Hunter
 member, 1664 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sat 11 Sep 2021
at 22:53
A question about supers
While I'm hardly an expert in the genre, but it seems that the female supers are almost uniformly more powerful than the male one.  True?
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 411 posts
Sat 11 Sep 2021
at 23:18
A question about supers
Oh, I don't know. I think that for every all-powerful super, there are a bazillion supers with the power to sparkle only when it rains, or talk to rats on Tuesday - male or female.

Jokes aside, how do you define 'Powerful'?

It's hard to answer the question without knowing the parameters.
drewalt
 subscriber, 119 posts
Sat 11 Sep 2021
at 23:36
A question about supers
I'd say it's not so, historically at least.  However I see where this perception comes from  because it doesn't help that certain recent franchises can't write a good character to save their lives: it's easy to make Boring Invincible Heroines, but a good character you might actually care who happens to be awesome takes effort.

We're living in a time of creative suck in the supers genre where no one can turn out anything but Mary Sues (there are exceptions, always).  But characters who can never lose are BOOOOORING.  Characters who completely defy the mechanics of their own universe can be interesting, but when it's just "I'm like a predecessor character but better in every dimension without lacking in others!", it is not going to keep the attention of people who actually care about that universe, setting, etc.

Part of what you're seeing is certain characters get new and derivative versions because those characters are so old they want to expand their universes, and also the writers want to try new things using some aspects of that character but not others.  Also the longer it goes, the more things are tried.  A cheap trick to try to make the audience care about the new character is to go "Uh, she's... more powerful than the original, yeah!"

This happens to male characters too, like I do like Miles Morales, but depending on the exact version you're talking about he's just got straight up better powers than Peter Parker.  It's a franchise wide power creep, sometimes.

Occasionally though, you get a Spider Gwen, where the new character isn't more powerful per se, but the new personality and situation presented by the new character having those powers but being a different person (i.e. an outgoing teenage girl got the spider powers instead of a nerdy, bookish teenage boy) is compelling by itself because someone was actually trying.

But sometimes, you get Super Girl, where the writers don't know what to do with her so they go "Uhhhh... she's... actually more powerful?"  Granted, at least with Super Girl they thought of a good reason why that's true, but they also completely ignored the consequences (remember kids, what happens when Superman absorbs too much energy from the sun?).

See the way to do this, if you just want a distaff counterpart who's flat out better than the original, is Red Lantern Supergirl.  Yeah, she's better and more powerful, but there's a twist and it comes at a price too dear.  That's actually interesting.  But again, it relies on someone actually caring enough to try.

Another aspect of this is a lot of these tend to become secondary tier characters who have their followings (I freaking love Power Girl, sue me), but they don't tend to be going concerns in the books all the time.  When a character has more presence and more gravitas, you can have them "lose" occasionally and not make the character look weak or ineffectual.  When a character gets less "screen time", they have to win to show off why you should care about this character.

Now there are exceptions, such as Barbara Gordon, where the writers realize, hey, we can make our secondary character more interesting in her own right and not just derivative.  Barbara Gordon  was allowed to "lose" and we got something new and interesting and engaging out of it!  We got Oracle, who is physically inferior to Batman, but I would argue is actually exponentially more effective at fighting crime because she does it the smart way, but the reader knows she's vulnerable so it keeps it interesting.  See how much better that is than "she just becomes Batman, but better."  Of course... they had to roll that all back and now she's not as interesting any more, but what can you do.

Old School characters who were female characters to begin with tend not to get power creep, or at least not too much, because they're not trying to distinguish them from a male predecessor.
evileeyore
 member, 534 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Sat 11 Sep 2021
at 23:47
A question about supers
Hunter:
While I'm hardly an expert in the genre, but it seems that the female supers are almost uniformly more powerful than the male one.  True?

You're certainly living up to that handle there Captain!  But in seriousness, no, no there aren't.  Unless you only pay attention to a very limited slice of the current movies.
soulsight
 member, 328 posts
 Reality is 10% perception
 and 90% interpretation.
Sun 12 Sep 2021
at 00:40
A question about supers
It might appear that way, I blame laziness. Through most mediums, an undeniable facet of the superhero is the serial nature of the stories. So when the sales of your series seem stable enough, it's time to save a few dollars and hire cheaper writers. When the story, itself, doesn't garner attention the hero's and villain's power has to have a "wow" factor to compensate, and therefore the power level creeps upward with each installment.
Then, when these writers have to compensate for the overpowering creature they've created, the easiest way to make the creature more vulnerable is to pull out a stereotype as a challenge. Because, let's face it, they don't pay us hacks enough for us to actually write CHARACTERS! If we're gonna write a character we'll put it in the novel we'll have done just in time for our mid-life crisis!
At least, that's my fantasy explaining it.
MrKinister
 member, 137 posts
Sun 12 Sep 2021
at 01:18
A question about supers
In my opinion, not so much. Look at Huntress, Cat Woman, Black Canary, Jubilee, Rogue, Starfire, Ice, Harley Quinn, Cheetah, Batgirl. They are not necessarily weak, but not overly powerful either. Just right for what they trying to accomplish.

But then you also have Wonder Woman, Big Barda, Hawk Woman, and you have some good examples of power.

I think it depends on who you are looking at.
Varsovian
 member, 1535 posts
Sun 12 Sep 2021
at 23:55
Re: A question about supers
Hunter:
While I'm hardly an expert in the genre, but it seems that the female supers are almost uniformly more powerful than the male one.  True?


Not true, I'm afraid :)

For once - are we talking stricly about modern supers, or all of them? Because Jean Grey, Invisible Woman and the Wasp were notoriously useless in the 1960s Marvel comics...
Jobe00
 member, 324 posts
 Role-Playing
 Game Mechanic
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 00:09
A question about supers
Hunter:
While I'm hardly an expert in the genre, but it seems that the female supers are almost uniformly more powerful than the male one.  True?

Not true in the modern era and even less so in the Silver and Golden Ages.
As a founding member of the Justice Society of America, Wonder Woman was basically a secretary.

This perception in the modern day is because of fake fanboy neckbeards that can't handle "wymyn" being capable in any way, shape, or form.

Major characters undergo power fluctuations throughout their existences with the longer running characters having the most ups and downs. Occasionally minor league characters get a bump up to the big leagues, and sometimes it sticks and sometimes it doesn't.

There are some serious big gun female characters, but you can easily name more powerful male characters that are hero and villain alike.

In the MCU though, it is generally accepted by anyone that isn't a whining maggot neckbeard that the two most powerful characters are Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch with Witch being the one Kevin Feige flatly stating as the most powerful character in the MCU.
evileeyore
 member, 535 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 01:02
A question about supers
Jobe00:
In the MCU though...

DCU too.  Or are you ignoring that Wonder Woman, even from day one*, is basically Superman without a weakness to Kryptonite or Magic?


* She fluctuates based on who was writing her in the comics.  But when she debuted, she was Superman's equal in power.  And she's his equal in the DCU of today.

quote:
...whining maggot neckbeard...

/rolleyes

quote:
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch with Witch being the one Kevin Feige flatly stating as the most powerful character in the MCU.

Because Feige doesn't know the comics.  Otherwise he'd know Wanda was second string to Franklin Richards.  But sure, sure, as long as Franklin Richards is never introduced to the MCU, Wanda being a reality bender on a global scale is the most powerful super in the MCU.


But so what?  As long they write the character well (and the actors play them well) who cares who's more powerful?
tmagann
 member, 744 posts
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 01:27
A question about supers
Actually, WW only equals Superman's strength. he has a variety of other abilities she doesn't.

And, speaking of the comics, Danvers may or may not equal Heralds, most of whom were male.

The comics are male heavy, especially at the high end. A Lantern should be a match for anyone, and most of them (includingt he 4 humans I'm aware of, although I'm a few decades behind) are male.

As for the movies:
DCU: Shazam, Superman, and Wonder Woman are the high end, and that's 2:1. The "Arrowverse" has Superman, Supergirl, and Martian Manhunter. Still 2:1 at the high end.

MCU: Cap Marvel and Scarlet Witch take the lead, but nearly everyone else with powers worth mentioning, including the heavy hitters (Thor and Hulk, mainly) are male. And Luke Cage outpowered Jessica Jones in the Netfix shows.

Of course, Marvel may add someone top tier that's male at some point. Especially if the new Fantastic Four is part of it. Come to that, I don't recall how the Eternals came out for power levels.  Maybe them.

And I still remember an Adam Warlock teaser at the end of one Marvel movie, although I'm not sure how he works out power-wise, especially without an Infinity Stone.
evileeyore
 member, 536 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 01:59
A question about supers
tmagann:
And Luke Cage outpowered Jessica Jones in the Netfix shows.

Not quite.  Luke is tougher, Jess is stronger.  But otherwise, Luke was a trained fighter, Jess never trained.  When they fought, Jones was having trouble hurting Cage because, well frankly she was holding back at first, and was taught the error of that.  In other interactions, Jones is almost always holding back, she's pathologically afraid of cutting loose, Cage has no such fear.

Comics wise, Cage is eventually in a weight class far, far above hers.

I'll concede on WW, I never read too many of the comics, I just remember she's the only one Batman was ever worried about having to deal with.
Jobe00
 member, 325 posts
 Role-Playing
 Game Mechanic
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 03:11
A question about supers
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 9):

Kevin Feige is the end all be all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which isn't Marvel Comics. The part you quoted was about that specific continuity.

That said, Wanda is stupid powerful in the Marvel 616 universe. See House of M. She is a reality manipulator on a global scale when pushed.

You seem to have missed the part where I mentioned every major character goes through power fluctuations, Superman and Wonder Woman are two most notable. See Wonder Woman without powers using judo, and Electric Blue Superman (who only had that powerset really used by Grant Morison in JLA).

In the modern era, Diana has only been on Superman's power scale since John Byrne's three year reign of terror on her series.

As for your eyeroll, shove it. I will stand by that statement.
evileeyore
 member, 537 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 03:47
A question about supers
Jobe00:
That said, Wanda is stupid powerful in the Marvel 616 universe. See House of M. She is a reality manipulator on a global scale when pushed.

And Franklin Richards does that on a galactic scale.

But I stand by my statement:
"but so what?  As long they write the character well (and the actors play them well) who cares who's more powerful?"
phoenix9lives
 member, 1070 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 04:11
A question about supers
They are talking, in the comic book watch groups, like CBR, about how Franklin Richards may be the next Galactus....
Varsovian
 member, 1540 posts
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 23:12
Re: A question about supers
tmagann:
The comics are male heavy, especially at the high end. A Lantern should be a match for anyone, and most of them (including the 4 humans I'm aware of, although I'm a few decades behind) are male.


There's a female Green Lantern now, Jessica Cruz... unless they killed her off at some point? Also, there must be thousands of alien GLs that are females. Even if we're talking about named alien GLs, I'm sure there's at least a dozen of female ones.
tmagann
 member, 745 posts
Mon 13 Sep 2021
at 23:39
Re: A question about supers
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 15):

Well, I'm 30 years behind, to be fair. Also, less than 4000 (only 3600 sectors, each with a single GL, in theory, never mind how many Earth seems to have). How many are male, how many are female, and how many are other is open to debate, but if they don't appear, then they don't apply to the original topic (women dominating the high end of power), really.

And 12 out of 3600 is 300:1. That's a lot worse than the 2:1 odds for the home grown supers (here I'll count Martian Manhunter. At least it's the same solar system).
facemaker329
 member, 7360 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Tue 14 Sep 2021
at 05:26
Re: A question about supers
It's a natural progression.  Comic book heroes have to keep fighting bigger and badder villains, or the same villains with more insidious plans or new ways to utilize their powers, or...

Compare pretty much any comic book character of today with the version of them from, say, thirty years ago (which was when I was at my most active in following comics).  They are pretty much all WAY more powerful than they were.  A new writer comes in, says, "I need to make my own mark on this franchise...they need to beat something they've never beaten before!"  So they come up with a newer, more menacing villain, then somehow make the heroes more powerful than they were before in order to beat that villain.  It's why Captain America isn't still running around punching Nazis on every comic book cover...make the stakes higher, make the threats bigger, because the heroes are only as good as the challenges they overcome and if they don't beat anyone/anything bigger than what they did before, they become stagnant and people stop reading.

Now, you have female heroes come along...either a female character assumes the mantle of the male hero (a la Captain Marvel) or you have a female character with a similar origin to the male hero (Supergirl).  You can leave them as a supporting character, where they always turn up to tilt the balance of power at a crucial moment in the hero's favor...or you can make them their own hero (which is where the money comes from, because that means new titles and more subscribers)...but they still have to beat bigger, badder opponents or else they're just a stunted offshoot of the older hero and people stop reading.

Power Creep is not just a 'female character' thing...it happens across the board.