What DON'T you like about current martial art Superheroes


#1

I’d like to understand my fellow superhero and street fighter fans.
I am currently in the planning of my superhero story and the superhero will be a street fighter. However casting my mind back on current famous street fighters and martial artist superheroes, i mean on the same fame level of superman,batman,wonder woman,the flash,spider-man,green latern… there is almost none. When i talk about fame level i am taking in account the general public, not just Superhero fans themselves (comic/manga, cartoon/anime,video games,and movies)So TELL ME, what do you think the current problem is with street fighters? what don’t you like about the current ones? what do you like? do you think the world we will ever get a street fighting superhero on par with batman,superman,and wonder woman in terms of worldwide success? Go in as much detail as you like, more the better.
-Joe:)


#2

I don’t read that many comics but I think one reason there aren’t that many martial arts/street fighter superheroes is because: guns beat fists. That and the martial arts genre of movies has pretty much covered martial arts as entertainment for awhile. It would also be hard to create that kind of character without it being overly generic and falling into too many stereotypes. A superhero called “Tae Kwon Do Man” would be lame as hell. I think to pull-off a martial arts type of hero you would just have to put them in a historical setting where melee combat was more common, but I’m not sure if that would ever allow them to be on the same level of fame as the superheroes you mentioned. Another reason is that the heroes you mentioned all have some sort of super power that elevates them above normal humans, this kind of makes it easier for them get attention versus the heroes that are pretty much average joes that just train really hard. Them having superhuman abilities also allows them to be put in situations that are on a different scale of importance compared the abilities of a normal person. If an article was in the newspaper about Superman fighting off aliens and saving the universe, would you even bother to read the article in the corner about “Tae Kwon Do Man” beating up a gang and stopping a robbery?

P.S. (Batman should count as a martial arts hero since he has some pretty extensive training)


#3

In the pantheon of superheroes, martial arts alone won’t cut it. You need something to back it up. And if you’re a martial artist with super strength, they’re probably going to think of strength before they think of fighting skills. Ditto with flying, eye beams, and so forth.

In other words, martial arts is just one of the talents a superhero might use to fight crime, not a superheroic talent in and of itself.

(Not that they haven’t tried to do superheroes whose primary trait is martial arts, but it’s usually lame.)


#4

Powers/skills/gimmicks don’t mean shit. It’s all about what kind of story you’re telling and the characters you put into your world.

You could have a guy with the coolest title for a comic book EVER, (for example, “The Deadly Hands of Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu”) but if the story is a a generic, walk-on-the-street-and-beat-down-street-punks kind of tale, it’s gonna get old fast.

On the other hand, you could have a stereotypical white man as ONE TRUE MASTER of the Eastern Martial Arts, (for example, “The Immortal Iron Fist”) but create a story that taps into the mythology of superheroes AND Eastern mysticism to make something new and exciting. Not that I’m saying you should copy Iron Fist. Just read it for inspiration.

I think the problem with martial arts-based heroes in the past is that too often, their storylines have revolved around basically just traveling the globe and beating up other fighters. You can only run with that ball for so long before readers want a twist or something new to the formula. Just look at stuff like the previous Iron Fist volume, Richard Dragon, or even the Street Fighter comic. Those got old pretty fast.

If you want to make a good comic, start with building the character and his world first. The martial arts aspect should only be a characteristic of your hero. If martial arts is the primary reason your hero exists, then I would recommend spending some time developing the character- like his motivations, his personality, his friends, his world, an overall plot/theme, etc.

As for the whole popularity/fame thing, I have no idea how to make a hero with a martial arts schtick on the same level of renown as Batman, Superman, etc. For one thing, those guys are icons who’ve been around for many decades. Just for that alone, it is gonna be tough to rise up to that status. A more levelheaded goal is just to tell the best damn story you can, and trust that the comics-reading public will buy into your creations.

Or, save up a bunch of money and hire Jim Lee or Rob Liefeld or someone to draw the fuck out of your shit. Then you won’t even have to worry about coming up with a story.


#5

they dont work for simply most writiers don’t understand martial arts. so they rely on old kung fu movie gimmicks…they dont understand 1 bit of the technicalities that go into techniques or how the simple bit of pressure can change the whole dynamic of one move.

dont ask me why asian writers understand it…im not gonna say its cuz their asian but i guess cuz their not retarded and actually looked into the info.


#6

pretty much.

Wanna see a good example of this? Checkout Brubaker/Fraction’s Immortal Iron Fist or Bendis’ Daredevil. Both street level martial arts books with great story and well choreographed fightscenes (esp. Bendis’ Daredevil).


#7

Right, exactly. Daredevil is a perfect example of a great superhero/martial artist type comic. You must defeat Sheng-Long to stand a chance.

Even going back to the Frank Miller days, there was a lot of martial arts action going on in Daredevil. Not only did we see it whenever DD fought someone, but there was all that stuff with the Hand and Elektra. Bendis continued the trend, and so is Brubaker. Those writers never hit us over the head with the martial arts aspects of DD, but they used it whenever it was logical in the storyline.


#8

thanks sdfjkln,goodm0urning,Zephyranthes,maxx,Sheng-Long and Zephyranthes
don’t worry sdfjkln he’s not going to be name after a martial art style like tae kwon do man. but his martial art style is Ninjutsu. i kind of wanted to do a ryu and ken thing and have him and my other super-hero be friendly rivals.
-Joe:)


#9

^
Pretty much the reason right there. That and some artist just can’t make a MA fight scene (or any real fight, in some cases) flow properly.

I mean we are all by now spoiled by fluid martial arts from the movies, wire fu or otherwise, so just seeing couple of panels where the fights don’t come out right doesn’t pull in as many people compared to gun fights or superpowered fights where all it takes is a good series of panels of one badass scene to please most.


#10

Good points all around. I think a major difference between the way comics and manga/anime are is the different formats.

Manga in Japan comes out in compilation / anthology magazines like Shonen Jump and there is a new chapter about every 2 weeks or so. While one artist is usually credited there are a bunch of ghost artists that help out. Usually when a ghost artist gets his or her title they will say “Yeah I worked on Dragon Ball” and so and so. Also editors play a much heavier hand in writing manga, even more so than Joe Quesada and Dan Didio do believe it or not.

Anime is the same in that there is a new episode of a series on TV about every 2 weeks, sometimes every week. One episode of anime covers about 2 manga chapters. It’s the main reason why a lot of episodes have two titles, like “Naruto’s revenge! Will Kenichi be the strongest?” because that episode is covering two chapters, one called “Naruto’s revenge!” and another is called “Will Kenichi be the strongest?” This is why a lot of time an anime will get too far ahead of a manga and they have to create their own filler arcs until there’s more manga for them to adopt. Filler arcs usually are not taken very kindly by viewers but it’s one of those things when you are working on a format that doesn’t involve reruns (there’s never any reruns, everything airs once and then it goes straight to DVD that’s why there’s soooo much anime) and no breaks for the summer like we are used to.

Comics I’m sure I don’t have to tell you come out once a month and are in color, not in anthology books but as single issues. And a bunch of things about comics that are different and I don’t have to say with this being a comic book forum, so moving along…

My point is that a long 50 chapter fight is more condusive to both manga and anime due to the insane schedule they keep. And they come out in an anthology book, some of them are the size of a telephone book so there is a lot to devert your attention while you wait on the next chapter that’s only a few weeks away. In comics, a 50 chapter fight would take about 4 years. No one is sitting through that. If you have one comic to read about a character for the entire month you are just going to want more for your issue.

I remember when manga came to the US and they printed it as comic books, 2 chapters a story, one issue a month. The pacing was incredibly slow especially for long fights. Soon they found they sold it better in the US as seperate books and the comic format for manga was gone. Even Shonen Jump on occasion tends to have 2 to 3 chapters, sometimes more and every story they print becomes a book anyway. The books incredibly outsell Shonen Jump. Just to show you, Naruto is one of Barnes & Nobles’ best sellers.

That being said there are some perfect venues for manga style fights. 52 and Countdown that are weekly, Amazing Spider-Man that will ship 3 times a month, every time Superman had a story that ran through all of their titles, Endangered Species back ups and so on. But creative teams never go this route. Our audience is quite different, I’m not sure it would fly. Kind of like I dunno how many Americans griping about fights in Dragon Ball taking way too long. :rofl:

Both formats are extremely different and cater to different audiences. Enjoy them for what they are.

Of course everything I said is talking about Shonen / Shojo type manga (Boys/Girls manga) that involves martial arts and super hero comics. There’s lots of things that don’t fall into either category. Maybe even moreso in Japan since manga is more embraced by society over there than comic books are. I mean seriously there’s manga for older women on how to cook meals. We are not there yet, here’s hoping I can see something like that in my lifetime.

But yeah if you like manga you should check out some Ameri-manga like Gold Diggers, Ninja High School, (make sure you see these 2 in color, no offense but their inking blows IMHO lol) Usagi Yojimbo and anything by Adam Warren. Plenty of stuff out their and lots of fighting in those books, fights aren’t as long as manga but I’ve seen them go on for about 3 issues or so which is pretty good considering. Lots of things out there even on this side of the world that doesn’t involve men in tights. :smile:


#11

Ahem Manga’s bad. The pacing is awkward, the art is uniformly terrible, and most of the subject matter is ripped off from European comics or American films. (e.g. Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Bubblegum Crisis and their Blade Runner worship) The industry that makes more money than the American comics industry OR the Japanese industry is in Europe, where there are two-story comic book superstores and virtually everyone reads at least something. Films like the Fifth Element, Spirited Away, Blade Runner, Tron, Alien, Total Recall, Little Nemo, and Natural City have all incorporated the visual elements used by French artists who once drew for Heavy Metal magazine. In France, the industry is particularly strong, with comic strips actually having their own exhibits in the Louvre, and being considered their own, legitimate art form. The best part is, all French artists don’t draw in the exact same art style, as seems to be a requirement with manga and anime.

Also, recommending Gold Digger is a bad idea. I worked in a comic shop up until a day or two ago, and the only people who picked it up were mouth-breathers who also picked up tons and tons of furry porn. (Creepier still, they also picked up Sonic the Hedgehog cringe)

How has no one mentioned Iron Fist? It was nominated for an Eisner award, has great art, is written by Ed Brubaker, and is just great across the board. The martial arts comics were huge in the 1970’s in America, with Shang Chi: Master of Kung-Fu, The Karate Kid, Iron Fist, and a million others selling really well, but they just went out of fashion. It’s cool stuff to go back and read, though. Frank Miller brought some of that back with his run on Daredevil, which DC mimicked and put into Batman’s back story, as well.

Sorry to digress so much from the subject, but there’s this weird tendency among manga and anime fans to think American comics are so inferior - when in fact it was films and comics from the U.S. that inspired anime and manga in the first place. The sheer number of Japanese anime filmmakers that owe a debt of gratitude to the cartoon Heavy Metal film is astounding.


#12

Lol lots of things in your post were opinion so certain things I won’t comment on, shrug…

As far as influences go, just about everything is influenced by something. That’s the nature of any artform you can think of. We live in an age where just about any story you want to tell has been told in some shape / size / form, it usually bowls down to how the people behind it wish to tell that story. Ghost in the Shell may have been influenced by Hollywood Sci Fi, it influenced The Matrix, Matrix influenced the Japanese live action Returner movie, it’s an endless cycle that will continue seemingly forever.

Manga and anime do have lots of different styles. You have Fist of the North Star on one spectrum, Berserk on another, Death Note on another and Naruto on another end. There’s actually so much stuff out there that if you spent your entire life reading whatever was translated in English you would know like a margin of it. Again, judge everything on it’s own merit instead of lumping everything together. Not everything is Crayon Shin Chan and not everything is Legend of the Overfiend. Just like not everything is Batman and not everything is Archie.

Yeah I don’t know much about Europe or how you even compare sales of a Continent to four small islands but having been to Tokyo, seeing everyone - and I mean EVERYONE from kids to old ladies on the train reading manga and cartoon characters on Police cars of all things… well let’s just say I think it’s kind of obvious lots of people hold the artform higher than the United States does for some reason. Marvel and DC storylines getting in the newspaper, the Hollywood movies, Joe Quesada on Talk shows who knows, maybe things are changing slowly. Course we are not there yet. The general art world over here considers comic book artists lower than dog poop which I hope changes within a few generations.

At no point did I say one art form was better than the other. Not sure if the above was directed at me, but still. Well even if I said that it would still be an opinion so wouldn’t make too much of a difference anyways… If you don’t like one style, that’s fine because in the end it’s up to you. I only bring up differences because it seems like what this thread is about, comparing one art form to another and looking for something in one art form that’s specific to another.

Other than that I do know a few people who read Gold Digger just 'cuz they like it and are not into furry porn or whatever. Even Rhio2K spoke highly of Fred Perry in the what’s up with Udon thread, course I have no idea what he’s into and his old Baloo avatar makes me raise an eyebrow.:rofl: Fred’s a good artist and even animated his own comic by himself, who else can say that? Just don’t care for his inking… I even read it for a time and am not into furry porn either… I stopped reading around when he had Gina’s mom being the strongest in the universe, see I was a Ryan fan and I didn’t need a 1 1/2 year tourney arc to tell me how weak he was… but it was a 1 1/2 year tourney arc where the heck else are you gonna get that in a comic written in English? I mean seriously…

Anyway, whenever I suggest something it’s just for you to walk into a store, look at it and check it out, see if it’s for you or not. Hell some shops and even places like Virgin and heck Barnes and Noble along with libraries will let you sit there and read for free. It’s all up to the individual to come to their own opinions and see what works for them.


#13

you’re kidding right?:lol:


#14

I stopped reading before you got in too deep. Sorry, but completely dismissing all comics from an entire region of the world isn’t a great way to open a post. Better luck next time.


#15

Not only that, but Razorfist didn’t even read all the previous posts.

“How has no one mentioned Iron Fist?”

Please read.