How so? Compare Hickman's Reed Richards spouting off scientific mumbo jumbo to someone like Bendis' Tony Stark spouting off scientific mumbo jumbo.
Well, there is no comparison, really.
speaking for th' moment less as a science dude, more as someone who has been reading science-fiction for some decades now, I think what writers like Hickman and Ellis (and like Moore, Morrison - who are more predominantly fantasists - and generally comic book writers who are interested in science and/or sci-fi but aren't scientists themselves) do is almost always pretty far to the "soft" end of the spectrum, regardless of how apropos their topic is at a given time.
"falling off the side" values of "far".
I also think it is pretty good, much of the time.
Part of it is that I look at characters like Reed, Doom, Tony, etc. not as "scientist characters" so much as pulp inventor-heroes. In most respects, since their setting and the possibilities open to them - and, correspondingly, their methodologies, attitudes and goals - are so vastly different from anything real scientists experience, I find it best to treat them as techno-aesthetic versions of wizards. So then the binary they try to present between "Science" characters and "Magic" characters becomes less a Reason-and-progress vs Faith-and-ritual thing or a technology vs superstition thing, more of a juxtaposition between the ritualistic, often item-based magic of the sorcerers and what is, narratively and mythologically speaking, a more discipline-based and improvisational magic couched in technical terms.
Part of it is innate in the superhero universes, where it's impossible to define any consistent physics, and part of it is just that it's the norm for popular media.
Even in stories that play the science-heroes really straight, I think that holds. Periodically you just think something like:
"No, Reed. It's not that you can't Solve Everything because the time and effort involved would keep you from being a good husband and father, it's that you can't Solve Everything because not everything can be solved! Because there are physical laws that limit the things that can happen! Your job is just to find those out!"
But that - something that scientists innately have to deal with - isn't a viable axiom in universes where men punch rogue planets into Black Holes and return from beyond the veil of death on a routine basis.
So I always find myself having to throw out a lot of conventions about how scientists should be characterized. Because the characters don't really represent scientists, since, without any notion of consistent laws and limits, scientific methodology as we've understood it since the Enlightenment doesn't really mean anything, and without that stuff it's hard to have a scientist exist.
Viability of science aside, we see them Buildin' Stuff way more often than we see them rigorously interrogating phenomena anyways.
'S far as I'm concerned you can have em get by mostly on incoherent babble so long as you have a good grasp on how zany pulp inventor-heroes should work, and as long as you occasionally touch on some of the interesting tangential connections that do exist between your pulp inventor-wizards and real scientists, with regards to analytics, empiricism, positivist frameworks, soforth.
Maybe I'm exaggerating in calling it just an alternative branch of magic, but
I guess what I'm saying is just that it's less "Hey, check out this cool real-world science that I'm presenting in this broad allegorical framework!" a la Baxter or Bova, more "Yo I'm mostly writing legendaria here but check out how the existence of this science stuff informs my epistemology and how my tangential exposure to it intersects with the other parts of my worldview!" a la Star Trek, Herbert, Cherryh, etc.
Whereas the comics writers who don't have those interests - maybe the norm for super-hero industry? - more overtly treat it as magic, where the characters are operating in a "listen, if I put the stuff together the right way, the things will happen: don't ask me why" manner.
All can be cool.
Last edited by PupsOfWar; 02-21-2013 at 10:19 PM.
For instance, I find it difficult to relate to an approaching Earth about to crash into the 616, when I do not subscribe to that pulp science which does allow that occurance. The pulp science we are seeing in Hickmans imagining of Avengers and MU physical laws, do define the imagining of a collapsing Universe for the purposes of presenting an ethical dilemma, and that's all well and good, because it's fun to imagine if that possibility could occur, what our response would be. But to actually try to argue it's existence as a real possibility is an exercise in folly?
Last edited by jackolover; 02-22-2013 at 05:47 PM.
Visited NY and DC and saw Spider-Man Turn off the Dark.
Yeah. Though I think the OP and others realize that and are just kicking around the question of how these things might broadly affect somebody's fiction.
I was mostly weighing in on what it means to be good at writing science/sci-fi-based characters, with BG and Rum Runner, I think.
Just meandering I reckon.
Last edited by PupsOfWar; 02-22-2013 at 06:09 PM.