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Ideas for a more 'Realistic' D.C. universe


Jul 4, 2005
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As mentioned previously i recently had a slight obsession over use of BAD science in comics. Now it would be near impossible to make comics entirely realistic, and consequently counter productive when you consider the target audience. Nothing personal meant against some of the younger members, but teenagers don’t tend to care about the realistic depiction of science, due to naivety. But even the most hardcore comic fan, who has a healthy ability to suspend their disbelief, has a tendency to react angrily to the breakdown of common sense.

I think comic writers would have far fewer complaints, if characters and circumstances where depicted more realistically. There would be far more coherence when it came to Super power portrayal. Look at some of the most popular comics of recent times and you'll find that a more 'down to earth' approach tends to work. For example; Dare Devil, Captain America, Immortal Iron Fist, Ultimates, Checkmate, Detective Comics, Global Frequency, Supreme Power etc. Some of the greatest comics of all time, has similar qualities; Watchmen, Planetary, Batman year 1, V for Vendetta etc.

I know a lot of people are going to argue that various comics mentioned aren't exactly what you call, 'realistic', but they are FAR more scientifically plausible that most of the run of the mill comics. Many use theoretical science, that although currently impossible is in fact feasible. I think more writers should put similar efforts to making their characters and super powers more compatible with our worlds scientifically theoretical science.

Any way, this thread is aimed at the more scientifically aware amongst you. How would you go about explaining the super powers and origins of D.C. more recognisable characters. In other words, if D.C. where to 'Ultimise' their universe, how should they go about doing it ?
Can't run the risk of discussing topics again! The last time that happened Hype was almost closed down!
Yes. A good rule of thumb is to do and think the complete opposite of what GAH does and thinks.
for me (and I know I'm talking about Marvel now), mutants are really inconsistent when it comes to being scientifically realistic. The concept itself makes a ton of sense. Mutants are the next step in human evolution. Many develop different traits/"powers" which allow them to survive/adapt/evolve. That all makes perfect sense in theory. Then they brought in secondary mutations. I'm not a biologist or anything, but that will never make sense to me. Also, having a power like controlling the weather doesn't seem like it could be in any way possible as a consequence of evolution. I understand things like bone claws, healing factors, super strength, even telepathy, but weather control is one I'll never quite accept as realistic science. And I grew up with X-Men and have nothing against Storm. I don't pick apart the books when I read them (other than secondary mutation, which is still lame to me). I just thought I'd chime in.
the flash could easily be a meta where his scientific research has exponentially expanded his natural ability to 'react quickly'
I've always thought of Marvel as the Star Trek of comic companies (more realistic, use of real science) and DC as the Star Wars of the two (more magic, more imagination, less reality).

Both work, IMO.
On Topic:
More realistic DC?

Just stay consistant on the "WHY" and most readers are happy.

My suspension of belief suffers when powers and abilities are compromised to write a story.

Deathstroke / JLA fight in Identity Crisis comes immediately to mind.

How he stopped the Flash was completly outside of canon.

Same with Green Lantern.

The rest including Zatanna could be barely attributed to a "bad day" but was still bogus because PEOPLE usually don't have simultaneosly bad days.

If you have an explanation of how a hero does something,.. stick to the primary, and do no more than refine / tweak the basic premise.

Don't change the origin/power suite with the writers like they did with Power Girl.

I have more,... But I can see the "redundant police" are on scene and the thread will soon be heckled into closure.
Any way, this thread is aimed at the more scientifically aware amongst you. How would you go about explaining the super powers and origins of D.C. more recognisable characters. In other words, if D.C. where to 'Ultimise' their universe, how should they go about doing it ?

Okay, so I have a hard science degree and a mathematical mind, I'll bite.

Ultimatizing DC is a mistake because DC is about epic icons, and thus, surreal idealism, NOT about being down to earth, or even being all that relatable. Nobody RELATES to Batman (or Wolverine, honestly), even orphans aren't deluded enough to think they can change the world, but we all enjoy Batman. Nobody relates to Superman, and they sure as heck don't relate to Wonder Woman, and while some may vaguely relate to Kyle and Wally, many (if not the most vocal minority) fans want the unbelievable an unrelatable Hal Jordan to be the one and only GL and that the other more relatable lessons are 'lesser' for being so.

But if you're just talking about the scientific aspects, and not the social, then all fiction does quite a bit of fudging, even more as it gets older. I was just reading a physicians review of the drama "House, M.D." and dude, the real life drama shows are breaking physics all the time... you expect superman not to? Ever?

And looking at Ultimates... why bother? Sure, you get some mileage out of it for a couple years, but comic books are best for conveying those ginormous larger-than-life events... TV and even movies just can't do it. Why try to shoehorn comics into a TV level of 'reality?'

And while I feel free to once-over old topics every once in a while, I can think of a few topics that I've already argued my heart and soul out on that I wouldn't dare revisit unless the poster brought something new to the issue, no matter how new the guy was, so, while uselessly unproductive, I can understand the one word answers.
There's only one thing I'd change to make the DCU more realistic is get rid of so many damn fictional countries.

For Marvel, it's cool to have a few fictional countries like Latveria, Genosha, and Wakanda. As for DC it's understandable to have a few too like Themyscria, Markova, and Kahndaq, but it's kind of rediculous with Bilaya, Pokolistan, Modora, Vlatava, Zandia, Umec, etc.
What's the difference? Name five fictional countries and five real countries and the average person couldn't tell one from the other. Besides, Black Adam killing a million people in North Korea is not very politically correct.
I don't see the point of a more "realistic" DCU, or Marvel U, or Star Wars universe, or Gooniverse. Frankly, I wish the universe we actually live in was a little less realistic.
I really don't understand why a lot of people absolutely hate my idea so much, when its been successful in the past. The general argument brought to the table is one of in 'practicality', i.e. by stating the near impossibility of introducing realism into comics. Yet many of you will recognise that it has been done before. Planetary is a lot more realistic than your average Superman comic, Supreme Power and the Ultimates are a LOT more consistent and realistic than your average JLA comic, so it CAN be done. If you understood my original post, you would see that i don't want TOTAL REALISM universe, but more REALISM !

I too believe that there is a place for the more fantastical depiction of the D.C. universe, but i would love for older stories to be re invigorated and modernised with a more realism. Is that really such an absurd request ? If you hate this idea, i think there’s a chance your being too firkin nostalgic, and i appreciate if you would just ****ing 'Do one'! Just avoid this thread as if it where another Goku vs. Superman thread. Deconstruction is not clever unless done well, and although there have been so quite rational criticism so far, most of them are based on lack of understanding or pure nostalgia. So stop soiling your beds , or just ****ff o back to your old folks home.
I think you are misinterpreting grittyness as realism.
A more realistic DCU?

Well, Superman would probably be some four legged horse creature who died in infancy because it most likely wouldn't be a biped, or breath our mix of air, or survive our cellular infections.
A more realistic DCU?

Well, Superman would probably be some four legged horse creature who died in infancy because it most likely wouldn't be a biped, or breath our mix of air, or survive our cellular infections.

Would probably be? yeah good one ! Even the most prominent exobiologist, would refrain from saying 'probably look like', so i suggest you do as well.
Do I look like an exobiologist? Nooooo. (The closest thing I'd be to a biologist is a soil microbiologist as it was my original career choice).

So take your suggestion and shove it. :o

Besides, show me a scientist that plays the tulip tip-toeing careful about what you say game, when scientists are reknown for saying things like that. If not saying that's EXACTLY how it's going to be.
Yahman, I think the thrust of the gist here is that realism in comics might be a nice idea, but it's always going to just be a bandaid on a cancerous tumor, so why even worry about it at all. Make it fit just a little bit into a relatable world, and then forget about it.

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