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Author Topic: Is Dredd a superhero?  (Read 1902 times)

WhizzBang

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #15 on: 29 August, 2020, 06:15:56 PM »
Well, none of those characters are superheroes.
I think James Bond is a super hero. John Le Carre's spies are closer to Dredd while Flemmings Bond is closer to Batman, on a comic book scale as I see it-

TordelBack

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #16 on: 29 August, 2020, 06:22:36 PM »
James Bond (movie versions) is definitely a superhero.

Funt Solo

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #17 on: 29 August, 2020, 06:37:05 PM »
It seems like people are stretching definitions to fit. If you asked someone to go out and buy you a superhero comic, and they came back with a James Bond, Doctor Who or Judge Dredd comic, then they'd have failed in their task (even though your read would probably be better).



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When I googled "superhero", the first thing that came up for an image result was this (and, whilst that was surprising, I wasn't baffled by the lack of representation from spies, time-lords or future-cops):

« Last Edit: 29 August, 2020, 06:39:10 PM by Funt Solo »
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TordelBack

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #18 on: 29 August, 2020, 06:59:37 PM »
I don't think it's a case of stretching definitions, it's more that the popular understanding of superhero has become incredibly narrow, shrunk down to a handful of samey corporate properties.

Doc Savage, James Bond, Batman, Joe Dredd: all modern or futuristic heroes with superhuman abilities, iconic costumes and world-saving fantastic adventures. I.e. superheroes.

Funt Solo

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #19 on: 29 August, 2020, 07:23:51 PM »
But the popular understanding of a word is the definition of the word because that's how language works.

Much as I might hate it, "literally" is becoming synonymous with "metaphorically".

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree - because suggesting that James Bond is superhuman (as opposed to highly trained) is (for me) like suggesting that up is down. Here on my planet the sky is blue.
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NapalmKev

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #20 on: 29 August, 2020, 07:39:52 PM »
I would say the best way to describe Dredd and Batman is that they are Peak Human. They're both tough as nails but are also aided by a plethora of gadgetry.

Dredd is a clone of a normal Human and Batman has had some extreme training and has a lot of money. As much as I like the characters I do not regard them as Super Heroes.

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WhizzBang

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #21 on: 29 August, 2020, 08:10:41 PM »
Well my conclusion from this thread is that nobody knows. Everybody pretty much agrees that Superman is a super hero but after that it is open to debate.

TordelBack

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #22 on: 29 August, 2020, 10:24:21 PM »
But the popular understanding of a word is the definition of the word because that's how language works.

The popular understanding of a word is ONE definition of a word. It's not the only one, or necessarily the best one. Language does of course change, but superhero as a broader term for a fictional character hasn't been retired quite yet.

The James Bond in the movies isn't 'highly trained' -  he literally (heh) performs multiple superhuman feats in almost every movie. No human could do these things; indeed i understand nobody does it half as good as him.

Genrewise Bond movies are of course spy/action movies, but I honestly can't see the screen character as anything but a superhero.

TordelBack

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #23 on: 29 August, 2020, 10:45:14 PM »
I would say the best way to describe Dredd and Batman is that they are Peak Human. They're both tough as nails but are also aided by a plethora of gadgetry.

I dunno man, I'd argue that no grade of human could ever do what Batman and Dredd do every few weeks. The fact that they don't ascribe their abilities to some special 'power' doesn't alter what I see on the page: superhuman abilities.

For me, the split comes down to believability. If heroic characters, who supposedly live in the same physical universe as us, do or survive things regularly that I can't believe anyone could do, they aren't a hero, they're a superhero.

I acrept that the term has shrunk to generally mean only the spandex brigade, but I still struggle to think of a better term for heroes with superhuman abilities.

But perhaps the more useful distinction might be that people IN Dredd's world, or Bond's, or even Batman's, don't consider their abilities to be superhuman - maybe that's a fairer reference point than mine as a reader.


Ghost MacRoth

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #24 on: 29 August, 2020, 11:09:40 PM »
No.
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Richard

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #25 on: 30 August, 2020, 12:51:11 AM »
James Bond has never done anything superhuman. He routinely does things which are quite implausible, which is par for the course in action films. That doesn't make him a superhero, and if it did, then the term superhero would be so broad as to become almost pointless, as it would then include the lead in every action film.

Similarly, Dredd doesn't have superpowers. He can't fly, see through walls, read minds, shoot lasers from his eyes, or do any of the things that superheroes do. He has some advanced weapons and technology, because he lives in the future, but it's all the same equipment that is routinely issued to thousands of his colleagues.

Whether he is a hero or not varies according to the story he's in. He was a hero in The Cursed Earth, but not in Revolution.

Magnetica

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #26 on: 30 August, 2020, 02:05:44 AM »
Surely the first thing to do is define “superhero”.

Then you can see if Dredd fits the definition.

Personally I always thought to be a superhero the character had to have abilities beyond what a normal person has or could have. There has to be an element of the “supernatural” to it. Not in the “horror” genre definition, but in terms of something way beyond what training or physical or mental conditioning could give you.

And by that definition just doing implausible things doesn’t count.

So no Dredd isn’t a superhero. And James Bond isn’t either.

And to be clear nor are Batman or Ironman.

But really that definition isn’t sufficient, because for example Johnny Alpha and Cassandra Anderson would be superheroes based on that. And IMO they aren’t.

Frankly for me 2000AD doesn’t have any superheroes.  Not even Zenith. It’s a different genre.

Funt Solo

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #27 on: 30 August, 2020, 03:11:44 AM »
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Greg M.

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #28 on: 30 August, 2020, 08:23:21 AM »
I always find the "Batman's not a superhero" arguments hilarious - sometimes put forward by people who like Batman but who don't want to admit to liking the genre. He's a costumed billionaire vigilante who fights crime with the aid of spectacular gadgets and an array of skills, talents and abilities no single individual could ever actually possess in real life. If Batman's not a superhero, no-one is.

TordelBack

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Re: Is Dredd a superhero?
« Reply #29 on: 30 August, 2020, 08:56:33 AM »
I suspect the actual modern definition of superhero is the entirely circular "costumed hero who originally appeared in superhero comic or movie". It has little to do with characteristics of the character.

The distinction I apply in my sad lonely brain is "fictional hero who can do things no real human could do", or if I'm being reflective and fancy excluding Judge Dredd "fictional hero who can do things no ordinary person in that fictional setting could do".

Perhaps the missing term, as Richard suggests, is Action Hero, swapping 'impossible' for 'implausible'. Although I'd still contend that in aggregate movie Bond does things that go WAY beyond implausible.
« Last Edit: 30 August, 2020, 09:01:11 AM by TordelBack »