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"FROM THE PAGES OF...PROJECT SUPERPOWERS COMES HERO KILLERS"

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  • #16
    Originally posted by positronic View Post
    If a viable audience existed for a 'straight' PSP comic book, then HERO KILLERS would not have come into existence in the first place.

    ...That said, I don't know if an audience for the Hero Killers type of satirical PSP comic exists either
    Right. If there's no audience for the characters themselves, how can there be an audience for caricatures of them? I suppose SOME recognition is better than attempting it with completely new characters who have NO recognition. But if you're trying to give yourself a small boost that way, then at least use the characters in the way in which they're known.

    I don't see new readers being drawn to this, and I don't see fans of the golden age appreciating the characters being used that way, even if it's just the sidekicks.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Captain Canuck View Post
      Right. If there's no audience for the characters themselves, how can there be an audience for caricatures of them? I suppose SOME recognition is better than attempting it with completely new characters who have NO recognition. But if you're trying to give yourself a small boost that way, then at least use the characters in the way in which they're known.

      I don't see new readers being drawn to this, and I don't see fans of the golden age appreciating the characters being used that way, even if it's just the sidekicks.
      No, I don't really think it matters that much. My assumption would be that you don't really need to know, just have a general sense of what's being satirized here is Golden Age superhero comics. Things like Brat Pack or Marshal Law aren't dependent on the reader being able to identify specific characters in them as one-to-one analogs of some pre-existing character, either. I'd say you don't need to ever have read a Black Terror story, or know anything about the character, beyond just recognizing him in a general way as a product of the Golden Age superhero genre. Sort of like in the 1990s in Justice League you had that whole thing going on where the book was more or less an ongoing satire already, but then Giffen & DeMatteis threw in General Glory, to poke fun at the whole upright squeaky-clean 'old-school' superhero archetype. Or Image's AIRBOY, from last year -- I can't believe most of the people buying that were old-school Airboy fans from the 1980s.

      As to whether new readers would be "drawn to it"? Well, that's another question, determined by whether the reader has some prior leaning towards comic books that satirize tropes of the superhero genre, or maybe just likes a satirical-type comic book story in the generic sense. Lord knows there have been scads of superhero parodies done down through the decades, beginning with MAD, and not all of them have been really specifically-targeted, either. Heck, you could go all the way back to Supersnipe or Plastic Man in the more generic sense, not to mention the occasional one-off episodes of a lot comic books. Maybe the ideal target audience here is people that already think Golden Age comic book characters were whack -- you could hate Image superheroes in the 1990s, and refuse to ever read one, and still get one of the many comics satirizing the "hyperviolent superhero excess" tropes of the early Image comics. Maybe some reader who enjoyed things like Garth Ennis' The Boys, which satirized superheroes as a genre, but didn't feature a lot of very specific parodies of characters. Not without its inherent risks, but I guess you don't discover that until you try publishing something.
      Last edited by positronic; 04-08-2017, 05:55 AM.
      DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

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      • #18
        Originally posted by positronic View Post
        Or Image's AIRBOY, from last year -- I can't believe most of the people buying that were old-school Airboy fans from the 1980s.
        I can. Or at least pulp style books. They're few and far between, comparatively, so you get them when you can, if you're a fan. I'd compare it to the folks here who continued to buy Red Sonja even though it sucked and they knew it would likely continue to for a while. Egads, man, I bought Lobdell's Alpha Flight!

        I can visualize the type of behavior you describe better when the parody is based on something divisive. Your example of Image books is a great one. That style had its passionate supporters and detractors. I could totally see those who hated it enjoying having it ridiculed.

        But I don't think that applies to golden age, public domain and/or pulp characters. Not everyone enjoys them, certainly, but I don't know that there's a strong enough dislike or disdain for them for a project intended to poke fun at them to really connect with anyone.

        And it doesn't even really seem geared to make fun of the golden age anyway. It just uses some characters from the time. The book "set in a town where everyoneís a superhero and the old guard arenít retiring to make way for the next generation, so the up-and-coming heroes decide to do something about it."

        You could write that book with DC's Titans or any number of current youth teams. The Champions or New Warriors waiting for the established team to finally get lost. It doesn't seem like the humour is really based on the golden age at all.

        But you're right, no matter how poorly thought out it seems to me, you don't know until you publish it. Maybe of all the stuff that gets thrown at the wall, this manages to stick.

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        • #19
          As a separate point, if I felt the need or desire for some reason to take a poke at the golden age (either because I hate it or done with a certain affection) I would create a team from some of the more bizarre characters at the time that have not had the lasting power of a Black Terror or Miss Masque. I recall first coming across The Green Turtle here a few years ago and laughing out loud at how ridiculous that was.

          The first Canadian superhero "was amphibious, indestructible, and had superhuman strength with which he could make great leaps and punch through steel". Basically, he was Namor the Sub-Mariner. Yet presumably because of his strength he was named Iron Man, which is about as lousy a name as you could come up with for an AMPHIBIOUS character.

          There's plenty of room for humour there. I just don't see it with Hero Killers.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Captain Canuck View Post
            I can. Or at least pulp style books. They're few and far between, comparatively, so you get them when you can, if you're a fan.
            Well, I read Image's AIRBOY borrowed. But I still haven't bought a copy of the TPB. I have really conflicted feelings about that one, so I might wait until I see it in the 50c boxes. Something about that struck me as far more offensive to purists than what Hero Killers looks like it's doing... but I guess I'll find out.

            I'd think any old-school fan who could swallow Image's version of Airboy shouldn't have a problem with Hero Killers.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Captain Canuck View Post
              As a separate point, if I felt the need or desire for some reason to take a poke at the golden age (either because I hate it or done with a certain affection) I would create a team from some of the more bizarre characters at the time that have not had the lasting power of a Black Terror or Miss Masque. I recall first coming across The Green Turtle here a few years ago and laughing out loud at how ridiculous that was.

              The first Canadian superhero "was amphibious, indestructible, and had superhuman strength with which he could make great leaps and punch through steel". Basically, he was Namor the Sub-Mariner. Yet presumably because of his strength he was named Iron Man, which is about as lousy a name as you could come up with for an AMPHIBIOUS character.

              There's plenty of room for humour there. I just don't see it with Hero Killers.
              So basically just riffing off those books THE LEAGUE OF REGRETTABLE SUPERHEROES by Jon Morris, and SUPER WEIRD HEROES: OUTRAGEOUS BUT REAL! edited by Craig Yoe?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                So basically just riffing off those books THE LEAGUE OF REGRETTABLE SUPERHEROES by Jon Morris, and SUPER WEIRD HEROES: OUTRAGEOUS BUT REAL! edited by Craig Yoe?
                Sure, something like that. What, the existence of those books now means that any use of those characters is suddenly some sort of theft? I didn't even have them in mind when I wrote that, it's just the most obvious way of going about it, *if* that's you want to do. Dynamite's Great Lakes Avengers.

                Point being, if the intent is to spoof the golden age, as Positronic speculated, a story in which sidekicks murder the adult superheroes doesn't really accomplish that because it doesn't tie in directly to the golden age. At most, it might poke fun at how gigantic superhero universes are nowadays ("In a town where everyone is a superhero...") but that's not golden-age-specific either. If you want to spoof the golden age, find traits specific to the golden age to make fun of.

                So I don't think Hero Killers has that (being golden age parody) as a goal, honestly.
                Last edited by Captain Canuck; 04-11-2017, 01:42 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Captain Canuck View Post
                  Sure, something like that. What, the existence of those books now means that any use of those characters is suddenly some sort of theft? I didn't even have them in mind when I wrote that, it's just the most obvious way of going about it, *if* that's you want to do. Dynamite's Great Lakes Avengers.

                  Point being, if the intent is to spoof the golden age, as Positronic speculated, a story in which sidekicks murder the adult superheroes doesn't really accomplish that because it doesn't tie in directly to the golden age. At most, it might poke fun at how gigantic superhero universes are nowadays ("In a town where everyone is a superhero...") but that's not golden-age-specific either. If you want to spoof the golden age, find traits specific to the golden age to make fun of.

                  So I don't think Hero Killers has that (being golden age parody) as a goal, honestly.
                  But isn't the whole sidekick thing one of the key identifying Golden Age superhero tropes? I admit it works as well for the Silver Age. But that limits it to comics published in two separate periods lasting more or less about a decade each, both of them "a long long time ago in a comicbook far far away". In either decade the trope is representative of a more naive and simple time which is often held up as the object of ridicule.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                    But isn't the whole sidekick thing one of the key identifying Golden Age superhero tropes? I admit it works as well for the Silver Age. But that limits it to comics published in two separate periods lasting more or less about a decade each, both of them "a long long time ago in a comicbook far far away". In either decade the trope is representative of a more naive and simple time which is often held up as the object of ridicule.
                    Yeah, fair enough. I could see the ridiculousness of the sidekick concept being the butt of humour. I don't get the sense that's quite what Dynamite is doing here though but without having seen the material yet I can't say that with any certainty. but I would sooner buy what you propose than a story about young heroes killing the older ones for a seat at the table.

                    I still don't plan on getting it but I'm open to being told that it's better than expected so if any of you do, share your opinions, please.
                    Last edited by Captain Canuck; 04-12-2017, 04:43 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Captain Canuck View Post
                      Yeah, fair enough. I could see the ridiculousness of the sidekick concept being the butt of humour. I don't get the sense that's quite what Dynamite is doing here though but without having seen the material yet I can't say that with any certainty. but I would sooner buy what you propose than a story about young heroes killing the older ones for a seat at the table.

                      I still don't plan on getting it but I'm open to being told that it's better than expected so if any of you do, share your opinions, please.
                      If the humor isn't coming from the sidekick concept, then where? Maybe it's something as basic as the idea that being a Golden Age kid sidekick isn't really preparing a kid for an adult superhero career? Like they bought into some bedazzled hero-worshipping fantasy, and now they've reached the age where the reality of the job hits home? Like they thought they were superheroes-in-training but they were really just glorified assistants and accessories for the adult hero, because that was the vogue back then?
                      Last edited by pulphero; 04-13-2017, 11:19 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                        If the humor isn't coming from the sidekick concept, then where? Maybe it's something as basic as the idea that being a Golden Age kid sidekick isn't really preparing a kid for an adult superhero career? Like they bought into some bedazzled hero-worshipping fantasy, and now they've reached the age where the reality of the job hits home? Like they thought they were superheroes-in-training but they were really just glorified assistants and accesories for the adult hero, because that was the vogue back then?
                        Yeah, maybe. Again I can't know for certain at this point. My perception, perhaps incorrect, is that the superhero game is too crowded for a sidekick to ever make it into the "big leagues", so they start killing some off to make room. Hence the name Hero Killers and the references to how it's dark humour. Comedy around murdering your mentors seems to fit the descriptions of "dark".

                        Going back to the solicitation text for a sec: "Welcome to Libertyville, USA... home to too damn many superheroes!"

                        Also, the part I copied earlier. " "set in a town where everyoneís a superhero and the old guard arenít retiring to make way for the next generation, so the up-and-coming heroes decide to do something about it."

                        To me it sounds like they're playing off the running gag that if DC and Marvel superheroes were real, you couldn't walk around New York without running into one every other block. And if the sidekicks want to reach the next level, they need to think the competition, so to speak.
                        Last edited by Captain Canuck; 04-13-2017, 03:25 PM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Captain Canuck View Post
                          Yeah, maybe. Again I can't know for certain at this point. My perception, perhaps incorrect, is that the superhero game is too crowded for a sidekick to ever make it into the "big leagues", so they start killing some off to make room. Hence the name Hero Killers and the references to how it's dark humour. Comedy around murdering your mentors seems to fit the descriptions of "dark".

                          Going back to the solicitation text for a sec: "Welcome to Libertyville, USA... home to too damn many superheroes!"

                          Also, the part I copied earlier. " "set in a town where everyoneís a superhero and the old guard arenít retiring to make way for the next generation, so the up-and-coming heroes decide to do something about it."

                          To me it sounds like they're playing off the running gag that if DC and Marvel superheroes were real, you couldn't walk around New York without running into one every other block. And if the sidekicks want to reach the next level, they need to think the competition, so to speak.
                          On the other hand, being a superhero and being a popular and well-known superhero might well be two different things. Who cares about some Black Terror cosplayer kid running around named Tim? Pfft. Wannabe. Poser. Knockoff. Copycat. Hanger-on. So maybe the only way to get to be a popular and well-known superhero is to replace that well-known hero -- nobody's going to care about Tim as long as Black Terror's around, so if Tim wants to graduate to the big leagues, the only way it will happen is for him to become Black Terror. And since he can't do that while the original Black Terror is still around...

                          It's like if your goal is to own a well-known and popular pizza restaurant, there are two ways to do it. One is to make better pizzas than some other guy, slowly working your way up the ranks until you're big league. And the other is just to buy a Domino's or Pizza Hut franchise.
                          Last edited by pulphero; 04-15-2017, 10:22 AM.

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                          • #28
                            #3 solicitation.

                            PROJECT SUPERPOWERS: HERO KILLERS #3
                            Cover A: Pete Woods Cover B: Ryan Browne Writer: Ryan Browne Art: Pete Woods

                            IF YOU DONíT WANT ANY TROUBLE, DONíT GIVE SOMEONE THE KEY TO THE CITY AND THEN TAKE IT AWAY! ITíS AS SIMPLE AS THAT! WHY IS THAT SO HARD?! IíM SORRY IíM YELLING, I JUST FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT THIS! (takes a deep breath) Okay, so Tim and crew are in even more trouble than they realize as their star is on the riseÖand fallÖand rise again? And it seems that maybe you just canít deathray your way out of your problemsÖ
                            bleedingcool has early looks at the Dynamite July solicitations, separated in categories as usual. This one is in the "heroes and fighters" category.

                            https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/04...ing-july-2017/

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                            • #29
                              Preview from First Comics News.

                              http://www.firstcomicsnews.com/proje...ero-killers-1/

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                              • #30
                                I really enjoyed the original 2 Superpowers series and the other connected Mini's. But now I've all but given up on it. This new series has nothing to do with the original, it just happens to be the same group of heroes. In one of the pages we've seen Daredevil talks.
                                Always remember, Murphy was an optimist
                                Munchkin 1, 2, 4, 7 Super Munchkin 1&2, Munchkin Bites 1&2, Munchkin Fu, Star Munchkin Deluxe and Star 2
                                http://ghornet.deviantart.com/

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