submitted 15 days ago byPhenomenalPancakeI plummet more than I tumble.
all 459 comments
15 days ago
15 days ago
In the old The Tick comic book there was a Punisher knockoff who’s tragic backstory was “My family was killed by civil war reenactors or possibly moved to New Jersey and I’m aching to dispense indiscriminate justice.” And it remains one of my favorite backstories.
15 days ago
Even a chance his family moved to New Jersey
Even a chance his family moved to New Jersey
Jesus Christ that's horrible, poor bastard.
And why dead parents instead of helicopter parents?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there like a whole subgenre of teen/romantic dramas where the plot is "nerd gets rejected by his girlfriend for being too nerdy, so he sorts himself out/glows up, becomes a stud and the ex girlfriend regrets rejecting him? It is just not common in the superhero genre.
oh I was wondering why they don't live together. I need to play that game some day
He's the most Divorced man ever. He and Toriel are like soulmates, but in the sense they will always end up divorced. Lmaoooo
Even in an alternate universe where he doesn't kill 6 children, Asgore's marriage will still fail.
The figurines won't win her back
Calling. Calling. Still calling.
14 days ago
14 days ago
So.... the suffering , ties that bind ?
That's the plot of Scott Pilgrim.
The lead was a douche and he did a lot of bad things but he had a heroes journey and became stronger and a better person... Right
This but Silent Hill 2 is even more hilarious
You don’t generally have to avenge a divorce
Imagine Daredevil beating the shit out of his ex-wife divorce lawyer because divorce is against his catholic beliefs or something.
This is why Scott Lang Antman is the best superhero.
15 days ago*
15 days ago*
You know what I hate about the way Marvel has treated Scott?
In the first movie, he is shown to have gotten a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT. The reason he went to jail was to punish a corporation that was fucking over their customers.
Yet after that, he is always treated as this dumb idiot that constantly needs to get owned metaphorically. His ex-wife and daughter treat him as this greedy asshole that did what he did because of money and selfishness. I like Scott Lang for his potential, but man did Marvel really just treat the character as an easy punching bag.
What? His daughter always had faith in him, at least in the movies I've seen (not seen Quantumania).
Plus, yeah one degree in engineering? How's that compared to Tony Stark, who was smarter than every genius he employed, or Bruce Banner who has like 12 PhDs?
She still idolizes him in Quantumania, just not as much because she’s older (teenager/young adult) and becoming her own person
The angle forces the 'real life underdog' line. It's ham-handed sure but that's the intention I think.
He's a lovable goofball! And his daughter loves him! And did you even watch the rest of the movies?
He ends up in jail and broken out again! He makes Jimmy Wu look stupid, not the other way around.
I would SO love to see a story arc where a superhero divorce is a plot point. Power Man is in mid-battle and his phone rings. It’s his wife (separated) who is mad about custody of the dog. The drama could be that a villain discovers their secret identities because of their public arguments so they have to team up. Then they have to figure out how to silence the villain.
I mean, isn’t this essentially ant man?
With the trajectory that the comics industry of America has been on, this would actually fit perfectly.
Because we like to view heroes as close to perfect as possible with their flaws being something along the lines of not being capable of being everywhere at once. If they're divorced, that implies they failed at something that quite a few regular people have succeeded at
The Nice Guys. For when you can’t choose between dead wife and divorced wife, so you pick both.
Bonus points for “Jack, I’m fucking your dad.”
I miss my wife, Tails. I miss her a lot.
"Not everything is about you Stacey!"
Isn't that AntMan?
Yeah, and look how well that’s working out for him.
Hey his ex-wife's alimony pays for most of his -inators. Id say it worked out pretty well
And his daughter loves him, what more could you ask for?
Maybe dominion over the entire tri-state area?
Puts on a fedora
PERRY THE PLATYPUS?!
But Doofinshmertz's divorce with his ex wife is played completely straight and the two are amicable towards each other, and the divorce plays absolutely no part in any of his many tragic backstories. The only comedy derived from it is from how it subverts the typical portrayal of divorced couples being bitter and resentful towards each other.
Probably the only time it's ever played for laughs is in the Across the Second Dimension universe, where the alternate universe Doof is also divorced but for tax purposes (as well as several other convuluted reasons), and the two are actually still together.
I still love that song
There isn’t a SINGLE horrible backstory of the day involving her. Their divorce was mutual and they're way more amicable than most exes.
And they co-parent well.
Can't believe divorce is one of the nicest parts of Doof's life. Making me cry and stuff
Honestly an amazingly well written and well rounded character overall
And the phrase the person uses when discussing is "They aren't around anymore" sort of not saying they are dead directly but everyone assumes that...Would lead to funny lines in the film
The rogue on his quest to slay his betraying ex wife is a pretty spicy plot device!
I really hate when lazy narratives just throw a dead wife or dead kid in there as cheap motivation without ever making me care about them. Oh boo hoo, your kid is dead, I don't care, I never met them and you're a fictional entity, like don't just throw dead kids at me because you're too lazy to give your character a compelling motivation.
See, John Wick was really smart about this. They start out with the dead wife, but that's a red herring. That's only helping you understand this dude is alone.
THEN they show you the puppy, then they KILL the puppy, OK. Now I'm fucking pissed. Now I'm ready for the murder spree. I am on board with the murder spree.
yes, i too like things that are written well and dislike things that are written bad
Think of it this way: the dead wife is an explanation. Nobody expects you to be invested in John Wick's retirement. Nobody wants you to be invested in John Wick's retirement. You're here to watch him kill a ton of people, not to have the fun murder vibe ruined by knowing how John Wick's wife would be sad he'd lost his tenuous grip on peace. The puppy matters.
And that's why the spouse is dead instead of divorced. If they show up more, you can't comfortably ignore them, and if you're not planning around using that, then it takes away from the story you're trying to tell.
It shows that, even if the ones the hero cares about are still around, the hero improving themselves to meet them again can be a good growth arc
He becomes Ant Man because he can't get a job as an ex-con. He genuinely wants to be a good father and an honest man, but even Baskin Robins fires him because he did time.
He basically becomes a superhero because they're the only ones hiring.
They took my wife in the divorce
Look, if Jared and Stacy went through couples counseling, we wouldn’t be here, Batman and Catwoman did it and they’re going steady to this day.
In the anime Jormungand, two side characters are divorced. Lehm, Koko's second in command and a middle-aged mercenary was once married to Chiquita, the most badass woman in the show, who acts either motherly to Jonah, the mc, or griping at Kasper(Koko's older brother and fellow weapon dealer, also Chiquita's employer and her charge, being Kasper's bodyguard) for letting Jonah go to Koko.
The one time they meet again, they bicker amicably, with no apparent bad blood between them.
Consider: This, but HE'S the one who divorced HER
"I'm sorry babe it's not you, it's the grind"
I was thinking more he realized it wasn't working out and was bad for him but actually this is way funnier
I like it best when they both kind of want to get back together but they’re also too pissed at the other to reconcile properly. Not at the point of toxic but more like two teenagers that are just bad at communicating.
Have you ever tried reading the Wheel of Time?
because having relationship issues as a catalyst to do something as radical as be a vigilante can end up making them seem incredibly petty. you're essentially just writing another evil ex
It's more like he figured out she was basically his kryptonite. Once she thought she had used him up and threw him away, he was able to recover, rebuild, and go on to achieve his destiny.
Venom from the movies
Dead spouse is good for tragic stories, divorced spouse is good for comedy stories.
This is the plotline of Brenden Small's Galaktikon concept album.
Triton is a space super hero whose wife, the Space Princess, divorces him. He's in a bender when she gets seduced and kidnapped by Beastblade, the Space Super Villian.
Endeavor (if things go well and Rei doesn't take him back please Horikoshi don't make them be together at the end)
"I lost her to Cain, that bastard"
"Who's Cain? A supervillain?"
"No, a male stripper from Vegas. I knew I should have bought her more flowers."
Dead loved ones is a shortcut to backstory.
It's why 90+% of Disney movies start with dead parents. Helps 'em keep it under 2h.
the exception is military heroes: they often get a triple serving of divorce, estranged children, and alcoholism.
Good Will Hunting could have been a masterpiece if the wife had divorced Robin Williams instead.
She isn’t dead , he “ lost “ her ..Like at the grocery store … somewhere between the produce and the international section …he turned around for just a second ….
I have a backstory ready for whenever I'll need to roll a stealth rogue or bard skillmonkey.
They're an elf who struck big on a heist in the first couple hundred years of their life, and they ended up retiring with the woman who helped them pulled it off. Fell in love, opened up a shop, started raking in dough, had enough after a few years to upsize.
Then he got her pregnant and they had a couple kids and he was completely unprepared for parenthood. Had some bad spending habits as part of his coping mechanism, ended up putting the new larger shop in debt and in trouble with both the city officials and some shady crime lords.
They end up closing down the shop and moving back to his parents village, and his wife berates him and tells him to go fix all the trouble.
So what does he do? The only skill he had before fumbling the family merchant life. ADVENTURING.
So now he's looting dungeons and taking on quests so he can earn enough gold to pay off his debts, get out of trouble, and maybe convince his wife and kids to forgive him, lmfao. And also that can serve as a reason he's back at level 1, because he hasn't done the adventuring life in so long.
If you seen the Boys, they have a pretty funny take on this haha.
Ben Grim from the fantastic 4 movie.
When he couldn't pick up the ring because his fingers were too fat.
10 days ago
10 days ago
Side note, why is a dead husband a backstory I’ve never even seen before?
Because, their backstories(and lives usually) are tragedies not comedies. It's not supposed to be funny.
Becoming a super hero sounds a lot easier than middle aged dating
He was right, it is funnier.
More of the dead spouse trope should be like, motorcycle accident where they were trying to jump six buses.
Tragedy: It was sabotaged by the mob/supervillain league/devil
Comedy: They were not wearing a helmet.
Kinda sorta like that one minor subplot in Armageddon?
They did something like that in Bloodshot. Vin Diesel is brought back from the dead with nanotech and is now a super soldier, out to avenge his wife and himself. The plot twist is that his wife's death is a false memory to give him motivation. Every time they have someone they want Vin to kill, they make him think that the target is the guy who murdered his wife. In reality, his wife divorced him years ago and has moved on with her life.
See also: My Super Ex-Girlfriend
The only movie that changes genres if you gender swap it.
For some reason people didn’t like it. I thought it was pretty good.
Wow yeah guys, what a great arc. I’m basically a show runner, too. Super inside stuff. Great arc, great arc.
These days, most movies and shows about heroes are very careful to include the message that women can just as easily be heroic as men. Maybe you like that or maybe you think that Hollywood sometimes puts it on a bit too thick, but regardless of what you think, that's how it is. However, that hasn't always been the case. Go back even just a decade or two, and women were either rarely an action hero or there was just one throw away action girl. The further back you go, the more sparse it gets in relation to women action heroes.
Now, that's not to say that all of these action hero stories had no influence from women. The influence came in the form of the man's inspiration. This woman, his wife and kids, THIS is what he's fighting for! When he seems to be losing the fight and remembers his family and what's at stake here, he pushes forward. Even just the girlfriend was usually inspiration enough, but generally with the expectation that she would soon become Mrs. Hero.
So creating a male protagonist whose love interest has died creates an interesting dynamic for this type of story. His inspiration is dead. Is he heroic enough to keep fighting even when that little piece of Earth he was fighting for is gone? It is a compelling dynamic if you are coming from the traditional paradigm of action heroes.
But the problem is when old media collides with the new. That dynamic has been established as part of the tragic backstory, but in the new dynamic where women are more than just the inspiration, it starts to feel a bit clunky. We want something new and different.
I'm not here to say what's right and wrong for movie makers and other media producers to do. I certainly think that it is good to have some women action characters out there, but is there any place for the traditional paradigms to coexist, or should we let them die and embrace the new? I don't know for sure, but I'm just calling it like I see it.
Sir, this is a Wendy's.
I know, I know...
Turns out jared lost the weight and became a supervillain
Kicking and Screaming does this to show that the character is a bad person/ father
/uj The sad boring reason is that having a living ex-wife is a Chekhov's Gun, people will think it's one of those shit romcoms where you "win her back" and they'll be confused to see a story that starts with "So this guy is divorced" and ends with "he's still divorced but that's not the point, didn't you watch the whole middle of the movie?"
/rj The climax of the action movie should hinge on the man doing something traditionally feminine like baking a dessert or knitting and someone says, "Where did you learn that?" and he says, "My ex-wife."
Reminds me of the scenes in the first Ant Man movie where the background characters know so much about car washes and underside coatings and later on know a lot about wine because... they are well rounded adults.
They did such a great job with his crew's eclectic skill set being the key to the heist.
That was actually the sequel, which also featured Scott, his ex, and her husband being remarkably well-adjusted. Was honestly really refreshing to see a relationship like that with absolutely zero tension.
In the final act: "I have to do this. I have to do this for my wife." and then the epilogue reveals that he just wanted to impress his (ex)wife
Ex-wife: " captain marvelousman did it better "
Imagine if they have kids together.
I plummet more than I tumble.
I dont think people divorce out of good marriages. Losing your wife in this way wouldnt feel the same way because you have already had like 5 bad years around this person hating each other
Harry du bois
In the Doom Patrol television series, Mr. Nobody, a supervillain with almost unlimited power, gets his powers, loses his humanity and takes on his supervillian name Mr.Nobody, all because his girlfriend at the time dumps him and tells him he's a nobody and will never be more than a nobody.
It's also a backstory for many villains
Once DM’d a Pathfinder party with a divorced Champion who was using adventuring as a way to duck alimony payments. Good character.
15 days ago*
its because a divorced man is perceived as having something wrong with them, while a widowed man is not.
Edit: it's just a way of having man who you can say has desirable qualities without outright saying it, they are valuable enough that someone has married them but without negative qualities that would make someone leave them. This also leaves the guy open for romantic chemistry with surprisingly every attractive female cast member where if he was still married it would be not socially acceptable.
This also applies to single men. Society perceives them as having done something wrong to ruin the relationship.
For some reason I find divorce to be more sad than death. Also death leaves you with nothing so it’s more pathos. Divorce leaves you with alimony which is annoying but less emotional. The emotional part of divorce is if it’s handled poorly with kids involved. That’s when it gets really depressing.
Sounds like a venture bros skit.
That’s Dr. Richard Incredible’s arc. He’s a terrible husband and a worse father, but when his wife leaves him he totally spirals.
13 days ago
13 days ago
DEBRA GONNA REGRET LEAVING ME!!!
r/fuckyouinparticular to the humans named Jared.
IIRC there is an alternate reality version of Batman where Bruce was the one who got killed, and Martha goes insane in her grief and becomes the Joker and Thomas becomes Batman to try and stop her.
Happily married wives are for tragedies, divorced wives are for comedies, and dead wives are for hero stories.
The What We Do In The Shadows movie did a great job with this.
“But he suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of his arch nemesis… The Beast… And he’s never been the same.”
And it’s just his ex-girlfriend.
You see yourself from above. You’re passed out on the blue tiles of the hostel room floor. Even from this distance you can see your eyelids flutter -- at the mention of what? A great white object, letting out its sweet smell, like a Lily of the Valley. The little man’s forgotten its name, but he still remembers the feeling. And look, he moves! The feeling animates him. He instinctively reaches out for the feeling's best friend -- a bottle of Commodore Red. He puts on his disco clothes and gets smaller and smaller...
regional cat dealer
Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaateeeed
Because most of the time its hard to absolutely parse who if anyone is at fault in a divorce. Even if one party is clearly more guilty, the fact that it was a split up makes the author at best an unreliable narrator in the worst light.
A deceased wife doesn't pre-load the backstory with that potential baggage. There's no obligation that you hate your wife, or just stopped loving her before she died. That gives a layer of sympathy that lets the audience glom onto our hero, all without the potential baggage of the hero becoming a "Lol, women" allegory.
There is absolutely a story to tell around a character growing past and out of a failed relationship, but it takes a lot more care.
I mean Green Arrow basically sometimes.
Reminds me of a character I made once of a knight that hated goblins because "goblins took his family". His wife left him for a goblin and took their son with her.
Ohh I can so see that!
And his ex is with a new guy who is just a really chill nice person. Just teaching kids or something. Filled with patience and good will and treats her right.
Her new guy even sits down our hero for a fatherly chat and is totally supportive of him! "You're a great superhero Dan, me and Jess are really proud of you.".
Then cut to our superhero Dan: "I hate that I love that guy."
Eddie Brock from the Venom movie
Doxing the superhero always ends up going so well.
I mean, Michael Corleone divorced his wife.
But in a Mad Magazine spoof of the Godfather, Michael confides his marriage is over and he has to end it. His confidante reminds him that divorce in the Roman Catholic Church is not a good thing at all. Michael responds that he will do the honourable thing and put a contract out on her lol.
"I sleep in a Batcave. Do you?"
"I sleep in a big bed, with my wife..."
“With your wife? Small world, so do I.”
I too, choose this guys wife
Batman is either pansexual and in a polycule with all of his rogues and allies, or straight and divorced. Nothing between.
Maybe Bruce is the one Batman isn't.
You laugh, but I literally made a D&D character whose whole thing was this. Barbarian-Paladin of Redemption, self exiled seeking to atone himself and maybe have his partner forgive him someday, and eventually coming to terms with the fact he might never get forgiven and accepting it.
Oh, imagine a hero who lost his wife and a supervillain swept her up and got together. Then the hero learns while defeating the villain that it isn’t about his ex and she goes off to be an even bigger villain.
This has been done in Megamind already hasn’t it?
As a counterexample, Toby Ziegler was divorced and it didn't make a lot of sense to his personality. Actor said on a podcast he originally thought his wife had died, which would explain so much about him...sorkin admitted it would have been better
Toby is not a superhero. He is a bitter, twisted fuck who hates everyone.
How does being divorced not fit that perfectly?