'Point's blog about the Black Widow got me to thinking about how since our heroes don't age normally, they often outlive elements of their origins, i.e., as the USSR recedes into the past, Natasha's past as a Soviet spy will doubtless recede with it. A small adjustment perhaps, making simply a Russian spy is easy enough.

Iron Man's ties to the Vietnam War are a little trickier - of course, it can be tied to whatever the latest war is, although the characters may have to be recreated somewhat. Heck, it doesn't have to be tied to a war at all, really. If need be, the people that capture Tony could be a terrorist group or a drug cartel.

Sometimes, just little stuff has to be tweaked - the mention of Ed Sullivan in Spidey's origin, for example.

Other times it's a character's profession - what happens to Superman's origin if newspapers go extinct? Bet Siegel & Shuster didn't see that one coming.

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Iron Man's origin has already been re-cast to center around terrorists in the Middle East...

Of course, the role of radiation in the origins of Spidey, the X-Men, and etc. seems pretty quaint now, to the point that in the movie and the Ultimate universe, Spidey's origin spider is now a genetically-modified one, not an irradiated one, and the X-Men's mutations are something that just kind of...happened, no external stimulus needed.
Yeah, in Silver Age Marvel, exposure to radiation just sort of gave you super-powers, didn't it? Still, slightly more plausible than being injected with mongoose blood...
It made sense to me to retcon The Punisher from being a Vietnam veteran to being a veteran of an unspecified war; it makes no sense to me to make him a New York City cop.

As for Spider-Man, I suppose these days his first appearance was on David Letterman, perhaps?
I've thought about that, too, Baron -- the death spiral of the newspaper industry is a topic with which I am well acquainted.

For the record, the exploits of the Daily Planet crew never resembled real newspaper work anyway. Reporters have exactly the same rights and responsibilities of regular civilians -- no more, no less. All those times that Lois was "nosy" or "snuck a peek" somewhere, that's called "breaking and entering" here in the real world. We have no automatic access to crime scenes -- when Lois was shown giving Super Bowl tickets to a cop to get on a crime scene in Smallville, that's called "bribery," and she and the cop are both breaking the law. Real investigative reporters are not celebrities and do not get into shoot-outs -- they spend most of their time going through years' worth of phone records or land-ownership-transfer papers with bleary eyes in the wee hours of the morning.

In other words, most newspaper work is deadly dull. And when it's not, you're probably breaking the law.

Of course, the same is true of being a doctor or policeman or firefighter; those jobs are ridiculously jazzed up for TV. So I don't really mind that much. I'm just bringing it up because it's pertinent.

Because newspapers won't go away -- they'll just become online in some form. Reporters will still be needed (although right now there's no business model to pay them). But something will happen. And whatever kind of reporter jobs exist in the 21st century, doubtless the Daily Planet crew will have them.

And it'll be jazzed up beyond all recognition. That's my point -- there will be some kind of reporter job, Clark Kent will have one, and it'll be just as exciting and dangerous as his Daily Planet job, which was itself a ludicrous exaggeration.

That's my theory, anyway.
Captain Comics said:
Real investigative reporters are not celebrities and do not get into shoot-outs --

They don't? But what about that time you and that one-armed guy shot up that mall down in - I mean, nothing, nothing!
Of course, my problem is, I work in an office generating software keys, a job which Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Quentin Tarantino and Takashi Miike working together couldn't make interesting.
Mark S. Ogilvie said:
Without the trauma or the gimick that got a supervillain started where are they?

Mark

Billerica?
Say, what origin are they putitng about for the Hulk, these days? Seems to me it's been a long time since we've done above-ground nuclear testing.
The Baron said:
Say, what origin are they putitng about for the Hulk, these days? Seems to me it's been a long time since we've done above-ground nuclear testing.

The last movie went with it being in a lab like the old "David Banner" days.
Captain Comics said:
In other words, most newspaper work is deadly dull.

I really doubt there are many jobs that are popular in fiction that are anywhere near what they are in reality. I've had dozens of kids over the last few years tell me they want to go into forensics because of CSI, but we've had real experts in the field come here for career days and say it's nothing like that.
Rich Lane said:
The Baron said:
Say, what origin are they putitng about for the Hulk, these days? Seems to me it's been a long time since we've done above-ground nuclear testing.

The last movie went with it being in a lab like the old "David Banner" days.

Interesting - I wonder what they're saying in the comics these days...
In Daredevil, they've kinda minimized the radioactive isotope that clocked Matt across the eyes and played up the retconned ninja training he received as a way of explaining his heightened senses.

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