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How much has being a superhero world affected the CoT verse?

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The Hybrid
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How much has being a superhero world affected the CoT verse?

One thing about Marvel and DC that we kind of have to scratch our heads at is that the mundane world lives largely in stasis separate from all the superhero action. The main point is the term "Reed Richards is Useless", where he (nor any other super genius) doesn't change the world in any meaningful way outside of superheroics. Granted, this isn't a bad thing, for a variety of reasons. The main one being that superheroes work best as part of a fantasy that this could be our world.

Plus, with the shared universe aspect, they basically have to keep the mundane world the same for everyone to be on the same page. It'd be a nightmare if one issue of the Fantastic Four has Reed patent flying cars, then everyone else has to adjust their titles to fit. They have a hard enough time keeping pace as it is.

But what I do like in other superhero worlds is where the world looks like ours, but there's just enough of an effect on society where it's cool to see. How much of that is in City of Titans?

As some examples:

- The crimefighter license, and superhuman law in general, showing just how the laws have adapted to the world they inhabit.
- People who aren't superheroes or supervillains that have powers and abilities, such as Elmer Haws being an attorney who happens to have super strength.
- The COP suits that the police have, essentially low-level power armor that enables them to deal with tough customers outside the normal range.
- There is an intelligent dinosaur population in Titan City, including one who drives a cab.
- The TCFD has a member who can put out fires psychically, making him very useful.
- Downtown is a "vertical city" with connected buildings and airship traffic rebuilt after Hurricane Atlas.

Anything else to note? It's pretty cool to see worldbuilding like this.

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Artificial intelligences (in

Artificial intelligences (in particular robots, but it should apply to any Turing-level AI) are legally people. Anyone building a bleeding edge research machine needs to be aware that selling it may violate the Constitution, as may attempting to cut it out of patent rights. Quietly unplugging it and ordering it to be dismantled and scrapped might be murder. Computer manufacturing companies might be required to take active measures to preclude sapience. A bank's accounting computer might be simple enough, or it might have been made just enough more complex to better defend against hacking attempts. And that server farm for the latest superhero MMORPG, when expanded to meet the demand, might suddenly be taking over the game. ^_^

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Re: Reed Richards is useless.

Re: Reed Richards is useless.

I generally just tell myself inventions from techy superheroes are simply too expensive for wise use. I actually don't know how Reed Richards could afford any of that, Tony Stark is easier on that front.


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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

Re: Reed Richards is useless.

I generally just tell myself inventions from techy superheroes are simply too expensive for wise use. I actually don't know how Reed Richards could afford any of that, Tony Stark is easier on that front.

An interesting example of this is exoskeletal suits (which are essentially non-weapon power armor). As long as the gyroscope system and ergonomic controls exist (and they do, or else Super-suit characters wouldn't really be a thing) they can theoretically be adapted to a lower level for the sake of civilian-grade technology, and then mass-produced in a factory setting. I could see some construction companies having these kinds of low-grade exoskeletons to replace things like forklifts or construction vehicles since they'd be easier to operate in less space, be better for storage, require the same amount of training, and likely require less fuel to keep powered.

Of course, when you get into police forces and military, it starts getting a bit different. They'd have hardsuits - exoskeletal suits actually intended as modern armor - and be loaded with weapons to make use of the fact that the pilots of these suits wouldn't necessarily have to carry them themselves. But what would they be used for? That depends on whether they're intended for domestic or military excursions.

For an elite police force (which exists in the form of SWAT teams in America, which literally means "Special Weapons and Tactics", so it absolutely applies here) you're looking at them having one to five of these suits at the ready for fighting metahuman criminals as necessary, since they're guaranteed to have access super-geniuses in the form of Heroes, even if they're not local. They can get maintenance and repairs done on an at-necessary basis, since they aren't meant for long engagements. Nonlethal weapons would be mounted on the suit - tasers, a grenade launcher attachment loaded with flashbangs and gas grenades, maybe a quick-hardening foam-launcher to trap criminals, and so on - for civilian-grade combat, with one or two lethal weapons to be used when other avenues aren't available. This is in addition to the raw strength of the suit, so they could go toe to toe with a meta engaging them in melee.

The military, interestingly, would actually probably have lower tech exo-suits than civilian police forces. Not because they don't have a need for the higher-tech, but because it'd be more difficult to maintain in the field. Where a police officer can take their suit into the garage after a couple of hours of hard use, military technology has to be expected to keep working in active combat zones for weeks at a time. This precludes the most excessive technologies, favoring simple and robust mechanisms, resulting in simpler systems to produce on a mass scale and maintain in the field and replace parts for. An interesting note is that they'd be able to carry anti-tank weapons with little fanfare due to their much greater strength. This'd make the power-armored troopers an effective special forces strike force option which would act as something that hasn't really existed on the battlefield since before World War 1; Skirmishers. Able to get into a conflict, disrupt the enemy, and then pull out before a response can be mounted, softening them for the main force to move in on the position.

While on the topic of the military, Metahumans would be a military resource in most parts of the world. The troops can't get in and break this location? Call in the Super Squad. This means that even at the highest level of open combat, there's still a Super-team dynamic going on, and in fact the civilian Superhero system may have descended from that - legal recognition of military supers trying to clean up their neighborhood and giving them a carte blanche for working with the local police force. This would have turned into a more formal arrangement over the years and eventually turned into what we see today. The "bodysuit" thing could even be related to that, as close-fitting slothing is more useful for a mlee combatant that's meant to infiltrate places than bulky gear, most of the time. Just change the colors and BAM, instant costume.

... well, that turned into a ramble. Hope my thoughts were helpful!

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

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I mean in CoT there're

I mean in CoT there're definitely police mechs, it might be localized to Titan City though


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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

I mean in CoT there're definitely police mechs, it might be localized to Titan City though

Whoa, police mechs? Is that different from the COP suit? If so, I need to see that!

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I don't think they've been

I don't think they've been shown, but they're featured in Tales of TCPD :)


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That’s cool. I still gotta

That’s cool. I still gotta read through the whole thing. I’ll probably binge through it soon.

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It's worth it, especially if

It's worth it, especially if you're into the lore, but if you just want the mechs they're way later.


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The Hybrid wrote:
The Hybrid wrote:
DesViper wrote:

I mean in CoT there're definitely police mechs, it might be localized to Titan City though

Whoa, police mechs? Is that different from the COP suit? If so, I need to see that!

Nah, they're the COP suits.

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There's still a cost to this

There's still a cost to this stuff. Governments would take a cost-benefit approach whereas a superhero would just go for broke (and go broke). The equilibrium could easily settle on letting vigilantes do the heavy lifting. Leaving more money for schools, hospitals and chrome-plated manhole covers.

Anyway, who'd want to risk trusting machines to uphold the law when you can have a totally trustworthy cop in a COP suit instead. Totally.

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I don't think anybody

I don't think anybody advocated for AI controlled police at any point in this conversation yet?

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

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I'd prefer an AI if it could

I'd prefer an AI if it could read crime statistics better than the average computer programmer -_-


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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

I don't think anybody advocated for AI controlled police at any point in this conversation yet?

My last comment was directed more at the cop in a COP suit from the Tales of the TCPD...

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While numerous strong heroes

While numerous strong heroes appreciate the thought, most agree that chrome plating on the manhole covers they throw at villains who won't come into range of a punch does not increase accuracy or damage.

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If heroes are plentiful in

If heroes are plentiful in the setting, it may be easier for the police to simply hire some for a quick response team for greater threats than SWAT can handle, SWAP - Super Weapons and Powers. They could then forego the need to obtain and maintain the advanced tech that would otherwise be required.

I could also see the government not bothering as Airhead suggested, spending money on typical government expenditures, confident that any dire threat beyond what law enforcement can handle will be dealt with by superheroes not seeking or expecting compensation.

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&%$# yeah, Special Police

&%$# yeah, Special Police with superpowers :p


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Thinking about it it's a

Thinking about it it's a little silly that in a lot of Super Universes there's such a large division between super powered people and the police. Like you'd expect to see at least -some- super powered individuals in the police force but usually in super universes there's no powered people on the police force.

The only super powered cop I can think of is Image's Savage Dragon.

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Project_Hero wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:

Thinking about it it's a little silly that in a lot of Super Universes there's such a large division between super powered people and the police. Like you'd expect to see at least -some- super powered individuals in the police force but usually in super universes there's no powered people on the police force.

The only super powered cop I can think of is Image's Savage Dragon.

I'm glad TCPD has Deputy Chief Gherrenfur to further break down the barriers faced by non-human sapients ^_^.

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Project_Hero wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:

Thinking about it it's a little silly that in a lot of Super Universes there's such a large division between super powered people and the police. Like you'd expect to see at least -some- super powered individuals in the police force but usually in super universes there's no powered people on the police force.

The only super powered cop I can think of is Image's Savage Dragon.

Top 10 is a classic comic series (written by Alan Moore of Watchmen) which is literally about a super powered police force. It follows their lives and on-the-job experiences. They even have a leader named “Hyperdog” who is a cybernetic Doberman. The city of Neopolis is filled with super-powered folks and the officers of Precinct 10 are all costumed heroes tasked with keeping the peace and enforcing the law.

Top 10 on Wikipedia

IMAGE(https://66.media.tumblr.com/1271c06edcbfff5eb4688124db7385fc/tumblr_phmxeinJ7v1vvfgwko1_r1_500.jpg)

I’d be surprised if the comic wasn’t an influence on CoT and/or CoH. (It ran from 1999-2001.)

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Another comic that I think is

Another comic that I think is an influence on CoT is Astro City by Kurt Busiek. The comic portrays everything about the superhero genre as though it were the real world, and I can see that influence here with how the world has adapted to them. Both are fantasy kitchen sink with endless possibilities, have a longstanding history and mythology due to superheroes, and are centered primarily around a city of adventure. I think I even remember them citing Astro City as an influence in the past.

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"Wearing the Cape" deals with

"Wearing the Cape" deals with most of these issues.

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One thing that changes a lot

One thing that changes a lot with the inclusion of supers to a world is going to have to be the entertainment industry for the sake of including such superpowered individuals. Imagine Dungeons and Dragons in a world where wizards actually exist, and one or two people in several thousand have the ability to turn blades with nothing but their skin. It's a completely different conceptual space, not the least reason being that "hero" characters in such games would inevitably be compared to such superhero characters (perhaps with the inclusion of a "metahuman" class), and certain media expectations about how Superheroes present themselves (iconic outfits and catchy codenames) would bleed into the public space of how ascendant individuals become strong parts of the culture.

This'd also affect TV shows and movies since you'd be able to (and maybe even expected to) include metahuman characters in the storylines. Imagine how many more cop-outs and cheap drama you could achieve in a soap opera if one of the characters is an active hero! And in that slice-of-life comedy, you could have one of the main character's drinking buddies be a literal wizard. You could write a whole story about how someone's horrible mutations can be overcome by the love of those close to you (Hallmark would get in on that in a heartbeat). Maybe a movie about a guy who falls in love with an AI and makes it work? And Reality shows! Imagine how many reality shows would spawn off of basically just strapping a Go Pro to a superhero and letting him do his thing and then talking about it afterward?

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

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That all brings me back to

That all brings me back to the game itself. Can we expect the things we talked about to be addressed in the CoT universe?

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I think they'd done a good

I think they'd done a good job rooting the reality of commonplace supers in Titan City, down to Supreme Court decisions!


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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

..And Reality shows! Imagine how many reality shows would spawn off of basically just strapping a Go Pro to a superhero and letting him do his thing and then talking about it afterward?

Fireheart wrote:

"Wearing the Cape" deals with most of these issues.

At the beginning of "Small Town Heroes" (the fourth novel, or fifth if you count Big Easy Nights), while helping with flood control (not breakthrough caused flooding AFAIK, just normal flooding that the Midwest sees every decade or so), the Young Sentinels cross... paths... with the stars of such a reality show. ^_^

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Watch “The Boys” on Amazon

Watch “The Boys” on Amazon Prime - Modern Day explanation of Meta Humans in society, corruption, politics, coverups etc... somewhat entertaining and a unique perspective on the origin of super heroes and how they integrate into society. No spoilers here. Or at least vague ones.

Edit: Forgot -Drugs, sex, money, money, money, scandal, murder (even if it’s really manslaughter), and Praise/Hate of superheroes by non.
Okay that’s it for real...

Meh. Bah!

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I prefer "realistic"

I prefer "realistic" superheroes to take an optimistic view over a pessimistic one to be honest. That's part of the reason I've struggled with getting into that web serial the internet loves so much, Worm.

I struggle mainly because of all the praise over the series being "realistic" about superheroes. Dark and edgy, yes, but I don't find it a realistic take because of how overall miserable it is and the very specific scenarios there to make such realism possible. I honestly don't like the idea in general of "dark = realistic".

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The Hybrid wrote:
The Hybrid wrote:

I prefer "realistic" superheroes to take an optimistic view over a pessimistic one to be honest. That's part of the reason I've struggled with getting into that web serial the internet loves so much, Worm.

I struggle mainly because of all the praise over the series being "realistic" about superheroes. Dark and edgy, yes, but I don't find it a realistic take because of how overall miserable it is and the very specific scenarios there to make such realism possible. I honestly don't like the idea in general of "dark = realistic".

Agreed. I've generally found that "dark gritty superheros" is a well that dries quickly, and it's hard to do it well without it coming off as edgelord nonsense.

I think it's more interesting to consider how a person with superhuman abilities and a genuine desire to do good would have to navigate a world with complexities and nuances that exist in the real world, instead of just "what if superheroes were just garbage people."

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That's generally why I like

That's generally why I like Superman as a character, he's supposed to be optimistic and kind. In a world that generally isn't. Also why it sucks to see bad portrayals of the character that just water him down to his powers.

Like I don't want to see a movie with a strong man who fights stuff. I want to see Superman.

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The Hybrid wrote:
The Hybrid wrote:

Another comic that I think is an influence on CoT is Astro City by Kurt Busiek. The comic portrays everything about the superhero genre as though it were the real world, and I can see that influence here with how the world has adapted to them. Both are fantasy kitchen sink with endless possibilities, have a longstanding history and mythology due to superheroes, and are centered primarily around a city of adventure. I think I even remember them citing Astro City as an influence in the past.

... Is that an Alex Ross cover?

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Yes. Alex Ross is the cover

Yes. Alex Ross is the cover artist of the series.

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The Hybrid wrote:
The Hybrid wrote:

Yes. Alex Ross is the cover artist of the series.

Niiice. I remember the work he did for Earth X, Universe X, Paradise X and then Kingdom Come. Good stuff.

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Yeah I like Astro City, I'm

Yeah I like Astro City, I'm also kind of fond of Umbrella Academy's take on it where it goes up to capepunk complaining about how a world with superheroes in it would be screwed up and goes "Yeah, what's your point? Our world's pretty screwed up too and we know how to adapt to it, so why wouldn't adapt to that one?"

not my video just one I lke ===> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6-SdIN0hsM

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mehebah wrote:
mehebah wrote:

Watch “The Boys” on Amazon Prime - Modern Day explanation of Meta Humans in society, corruption, politics, coverups etc... somewhat entertaining and a unique perspective on the origin of super heroes and how they integrate into society. No spoilers here. Or at least vague ones.

Edit: Forgot -Drugs, sex, money, money, money, scandal, murder (even if it’s really manslaughter), and Praise/Hate of superheroes by non.
Okay that’s it for real...

I like The Boys, but honestly I think the one saving grace the show has is that unlike Watchmen or other "gritty and realistic" superhero universes where the concept is just "what if superheroes were universally garbage people?" The Boys has Starlight. And she seems to actually want to be a legit hero and tear down the facade of all the terrible people pretending to be heroic.

Once a universe like that fully embraces moral ambiguity and has no true heroes left in it, I lose interest quickly. I need a degree of escapism in my superhero fantasy and generally prefer it when "dark and gritty" is not being used as a giant paint roller for an entire franchise.

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Capepunk? Never heard that

Capepunk? Never heard that term before, but I love it!


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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

Capepunk? Never heard that term before, but I love it!

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Capepunk

It's a somewhat new genre, where superheroes are about fantasy and about good guys fighting bad guys, Capepunk is more science fiction, moral grey areas and looking at the consequences of superheroes and super powers while exploring a world that has no idea how to handle fantastical elements suddenly having to deal with fantastical elemental. It's the genre of The Boys, Watchmen and alot of fiction that tries to deconstruct superheroes.

not my video just one I lke ===> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6-SdIN0hsM

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I love Worm, but calling it

I love Worm, but calling it "realistic" is kinda silly when, in-universe and out of universe, powers are designed to engender conflict and devastation for reasons that I won't get into because of spoilers. There's a reason that powers tend to go to shit people or turn them into shit people, and it's not really "realism" so much as just science fiction.

I think the most realistic parts of Worm are in the beginning when they talk about all of the unspoken rules of etiquette between heroes and villains, and how everyone bands together to fight the giant monsters that occasionally show up to murder cities. Maybe the corporate PR stuff that gets the spotlight at certain points. But yeah, just being dark and gritty doesn't make something realistic.

*coughEnnisMillarMillercough*

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Speaking about AI there might

Speaking about AI there might be laws to limit the intelligence of synthetic intelligence.

A human or above intelligence level AI could be considered slavery. But an AI that level capped to match the intelligence of a dog or chimp could be sold on grounds they are functionally pet AIs. Programmed to enjoy the task they are given, like training a dog with games and treats.

There could be public fear and even protests against AIs. If some people think being homosexual is unnatural they will definitely protest the sex bots prostitutes. Would robotic androids prostitution even be illegal? Might be another reason to limit AIs being bought and sold.

There might even be laws against developing AIs above a certain intelligence level.

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Speaking about a way

Speaking about a way Superpowers could affect the world I been reading the Cape High series by R.J. Ross.

The super community functions more like sporting events. Pro Wrestling to be more direct. You have the classic Villains set up events where the Hero appears to stop them.

One Villain picks up a sports team buss and flys to hold them hostage for example. Of course it was pre arranged.

Thought the books do have true criminal villains but they mostly operate off the public knowledge. The professional Heroes and Villains both fight the criminals to keep the public from being frightened of supers.

The pros get funds to operate via merchandise and story rites including movies. One female villain complained the actresses playing her boobs were too big.

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It let's me play with the

It let's me play with the Background I made for my Character from City of Heroes/Villains, Most Superhero settings allow for Multiversal explanations towards some things and Characters and I love playing around with that as a base for a character. Atleast for one anyway, when it get's down to it I like the High level powers of some characters, but prefer to focus on the street level. I'm... Probably going to play a Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain so i can be abit less "Happy" about dealing with some things (basically one of my Main Archetypes is a Mercenary).

Edit: One of my Favourite Settings for Supers was Aberrant by White Wolf, an interesting setting and a fun idea or two and some really really dark parts.

Heroes, Villians... Who Cares. In the end, it's our Actions that define us not a name or tag we use.

Halae
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Oh, here's a thing that I don

Oh, here's a thing that I don't think has been mentioned - cybernetics! We're almost to the point where real consumer cybernetics is a thing in the real world. With the higher tech base of a superhero world (even if supertech is mostly in the hands of actual supers, reverse engineering exists) it's not impossible to imagine that amputees could get medical prosthetics that are technologically sound. There might even be cybernetics clinics in every major city in that regard. And, of course, there'd be illegal modifications the more extreme criminals could install for that extra bit of oomph. I could see someone in CoT writing a story about tracking down a chop shop that's been stealing people's cybernetic limbs, in fact.

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

DesViper
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I think the guy from the

I think the guy from the Scorpion Cape Chaser story had a cybernetic leg that was basically baseline.


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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

Oh, here's a thing that I don't think has been mentioned - cybernetics! We're almost to the point where real consumer cybernetics is a thing in the real world. With the higher tech base of a superhero world (even if supertech is mostly in the hands of actual supers, reverse engineering exists) it's not impossible to imagine that amputees could get medical prosthetics that are technologically sound. There might even be cybernetics clinics in every major city in that regard. And, of course, there'd be illegal modifications the more extreme criminals could install for that extra bit of oomph. I could see someone in CoT writing a story about tracking down a chop shop that's been stealing people's cybernetic limbs, in fact.

It's also important to note that cybernetic implantation would be pretty expensive, especially the higher-quality, more reliable ones. So it wouldn't surprise me if there's a major issue of poor people who could benefit from cybernetics being denied by their health insurance or just simply not having means to get them. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if that very notion were to be used by a populist politician to foment anti-cybernetic sentiment in a bid to ban it entirely.

Halae
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That'd be a big point of

That'd be a big point of contention, given how many people would benefit from having cybernetics available. if it was banned in America, it'd be like the alcohol prohibition, with people doing it anyways, just illegally.

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

SisterSilicon
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Live-action Marvel has some

Live-action Marvel has some good examples. Bucky’s arm was Soviet spec-ops grade future tech, Misty Knight’s was high-end 2018 prosthetic hardware with twenty-minutes-into-the-future controls. (And Yo-Yo’s arms were cheap and obvious gloves because Agents of SHIELD didn’t have the budget for recurring mocap VFX shots every episode.) Even in the comics, though, you had to Know A Guy to get a replacement limb of superhero quality. (Misty from Tony Stark, Karma from Forge, etc.)

Twitter: @SisterSilicon

Project_Hero
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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

That'd be a big point of contention, given how many people would benefit from having cybernetics available. if it was banned in America, it'd be like the alcohol prohibition, with people doing it anyways, just illegally.

The reason that alcohol prohibition failed was because alcohol can be made, by people, quite cheeply. The money needed for black market cybernetics would make it way less common or prolific as people couldn't just make advanced cybernetic prosthetics in thier backyards. And the range of such cybernetics that you'd be able to buy would be super limited as you'd almost require them to look like actual limbs or prosthetics that are actually available as if they were made illegal being seen with an obviously cybernetic limb would get you locked up.

It'd be probably more akin to certain medical treatments that are banned in certain countries. If you have the money to do so you can seek them out, if you're just a normal person they'd be out of your reach.

"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to."

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Project_Hero wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:

It'd be probably more akin to certain medical treatments that are banned in certain countries. If you have the money to do so you can seek them out, if you're just a normal person they'd be out of your reach.

And those “back alley cyberquacks” probably lead to a number of “complicated” results. Perhaps driving people insane through constant torturous pain, or a malfunctioning brain/prosthetic neural connection. Leading to a class of rabid street cyborgs preying on the unwary and unlucky.

Fireheart
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Atama wrote:
Atama wrote:

And those “back alley cyberquacks” probably lead to a number of “complicated” results. Perhaps driving people insane through constant torturous pain, or a malfunctioning brain/prosthetic neural connection. Leading to a class of rabid street cyborgs preying on the unwary and unlucky.

And the delightful awfulness of stealing cyber-parts and murder-for-parts, as found in Alita.

Be Well!
Fireheart