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How close are comics to being reality?
Comic books have been a part of Western culture since the beginning of the 20th century. There is an excellent chance that they will continue to do so in the foreseeable future, regardless of how the industry evolves. As long as people want stories with words and images, comics will continue, and that is a fact.
Now, it is interesting to analyze how comics can reflect reality as there have been a lot of creators that have used the medium to express their opinions and perspectives on real-life issues, which, regardless of results, have become standard practice in recent years in the industry.
So, this begs the question: How close are comics to being reality? Today we are going to analyze that question and offer all the possible answers.
First and foremost, we need to address the elephant in the room. Every comic book publisher has a different universe, and some of them even go as far as having other multiverses, so that is something worth taking into account.
Every universe has its own set of idiosyncrasies and elements that make it different from the rest so that those factors can influence our comprehension of said universe. So, for example, the universe that we have at the main DC Comics continuity is not the same as the one displayed in the Injustice storylines, to give you an example.
So, based on this logic, we can assume that most superhero universes in comics are not as attached to reality as we may think because we are talking about galaxies where there are superheroes, superpowers, villains, and a lot of different creatures that simply don’t exist in our reality. So that alone makes it quite different from our world.
As I have mentioned before, there is also the factor of what the writer wants to convey, and that is where the writing can have a significant impact on how comic books can become a little closer to reality.
A lot of times, this has been used to reflect the writer’s sociopolitical views. However, a much more universal example of that can be the situation of 9/11 in 2001. Marvel Comics showed a lot of different characters, from Spider-Man to Doctor Doom, reacting to this real-life event and the impact it had on New York.
Of course, as the years went by, many different comic book writers have tried to update their universes to keep them in line with what is going on in the world right now. That might not be political; it might be some technological advance like the cellphones or the use of the internet, which we have seen in recent years.
An interesting example of this might be The Ultimates, written by Mark Millar for Marvel in the early 2000s, and it was a modern take on the Avengers on an alternate universe. And Millar tried to add a lot of different references from that particular time, making the book very current, but sadly dooming it to feel antiquated as a few years went by because younger readers wouldn’t be familiar with a lot of those references.
Should comics be close to reality?
Comics are close to reality, primarily down to what the writer wants. Of course, that can vary from case to case, especially in large publishers like DC and Marvel, with so many different writers and have been in the business for so long. Still, the most critical question is: Should comics be close to reality?
That is something that should be down to every writer’s preference and the reaction that every reader has, but you also have to consider the genre. So, for example, comic books are usually connected with superheroes, and they are the primary source of stories in the medium, but they are just one genre.
Superheroes tend to the fantastic and epic, which goes back to Superman’s appearance in 1938, and things went even further in the foreseeable future. There were many more elements of fantasy and science fiction, which became the basis of the central comic book universes, such as Marvel and DC.
But other genres, such as romance, westerns, action, and many others, are strictly linked to reality and don’t have superpowers, aliens, and many other elements that make comic book universes a lot more fictional. And that is something that can make a monumental difference in how close comics can be to reality.
So, I think that plays a significant role in comics being close to reality: the type of story you want to tell and the type of genre you are working on because that can play a lot of different consequences.
If you have a story where a Superman-like character exists, that, of course, is going to make things very different from our reality. Even the likes of Superboy-Prime, a version of Superman that lives in our world, make that reality very different from ours, and even those details are done in a somewhat superficial manner.
As you can see, comic books, by and large, are not very close to reality, and they can often be far away from our real-life situations. Still, there have been cases of writers that have tried to connect comics, especially the biggest ones of Marvel and DC, with real-life situations. And while it has not yielded the best possible results, it has provided a very interesting experiment.
But comics, much like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder, and that is what matters at the end of the day. If readers find enjoyment in stories and universes closer to reality, then who are we to judge, right?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]