Friday, September 26, 2008

Vignette: Veteran Superhero Shares Some Wisdom

“Here’s a tip. People are going to tell you their origin story. Sometimes they do it in a moment of weakness, sometimes it’s a bonding kind of thing in a time of crisis. And some people just get off on telling it over and over, like losers who can’t get over their greatest achievement in high school. Whatever. The point is, don’t believe them.”

"Why? Plenty of reasons why somebody would lie about it. What if your actual origin was getting anally probed by aliens who left some kind of radioactive suppository in your body that gave you powers?"

"Am I serious? Heh, sworn to secrecy, my friend. But that’s not the point. Even if you think you’ve got a wonderful origin that every mother dreams of for their spandex-clad son or daughter, it’s probably not real anyway."

"Look, people think they know their true origin. And they’re constantly being proved wrong. For years they think it was the radioactivity in the spider that bit them, then they eventually figure out it was the altered genetics of the spider, then someone comes along and tells them they were actually chosen as a champion by the emissary of some ancient spider god."

"Nobody knows for sure how they got their powers or why. You don’t. I don’t. We just have a best guess about it. And someday some creepy ex-government agent, eccentric scientist, or moody sorcerer is going to pop out of the shadows and turn your world upside down with an earth-shattering revelation."

"Your parents aren’t who you thought they were. Your arch-rival is really your half-brother or sister. Your mystical scepter is really a piece of sophisticated alien technology. You’re not a mutant, you’re the reincarnated spirit of some long-dead hero or the avatar of some mythological being. Your powers might even change. You’ll learn new stuff or forget old stuff. And you’ll have to roll with it. Whether you can or can’t, as much as being able to fly and shoot lasers out of your eyes, determines if you belong with the capes and cowls."

"That’s the world we live in, kid."


Aaron DaMommio said...

Oh, I like this.

Aaron DaMommio said...

I like the way the application of this idea to a storyverse takes the meta-actions of different authors and makes them into a cause of chaos in the character's lives

Doug said...

Thanks, that's actually what I was thinking about, more or less. Most retcon shifts tend to assume that the character in question reboots their own memories of their origin. But what if they're just as puzzled as everyone else at the new information? An ongoing existential crisis, as it were.

Doug said...

I was looking back through my old stuff and I realized that I still like this idea.