in the new Birds of Prey comic .. I know someone has taken over the Oracle mantle and she gets the team together to track them down.

So does this alien act like a positive (or negative) modifier for change? Even without being evil, they could be a giant disruption in world markets, which would of course have retaliation measures.

Imagine that they drop tech that makes oil production obsolete. Bamn: here's a device that generates all the gasoline that you need, at pennies/gallon. Then look at the current global market and figure out what happens when all the oil is pretty much worthless .. it costs more to pull out of the ground than it is worth.

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28 Mar 2016 22:00 #47029 by Woodclaw

shadar wrote: As I see it, it depends on what the alien looks like and acts like when first arriving. Answering the question regarding Superman (whom we know and understand), or any superhuman, is completely different than the more general question of a powerful alien, who might not even look like us. Even if he was humanoid, what if he looked and talked like a Klingon? Or some spider-like being who drooled venom?

The key is that most people would slot him into whatever sci-fi or comics pigeon hole that he seemed to fit in, and then treat him accordingly -- at first.

Beyond the points raised in the article, which apply to Superman only, the prerequisite to offering a further opinion is to decide how this alien looks and acts when he first arrives.

0) Has he studied Earth and does he understand our varieties of customs and governments and fears and aspirations? Or is he clueless. The last is most likely given we humans have enough trouble figuring out our own world. We might all look insane to an alien who is advanced enough to travel between stars. Or maybe our differences were too minor for him to even care about.

1) Does he go out of his way to appear friendly, to make pledges of friendship (and to whom) or are his intentions unknown. Does he even reveal his reasons for coming here?

2) Does he show himself in a powerful, militant country (Russia, US, etc) or does he land in Singapore or Stockholm, or maybe even some third-world country? Is he drawn to Earthly power or does he carefully avoid it?

3) Does he ignore national governments and talk only with the UN, or does he start talking to just one government. How does he deal with the media? Who does he associate with?

We are world filled with hatreds, fears, worries and jealousies of every kind, not to mention competing religions, and Sci Fi has mostly prepared us for bad outcomes when dealing with aliens. So its likely it would not go well in any case.

Bottom line... Fat's question is too broad to answer. The original article (asking what would happen specifically if Superman arrived on Earth) is bounded enough to answer to some degree.

I suggest redefining the question.

Shadar


Interestingly enough some of those points were at the base of the creation of Icon by Dwaine McDuffie. While the premises of Icon are similar to Superman there are two key points that set them apart:

1) Icon isn't a child when crash lands on Earth, but an adult -- not unlike Martian Manhunter -- which provided him with a significant cultural background that colored his view of Earth;

2) In his human guise Icon experienced being at the hurting end of racism for the better part of the late 19th and 20th century, which also significantly impacted on his behaviour.

Superman never experienced any of this, never really felt extraneous to Earth to such a point -- Snyder's version apart -- whereas Icon, already an alien of his own right, was also alienated by the leading part of the world he was maroond upon for almost a century.
While they might share a power set to a point these two characters outline very well how life can affect you. While some people consider Superman an alien he's, as far as I'm concerned, human. Being so young when Krypton exploded Superman has been, for all intent and purposes, raised on Earth. His cultural heritage is what the Kents gave him -- and thank every god they raised him well.
The whole "finding a place to fit in" quest in MoS was interesting, but missed the above points in my opinion: Superman doesn't need to fit in because he's not alien enough in culture or appearence.

Also for some reason all of this made me think of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.




On a different subject I think that Twice's "Oracle Paradox" is a long time problem that comics tried to deal with: what are superheroes really about?
On one had it makes sense that a superhuman threat need a certain level of superhuman response. Marvel tried to address this in the early '90s by making the Avengers detach themselves from the US goverment and form a new charter that made them the superhuman crisis unit of the U.N. It was an interesting idea, too bad that it never amount to much, except having the U.N. throwing red tape every now and then.
On the other hand the above assumption would prompt a superhuman arms race of, potentially, global scale.

Oracle (arguably the most effective of the bunch) the Avengers' land crew, the S.H.I.E.L.D. and so on proved that patroling the city like a glorified beat cop isn't exactly the most effective way. Some heroes might prefer that approach being focused on small scale realities, but when things go big that's not the case. Unfortunately this way also comes other problems. Sometimes superheroes are effective because they operate outside any kind of formal hierarchy, which allows them to pursue their goal without much regard for procedure and restrictions.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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29 Mar 2016 06:34 - 29 Mar 2016 06:37 #47034 by shadar
I've written several stories over the years where the superhuman in the story was a young, otherworldly beautiful blonde with Kryptonian-esq powers and some very exotic skills.

Her story and experiences would start off substantially different than Superman's.

Yet in another way the same -- her very presence means that there are other worlds and other people out there.

That realization would have profound implications depending on the person. I don't think the movies or comics or books give nearly enough credit to the profound ways that the world's thinking will change. Is she an angel? A goddess? Here to prove that God is an alien?

Too heavy. Instead, I prefer to tell the story of a girl who thinks exactly like we do, and is equally overwhelmed to suddenly have such abilities and to be regarded as a goddess. To be arguably the most beautiful woman on Earth, and unarguably the most powerful.

Yet back home, she was a rather ordinary girl.

She has no idea how to handle this newfound fame, let alone the responsibilities people thrust upon her.

Her story, especially when told from the perspective of the man who becomes her mentor here on Earth, never gets old. Mainly because every one of us would love to have that job. And given our long-time interests, we'd all be very good at it.

Especially if our superhuman visitor looked like this:

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Last edit: 29 Mar 2016 06:37 by shadar.

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29 Mar 2016 13:31 #47038 by Raa
An interesting spin would be maybe on their planet ugly and beautify is swapped. The lady in Shadar's stories never got this type of attention. So she could reject it thinking people were making fun of her or it could go to her head.

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29 Mar 2016 14:00 #47040 by Woodclaw

Raa wrote: An interesting spin would be maybe on their planet ugly and beautify is swapped. The lady in Shadar's stories never got this type of attention. So she could reject it thinking people were making fun of her or it could go to her head.


This is a pretty interesting idea. Maybe a bit of a limited one, but very interesting way to color some interactions.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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29 Mar 2016 18:31 #47046 by shadar

Woodclaw wrote:

Raa wrote: An interesting spin would be maybe on their planet ugly and beautify is swapped. The lady in Shadar's stories never got this type of attention. So she could reject it thinking people were making fun of her or it could go to her head.


This is a pretty interesting idea. Maybe a bit of a limited one, but very interesting way to color some interactions.


I have played with some stories (Corrididor comes to mind) where the Velorian was regarded as plain to unattractive back home, but among ordinary humans, they are a 12 on a scale of beauty that normally ends at 10.

Whatever the case, Velorian men lack passion or enthusiasm (although presumably they are physically impressive) on a world where it's generally only the females who get to leave and explore the galaxy.

So the Velorian standard of beauty for men is reversed from what we normally think. Physical perfection is uninteresting.
Velorian women tend to be drawn to intelligence and knowledge, and they find male physical imperfections to be both charming and attractive. And given that Velorian men can't grow facial hair (as a race, they have hair only on their scalps), they find beards and hairy bodies to be exotic. Strong, muscular men are not impressive given the difference between the strongest human and the weakest human is a third decimal place rounding error when it comes to their own strength.

So yeah, the standard of beauty is reversed, at least for men. And Vels all have golden chokers they can wear to dampen their Orgone sufficiently to approximate human abilities (when that's important).

I mean, if you are writing fantasy, you might was well make it self-serving. <grin>

Shadar

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