Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Incredibles

The dust has long settled on the theme of teams beating individuals, or viceversa. We already passed judgement on that in the old post Teams vs. Individuals.   But what if the participants are of the Superhero class. A Superhero in a comic book and in real life has extraordinary powers of some sort.

These extraordinary powers are generally uni-dimensional, either the ability to fly, run at amazing speeds, climb walls like arachnids, or some other very specific quality. Even a Superhero cannot excel at everything.

Specialized traits force screenwriters to sacrifice credibility through plots where a narrow ability somehow saves the day. This is compounded by most superheroes working independently, so if there is no use for the skill, that is it, the superhero is as powerless as any mortal.

Sometimes, like in The Incredibles, Superheroes operate as a team, in this case as a family of superheroes. Interestingly its creator, Brad Bird, was open to a sequel of the movie if he could come up with a plot superior to the original one. 

Here are the powers the sequel characters should have. They are not physical powers, that is boring, we already have powerful machines.

One has the trait of knowledge. Knowledge is power you might say, and we can use that character in half the action movies you see on TV. 

A second one knows how to read people, a not so subtle variant over raw knowledge. Reading people helps untangle things involving human motives and actions. Tangle and untangle people.

And the third just understands. Hard to explain what understanding the essence of things means, but superheroes are seen in action, not explained.

Reality provides abundant plots. Having named their powers I can now stop and let plots happen.