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Old 04-30-2021, 05:33 PM   #1
neatoman
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When comic books fail to accept they don't take place in the real world

Sorry for the awkward title but I think it might need to be adressed. Keep in mind, the problem I'm about to detail isn't exclusive to comic books or their adaptations, but it is where I most commonly see it and where I think it might be the most obvious.

Alright, one of the major problems I have with shared superhero universes aside from seemingly having contradictions between the books is that they tend to forget how much they differ from the real world. Much of this comes down to either editors or writers wanting to deal with real world issues, or simply making the fictional world more relatable, but I think it might be unintentional as well.

Why exactly would it be a problem? If the world depicted was actually closer to reality, it wouldn't necessarily be a problem. But you can't really fill your world with aliens, mutants, sentient robots, living dinosaurs, time travel and whatever else on such a massive scale and expect everything else to just play out like in the real world. At worst, this creates a weird disconnect where the writer just forces the story to be whatever they want without considering the setting.

For example, these are pages from the issue of Spider-Man dealing with 9/11:
Spoiler:



Now I don't mean to trivialise 9/11 here. In the real world it was quite a horrible thing and no terrorist attack was as devastating before or since. But that is the thing, nothing compares to it in the real world. In the Marvel Universe, New York is constantly attacked and these attacks are theoretically comparable to 9/11, so why exactly would 9/11 be treated any differently in such a world?

And while most people like to point to Doctor Doom crying at this is weird, I need to point out that Magneto and Doctor Octopus stand alongside him being saddened by the events. Magneto had previously done this:
Spoiler:


And Doctor Octopus would go on to do this:
Spoiler:



I could probably go on to talk about how different the Marvel Universe or any similar works of fiction really should be from the real world, such as how they really should have space colonies or completely different religions but I think this one example is a clear cut one.

If you want a non-comic example, I think Star Trek would be a good one, even it mostly just involve the backstory. The eugenics war obviously didn't happen in the real world, but the episode of Voyager where they go back to the 90's they still seem to insist Star Trek is "our future", as there are no apparent differences from the real world 90's. And I'm also willing to bet WWIII isn't happening in the next five years.
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