Stephen suggested it might be more interesting to have a show or movie about a world where everyone had some sort of unusual power, rather than a single individual or small group of people. I think that makes sense, particularly because of the way superpowers can magnify and metaphorize conflicts. I’m don’t know that the depiction of Venom as turning Spider-Man into a jazz-playing ladies man in Spider-Man 3 was the way to go, but Anthony Lane is dead-on about the brilliance of Elastigirl as sexy multitasking mom in The Incredibles. And that’s what works about Eureka, SyFy’s show about a town full of superpowered geniuses sequestered by the government so they can work in peace and in a place where they’re unlikely to alarm the general populace. What Eureka ends up needing is someone average who can see conflicts between the town’s citizens—and sometimes their inventions—for what they are, instead of as national catastrophes. I also think in an era of specialization, and at a time when people are getting more comfortable with the idea of enhancements, be they steroids, replacement hips, mental performance stimulants, etc., we might have to spend more time getting used to the idea that there are people who are unusually good at certain things among us—and we’ll need people who are unusually good at other things to compensate.
And Chuchundra wrote:
I see the same issue here that I noted in No Ordinary Family. The distribution of powers is right out of the Silver Age. The men get the combat-oriented powers. The women get the support/informational abilities. The big, black dude gets the super strength. The hot chick gets the mind control. The geeky-looking guy gets the geekiest power. You can pretty much predict how the stories are going to play out.
He’s dead right that superheroes would be more interesting if their powers brought out things about themselves that aren’t obvious attributes, or things that people were uncomfortable with. Superpowers don’t just have to be a magnifying lens: they can be a microscope, and much more revealing.