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Comicbook Superheroes - Possible Ancient Nanotech?

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    Comicbook Superheroes - Possible Ancient Nanotech?

    I love watching superhero movies. I grew up reading a lot of comics, and in recent years, have been made into a huge fan of many of the superhero movies.

    I also run the Insatiable Curiosity roleplay. One of the plot devices I've been using, is Supersoldiers - nanotech-enhanced super beings with extraordinary powers.

    This got me to thinking. What if Superman's people had discovered and unlocked the marvelous mysteries of nanotech enhancement? The same with Wonder Woman? Thor and all of the chief Asgardians? They're not gods, or have powers that can't be explained, but are pass-downs from ancient races that unlocked these nanotech wonders?

    It would certainly explain a lot, wouldn't it? Superman's incredible strength, his eye-beams, his ability to defy gravity? So, what if? I thought it might be a fun discussion. So then, what are your thoughts on it?
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  • #2

    Well that is Thor's whole thing though. "Technology sufficiently advanced cannot be distinguished from magic." Same with the asgardians. Or however you spell that. And the guys from Guardians of the Galaxy also have tech that is akin to super powers and magic.

    Blue Beetle, the spanish one who's name I forgot, has an alien power suit that mimics so many super powers but it is tech. So both in DC and Marvel these things are becoming more and more explored as we ourselves slowly go towards higher and higher technology.
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    • #3

      I just watched Justice League again today. When watched as simply a superhero movie, it is honestly kind of dumb. However, when watched in the context of the beings in it, both super and villainous, as being nanotech-enhanced super beings, the movie takes on a whole new depth. Steppenwolf in particular, when viewed as just a regular comicbook villain, feels ill-conceived and even a little ridiculous. But if you can imagine him as a remnant of an ancient race that created some of these beings, and some of them became power hungry and destructive, the character becomes both actually kind of plausible and even a lot of fun to consider.

      Take the Amazons and the Alantians (Wonder Woman and Aquaman respectively) - if you can imagine them as nanite-enhanced beings, remnants of incredibly knowledged civilizations of long ago, instead of just another pair of superheroes made up by writers about a half a century ago, then they too take on plausibility. A remarkable amount of it, even.

      Superman, also. If viewed as just a comicbook hero, he is ridiculous. But let's say instead of him being a comicbook hero out of the same imaginations of writers, he was instead from a race of people who had learned to harness nanotech to marvelous levels. It would explain so much, and it would make the character very plausible.

      The Flash could be from the lineage of some of these beings. The nanites lay dormant in his body, until something happened to bring them awake in him. Kind of a stretch, but hey, we are talking about fiction. But if thought of in that context, his powers take on plausibility, too.

      And the cyborg - he is immensely fun to consider. The Mother Cubes are nanotech power something-or-others. A man finds one and uses it to save his son. But because the man doesn't have the level of knowledge required to truly operate the thing, he is able to only restore his son at the most fundamental of levels. Then take all three of the cubes together. They must be joined in order for their full effects to be harnessed. And when harnessed, they work to convert a planetary body into an environment that is capable of creating nano-enhanced superbeings. It creates them, enhances those who already have them, consuming the world as they do it - hence Steppenwolf's backstory of converting worlds, then moving on to convert other worlds when one he has converted is consumed/destroyed.

      In any case, I think if the DC movie writers started portraying their movies in a context something like this, they could capture their audiences a lot better. The movies would have a lot more depth and would be a lot of fun to think about and consider. Because, let's face it. So far, the DC movies have been dull and boring, even bad in many of their cases. DC also, has a long history of falling behind Marvel. Not just in movies, but kind of always. DC was never able to compete with Marvel. Their characters were never as imaginative and tended to be rather predictable and boring, DC even needing to rely upon dry story lines such as Superman dying. If they had instead focused then, and focused now, on explaining their characters' super powers in terms that their audience understood, I think their movies would become a lot more interesting, and certainly more fun for the science-fiction nuts who love to contemplate stuff like this.

      What do you guys think? A lot of fun? Or am I maybe talking out of my ear here?
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      • #4

        What I do worry about is it going the Metal Gear series and making nanotech an excuse for every odd thing and explaining stuff that didn't really need explaining in later installements. Nanites are after all still bound to physical limitations and the smallest insect we know looks more like a mix between a mosquito and a bird. It flies between molecules with little feather like wings! Really neat.

        In visual mediums I prefer show, don't tell, to letting powers come by. Why does Starlord's helmet disappear like that? No reason to explain, it looks plausible. Little details like heat vents on otherwise flying bricks of ships and so on.
        But as for the nanotech, that is how Iron Man came to be! Just... decades earlier!
        Using MicroTransistors he builds the first Iron Man suit to keep him alive! MicroTransistor chips the size of your palm. Now we have hit a temporary limit in miniaturization due to quantum physics but eventually, yes. Computers and small, basic robots small enough to be inside a human body will give rise to supranatural and then super natural looking abilities such as really long life or an immunity to diseases that are being caused by the super bugs of today.

        Heat vision how ever... I'm skeptical bout that one :p
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        • #5

          Well, Nanotech could explain a lot of the powers if that's how DC wanted to go about it. As Miqu said though, you wouldn't want to lean on it too heavily like Hideo Kojima did with Metal Gear. I think that's just him not being as good a writer as was needed.

          Still, if you use it sparingly, then yes, it could work really well.

          As far as DC's stories go though, just give the whole damn thing to Ed Boon at Netherrealm Studios and let him be in charge of it all. He's already proven that he can do a really good DC universe story with the two Injustice games.
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          • #6

            Originally posted by Daryn View Post
            Well, Nanotech could explain a lot of the powers if that's how DC wanted to go about it.
            I don't know. Remember the Void trilogy? Peter F Hamilton? Nanotech-enhanced superbeings? I would pit Marius against Superman, any day, and bet Marius to win. Aaron, too. Hell yes, especially Aaron. And for that matter, even the Delivery Man. Nerve-accelerants, tactical programs, integral force fields, disruptor pulse effects? These people could destroy entire cities, by themselves, the only things capable of stopping them other biononicly enhanced people such as themselves.

            For that matter, when really thought about, Peter F Hamilton, in those books, did make superheroes and super villains. In his case, he explained them in terms of science. Made them plausible, and believable in terms of science.

            ...

            Hah! Maybe Peter F Hamilton needs to start writing for the DC universe!
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            • #7

              That leads me to think, if a society has access to that kind of technology, tech that can basically turn them into super-beings, then what does their entertainment look like? I can't imagine that they'd have superheroes in the traditional sense.

              You put Aaron and Marius up against DC heroes and villains, well, honestly, I don't think either of them would be able to keep up with Gore Bernelli. Am I right?
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              • #8

                Originally posted by Daryn View Post
                You put Aaron and Marius up against DC heroes and villains, well, honestly, I don't think either of them would be able to keep up with Gore Bernelli. Am I right?
                They would eat Gore Bernelli like a sandwich. Gore was an artifact from the past - a wetwired 'turbo monkey' (using his own words). Marius and Aaron both had 'Higher' biononics.
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                • #9

                  Originally posted by Rick Canaan View Post
                  They would eat Gore Bernelli like a sandwich. Gore was an artifact from the past - a wetwired 'turbo monkey' (using his own words). Marius and Aaron both had 'Higher' biononics.
                  Well there is that. Unless he got himself a new body he'd be at a disadvantage, but he does have an experience edge, at any rate.
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