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Old 11-28-2011, 01:06 PM   #28
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Default Re: Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El Characterization - Part 1

Originally Posted by hopefulsuicide View Post
IMO anyone who thinks ANY character ever created is 'unrelatable' simply lacks in imagination, empathy and any attempt to understand the character in question.
That's a fine belief, but you should probably also come to terms with the fact that the general public lacks imagination and empathy.

Some characters are easier to relate to than others. It simply requires more brainpower, if nothing else, to see oneself in, say, an average high schooler like Peter Parker than a cosmic entity like the Silver Surfer. To relate to the former, we need only to access our recent memory, and perhaps a basic understand of what a Spider is. To relate to the latter, we need to conceptualize things like 'The Power Cosmic' and 'Galactus' If the concept that you are requiring someone to imagine and empathize with is not one their interested in accepting, then you have a character who is 'unrelatable' to the masses.

Also, by saying all characters are equally relatable, you take a lot of credit from amazing creators who make automatons or inanimate objects empathetic and layered and emotionally resonant, and take away blame from bad writers who write non-sensical storylines and characters, by saying Wall-E and Woody are no more relatable than Larry Gigli or Jar Jar Binks.

To be back on topic. Superman requires the understanding and acceptance of a sizable concept: The Ultimate Superhero. He kinda does everything, powers wise, both physically, energy projection, certainly morally and even mentally in some incarnations. Some people don't want 'the ultimate superhero,' they want someone who sucks who has to earn their way to uberness, and so they reject superman, emotionaly, out of hand.

The key, of course, is to show how Superman is the ultimate hero, that he comes from humble origins and such, who just happens to be a superhero. But there's no doubt, illustrating all this sci-fi and space-travel and the new perspective that comes with seeing through walls and moving at the speed of sound constantly... there's no doubt making all that work is *harder* than showing a rich kid getting angry, then humbled, then slowly building his powerbase.

That doesn't mean it can't be done, and I would even argue the payoff is much bigger, but it is harder. The characters are not equally relatable, just because they are both relatable.

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