We all know the classic superhero cliches. The superhero always saves the day, wins, uses their powers for good, and has a perfect life. But because these cliches are well-known doesn’t mean they’re always true. There are plenty of examples of superheroes who don’t fit into these neat little boxes. For instance, take Batman. He’s a superhero who doesn’t always save the day or win. He’s often portrayed as a dark and brooding figure struggling with his demons. And while he does use his powers for good, he also has a dark side that he’s not afraid to use when necessary.
Then there are superheroes like Deadpool who don’t exactly have perfect lives. His life is pretty much a mess most of the time. He’s constantly getting into trouble and making things worse for himself. But despite all that, he still tries to do the right thing and help people when he can. So next time you’re writing a superhero story, don’t be afraid to stray from the classic cliches. Plenty of interesting and complex characters out there don’t fit neatly into those old tropes.
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Cliches About Superhero Comics You Should Avoid
There are a lot of cliches about superhero comics that new writers should avoid. Let’s look at the five most common ones.
- Superheroes always save the day. Saving the day is a cliche every superhero comic writer attempts to avoid. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the oldest plot devices, which is a bummer. If the protagonists in all stories end up rescuing the day, the genre would swiftly lose its appeal.
- Superheroes always win. The heroes usually come out on top, another tired trope in the genre. This typically goes hand in hand with the first cliche, since the protagonists ultimately end up successful. In a perfect world, good people would always triumph in the end. However, it’s always more exciting to occasionally see evil people triumph.
- Superheroes always use their powers for good. One more overused trope in the superhero comics genre. Superheroes have incredible abilities, which they’ve always put to good use. In no way do they ever abuse or exploit their abilities. This is noble, but it may grow tedious after a while. Seeing a hero struggle with doing good with their talents or making tough decisions about utilizing them would be far more exciting.
- Superheroes always have perfect lives. But, a Tired Old Cliché Truth be said, even superheroes usually lead rather ordinary lives. Problems in interpersonal relationships, mental health, and sobriety are among the most common sources of distress.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking superhero comics always have the best solution and the perfect plan. However, this is far from the truth. While it’s true that superheroes often have incredibly powerful abilities and resources at their disposal, they are far from infallible. Some of the most iconic superhero stories are ones in which the heroes fail, make mistakes, or are simply outmatched. Yes, superheroes often have unique abilities and access to amazing technology, but that doesn’t mean they always have the best solution.
Sometimes the superhero’s solution is worse than the problem they’re trying to solve. And even when they do have the best solution, it doesn’t always work out perfectly. Superheroes are fallible like the rest of us, and their plans don’t always come together perfectly. So next time you’re writing a superhero story, don’t feel you need to make everything perfect for your hero. Instead, embrace their flaws and use them to create an interesting and complex story.