Sep 04 2011

Difficulties Superheroes Would Face in the Real World, Part 1

Published by at 6:49 pm under Realism,Writing Superhero Stories

1. It’s not that easy to find crime from the street.  Most superheroes look for crime by aimlessly patrolling the streets or otherwise looking for readily visible crimes.  As it turns out, there aren’t that many crimes visible from the street, perhaps because criminals would prefer to avoid witnesses and police involvement.  America’s largest city (New York) has only ~450 bank robberies and ~300 outdoors murders in a typical year, so it’d probably be really hard to find one on a given day unless you were patrolling a massive area or knew where/when to look.  And God help you if other superheroes in town have the same idea.

 

2. Maintaining a secret identity would be practically impossible, unless you were a real loner or your significant other, friends and family were idiots.  For example, most crimes happen at exceedingly inconvenient times.  The most common hour for a New York City homicide is between 3-4 AM.  If you’re out in the middle of the night (let’s say) 50-100 times per year, it seems implausible to me that you could go more than a year or two without a few people noticing.  I doubt most people could keep that up for even a few months before their friends/families/coworkers noticed something was amiss.

  • If your hero is maintaining a secret identity from his/her loved ones, what does he or she do to keep them from the truth?

 

2.1. A superhero is probably going to get injured once in a while, probably by gunfire.  If you got shot, how hard do you think it’d be for your friends/family/coworkers to notice?  If you got shot more than once, don’t you think your friends and family would have a lot of awkward questions?  For example, “Why the hell aren’t you going to the police?  You got shot. Were you buying drugs?”  If being a superhero is illegal, going to a hospital would be tough.  Most U.S. states (including New York) require hospitals to report gunshot wounds to the police and getting the police involved would also raise a lot of awkward questions about what the hero was doing when you got shot.

  • How does your superhero deal with injuries? Does he have somebody he can turn to?  Or does he have to treat it himself (and risk infection) or go to a chop-shop doctor whose specialty is treating criminals?
  • Is there any other reason a hero can’t go to a regular hospital?  For example, maybe routine bloodwork would raise too many questions or she’s not a human.

 

2.2. If any criminals found out your secret identity, it’d be extremely easy for the police to figure it out, too.  In real life, police officers would notice that Mary Jane gets kidnapped repeatedly, which is extraordinarily rare.  (I doubt anyone in U.S. history has been kidnapped more than once by different strangers).  By supervillains, no less.  What would supervillains care about a random Broadway actress?   Of all the hundreds of superheroes in town, doesn’t it seem strange that Spider-Man is so often the one to respond when Mary Jane gets kidnapped?  Any detective with a pulse could easily tell that there is some sort of personal connection between Spider-Man and Mary Jane.

  • If your superhero is trying to keep his identity a secret, is he taking precautions to keep these connections hidden?  For example, maybe he has a fellow superhero save Mary Jane so that it’s less obvious he’s personally involved.  Or maybe he convinces Mary Jane’s parents not to file a missing persons report (to buy himself time to rescue her without getting the police involved).

 

3. There are probably better things you could be doing with your superpowers than getting shot at and possibly risking major jail time. At the very least, Static Shock could probably generate enough electricity to interest a utility company and Storm could probably make a huge difference for somebody’s farm.  Reed Richards takes this to the next level, though.  He’d rather be a superhero even though he could probably beat the CDC to a cure for cancer and could certainly beat NASA to Mars.  (Which isn’t saying much. At this point, it looks like three grad students, two slices of pizza and a bathtub powered by rubberbands could beat NASA to Mars).

  • There are safer jobs that pay better than being a superhero, such as everything.
  • If your superheroes are not violent or physically adventurous before getting superpowers, why would they gravitate to a very violent, dangerous position?   What causes (or forces) them to make that decision?
  • If your superheroes are violent and/or physically adventurous before getting superpowers, why do they decide to become superheroes rather than police officers or soldiers?  (The pay’s better, the support’s better and you wouldn’t have to hide everything from your friends and family).  For example, perhaps your heroes want to avoid bureaucracy/red-tape and/or the police force in the city is utterly irredeemable.  Maybe the character is too young or can’t admit his superpowers to anybody.
  • How long after developing superpowers does it take your characters to decide to become superheroes? In particular, if it’s less than a week, why?  (Are you trying to establish the character as unusually impulsive?)

 

4. Rolling urban battles will eventually get innocents killed.  When a superhero engages a criminal without much preparation, the criminal will probably get some shots off.  If a superhero isn’t careful about engaging armed criminals with civilians in the area, it’s only a matter of time before one of those shots hits a bystander.  Most superheroes are not usually depicted as particularly careful, which might raise problems with non-villains.  For example, a bank manager’s #1 job in a bank robbery is to get everybody out safely, even if that means giving up around $10,000.  Insurance will cover that and the police can catch the robbers later without civilians in the way.  If Spiderman rushes in and there’s a fight in the bank, people will be afraid to go to that bank even if nobody got hurt.

  • Do your superheroes take precautions to keep civilians from getting killed? If not, have any civilians been notably injured or killed yet?  If not, why not?
  • Do the superheroes have any conflicts with non-villains?

 

5. Why are supervillains dumb enough to stay where the superheroes are?  By my rough tally, approximately 110% of Marvel’s superheroes live and work primarily in or near New York.  If you have some smart villains, is there some reason they aren’t shouting, “Screw you, Seattle has banks too”?  On the other hand, supervillains tend to be more flashy than intelligent—note how often they get caught in broad-daylight bank robberies.  They might want to perform on the biggest stage under the brightest lights and a lot of New Yorkers have convinced themselves that New York is that place.  Supervillains may also be too macho to admit that trying high-profile crimes in a city with more superheroes than hospitals might be ill-advised.  Alternately, they may have convinced themselves that there are only a few superheroes in town, but there are so many villains that they’ll kill Batman and his sidekicks eventually. (Personally, I’d like my chances in Denver, but I’m addicted to living).

  • If all superhero activity (or the overwhelming majority) in your world happens in a particular city, why?  For example, maybe supervillains are drawn to New York because it doesn’t have a death penalty.  (Federal crimes such as terrorism can still result in a death penalty even if they’re committed in New York, but it’s still a fairly plausible explanation).  Alternately, if a particular accident or event caused most of the supernatural activity in your story, it might make sense that most of the supernatural activity in the world is pretty close to the scene of that event.
  • If superpowered brawls between hundreds of superpowered heroes and villains are a daily fact of life in the town, why haven’t people cleared out?

 

Please see Part 2 here!

Thanks to Myna and Wings for brainstorming on this article and to the anonymous Google user that typed in [problems superheroes would face in real-life] for suggesting it. 

41 responses so far

41 Responses to “Difficulties Superheroes Would Face in the Real World, Part 1”

  1. Mynaon 04 Sep 2011 at 7:21 pm

    “If all superhero activity (or the overwhelming majority) in your world happens in a particular city, why?”
    Oh hey, I totally didn’t think up that one o-O I’ll have to come up with a good reason why that applies to Bellem…

  2. Castilleon 04 Sep 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Actually one of my possible plots/ heroes revolves around point 2.3.

    His power-suit was actually developed by an energy company and (the tech at least) is an experimental prototype for a portable generator(that worked off Solar Energy).

    What I planned for him was that he’s more of a ‘company mascot’ then a straight-up ‘super-hero’. Maybe a ‘corporate-backed’ superhero if I can put it that way. Thing is with power-suits pretty much anyone wearing the costume can ‘become’ the hero without any effort. (Which is why I don’t particularly like the Green Lantern)

    However, If i remember right he has to be high level in the company or something. It was more like, the company designed the suit(for some promotional stunt), and only later realized its possible applications to effectively make the wearer into a super-hero.

    ….in my planning they only realized the ‘superhero’ applications after the prototype got stolen and the thief caused massive property damage using the suit.

  3. Jeremy Melloulon 05 Sep 2011 at 12:48 am

    I really like this article. Brings up some really interesting points about and ideas for superheroes. Definitely more to consider for anyone trying to create a superhero story.

  4. Comicbookguy117on 05 Sep 2011 at 4:57 am

    “It was more like, the company designed the suit(for some promotional stunt), and only later realized its possible applications to effectively make the wearer into a super-hero.” I like this idea. It seems like it could work. Like the company didn’t realize what they had at the time. Cool.

  5. Chihuahua0on 05 Sep 2011 at 5:26 am

    This is why I’m considering an alternative world for my NaNoWriMo project. I’ll find a justification for the huge amounts of crime.

  6. Mynaon 05 Sep 2011 at 6:28 am

    @Chihuahua: I find that when you’re working in settings with huge amounts of crime or unrest, it’s easy to base it off of existing countries or regions with that problem, because then it’ll be more realistic and easier to learn about it. You’ll get a more realistic setting and more realistic justification for it. For example, South Africa is known for a horrific crime rate (it’s not as bad as everyone says, but let’s just say you can’t stop at traffic lights without getting mugged) and there are a lot of reasons for it that are fun to research. Stuff like that if it helps. :3

  7. Chihuahua0on 05 Sep 2011 at 8:21 am

    Right now, I’m thinking of taking an alternate St. Louis, turn it into a New York-style metropolis, and put transportation as one of its defining elements. Since the Mississippi-Missouri water system is slapped in the middle of the US, the crime can come from all the shady activity that happens at the trains, planes, ships, etc. Combine that with the fact that supervillains would develop networks in the surrounding area, and there will be enough crime to keep seven superheroes or so busy on a weekly basis.

    Is that realistic?

  8. Damzoon 05 Sep 2011 at 8:37 am

    ” If superpowered brawls between hundreds of superpowered heroes and villains are a daily fact of life in the town, why haven’t people cleared out?”

    This is what i’ve never understood about Gotham, especially with psychotics like the Joker.

  9. Contra Gloveon 05 Sep 2011 at 9:10 am

    Regarding #5, Sailor Moon was really egregious in this regard. All the villains attacked Tokyo when they could have spread out to places like Osaka or Yokohama, to say nothing of Beijing or Mumbai (or New York City, for that matter!)

  10. Mynaon 05 Sep 2011 at 10:31 am

    @Chihuahua: That sounds pretty realistic, especially where things like drugs become involved and people travel with illegal drugs, would be passing through the city, trouble stirs up etc.

  11. Wingson 05 Sep 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I can answer the why-people-become-supers one – the majority of heroes are government-trained or at least registered, and they’re effectively a police division and mobilized whenever a powered incident or a natural disaster occurs. They don’t always hang around the same city, either – even if they’re based in fictional!Los Angeles, if their powers would be handy for a hurricane in fictional!Florida, they’ll probably be deployed.

    Hmm, I’d better make a concrete list of the different heroes and villains, including groups, just to figure out how many heroes that my city has. Once I figure that out, I can come up with a plausible explanation for why they’re all in one place.

    – Wings

  12. ekimmakon 05 Sep 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Why didn’t I find this article when it first came up? There’s some really good stuff in here.

  13. Castilleon 05 Sep 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Also, what I’ve been thinking, is that ‘villains’ in my proposed story could be rival corporations. Say a competitor that is working on an alternate energy source for public consumption. They’ve been kind of using reverse engineering and computer hacking to delve into their rival’s mainframe so they already know about the power-suit. (Except they too see it as a portable generator type)

    So when a thief runs amok with the prototype, the rival corporations take notice. They already have the basic plans/ tech to create their own suits so they experiment with different energy sources.

    Heh. That actually sounds like a plausible way for my hero to gain his first rival.

    Do you all think it sounds plausible?

  14. B. McKenzieon 05 Sep 2011 at 10:10 pm

    “Heh. That actually sounds like a plausible way for my hero to gain his first rival.” What would their motivation be to make a supervillain? One possibility is that they try to make a rival (in the hopes of showing up the original company), but the testing process goes extremely screwy and the test-pilot somehow becomes villainous. It’s somewhat similar to the Green Goblin’s origin story* but I think you could probably execute it in a somewhat different direction depending on how you develop the test pilot.

    *”Norman’s a billionaire scientist
    Who never had time for a son/
    Something went screwy
    And before you knew he
    Was trying to kill everyone.”

  15. Andrew Zaron 06 Sep 2011 at 4:36 am

    How about – if superheroes are out to do the best they can for mankind, why aren’t they trying to solve the world problems of hunger and oppression – and, if they are, doesn’t that change the world dynamic on such a massive level that it wouldn’t resemble our world of today in a matter of just a few years?

  16. Contra Gloveon 06 Sep 2011 at 10:44 am

    @ Andrew Zar

    The graphic novel Watchmen explores your concerns somewhat, showing what superheroes would be like if they were real; it suggests that the superheroes do good because of personal insecurities or blind faith in their country (in this case, America.) And yes, it definitely changes the world dynamic.

  17. B. McKenzieon 06 Sep 2011 at 12:25 pm

    “if superheroes are out to do the best they can for mankind, why aren’t they trying to solve the world problems of hunger and oppression – and, if they are, doesn’t that change the world dynamic on such a massive level that it wouldn’t resemble our world of today in a matter of just a few years?” I think it depends on the superpowers in your universe. If you have a lot of characters who can make a VAST difference out of combat (like Storm or particularly brilliant scientists), it’d be plausible that they were able to cause massive changes outside of combat. However, if your characters are closer to Spider-Man or the Punisher, what exactly could they do outside of combat to make the world a much better place?

    Finally, if the characters DO have abilities that could be world-changing, one reason they might be more preoccupied with combat is if they’re facing truly catastrophic villains. Magneto is committed to causing substantial damage to humanity, so I can’t blame Storm for feeling her time is better-spent preventing that than on helping struggling farmers somewhere.

  18. Day Al-Mohamedon 06 Sep 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Looking at the title: Difficulties Superheroes Would Face in the Real World, Part 1
    I have to admit the lawyer part of me can’t help but think of all the lawsuits that could be leveled at the individual hero (e.g. negligence, property damage, manslaughter, assault and battery, grievous bodily harm) and of course filing suit against the city and law enforcement for allowing the hero to operate without sanction or authority. So not just criminal suits but civil suits as well.

  19. B. McKenzieon 06 Sep 2011 at 9:35 pm

    “I have to admit the lawyer part of me can’t help but think of all the lawsuits that could be leveled at the individual hero…” One possibility is that Congress or other applicable legislatures pass the equivalent of a good Samaritan law like the one that currently protects bystanders from getting sued for any damage caused by first aid or other emergency assistance offered in good faith. However, depending on how the law was written, it might not apply in an operation where there was not “imminent peril” to the public. That might be problematic for superheroes because quite a lot of situations where superheroes act would probably not qualify. (For example, if a bank robber takes hostages, that itself would probably not count as IP unless there was something going on that suggested this criminal was far more likely to kill a hostage than the average hostage-taker*).

    *95% of hostage incidents are resolved without loss of life, so the police would probably be profoundly angry if a superhero tried to rescue the hostages while the police were still trying to negotiate a surrender.

    Even if superheroes were shielded from (most) legal liability, I’ve still got to figure that their work would be all but useless in courtrooms. That’s fine if the situation is just Godzilla attacking–no trial necessary–but unless the police are able to independently prove that the suspect is guilty (without evidence tainted by a superhero not reading Miranda rights or coercing a confession), the perpetrator will walk.

  20. Contra Gloveon 07 Sep 2011 at 8:13 pm

    If you want to know how United States law would actually affect superheroes, Law and the Multiverse is a great place to start.

  21. Kreon 18 May 2012 at 12:45 pm

    If a villian were to go to a city wich had no heroes a hero would have to rise up. But not just a hero, all the heroes with nothing to do would come after him and kick his a$$. Having one hero to deal with at a time is a much better choice

  22. B. McKenzieon 18 May 2012 at 4:12 pm

    “A hero would have to rise up…” Why would the city’s need for a superhero affect whether its citizens develop superpowers? (Unless, perhaps, the city starts deliberately doing unsafe things with chemicals or nuclear plants because it wants a superhero that badly).

    “All the heroes with nothing to do would come after him and kick his ass.” It depends on the villain and the situation in the city he’s leaving behind, but this strikes me as unlikely. First, if one villain leaves New York City, there are still hundreds or thousands of other villains in NYC. If a superhero had a secret identity or a regular job in New York City, it’d be hard to relocate to Houston for a few months to deal with a single supervillain and it certainly wouldn’t be worthwhile if other superheroes were already on that villain’s trail.

    If the New York City draw is strong enough to lure in thousands of supervillains, it’s strong enough to keep its thousands of superheroes. (This only makes sense to New York City comic book writers, but I’ll leave it to them).

  23. Maxon 30 Jul 2012 at 8:17 am

    for #3, one of my heroes wanted to be a cop, but they wouldn’t let him into the force because his dad was a druglord. is that plausible? also, another character has technology related powers, and started by hacking into surveillance cameras to stop crime.

  24. B. McKenzieon 30 Jul 2012 at 8:22 pm

    “One of my heroes wanted to be a cop, but they wouldn’t let him onto the force because his dead was a druglord.” Is that plausible?” I feel it is definitely plausible.

  25. Janon 30 Jul 2012 at 9:00 pm

    1) My MC is not particularly impulsive. She has no secret idenitity, and her wealthy father dies, leaving her an orphan, at nineteen. She becomes a superhero the same week with previously-gained powers, and when one of her teammates asks her why she became a superhero, she says, “Honestly? Honestly, everyone else with superpowers was doing it. I guess I figured I had nothing to lose.” does this seem a plausible reason?

    2) Okay, this is making me want to face palm. I live in New York City. I have been out of state exactly four times (no joke) and never out of country. There really isn’t much else I can draw experience from for my story. Would that be too terribly cliched?

  26. B. McKenzieon 30 Jul 2012 at 10:14 pm

    “Everyone else with superpowers was doing it.” She doesn’t sound very motivated. When the going gets rough, hopefully she falters, because it does not sound like she’s mentally ready for a fight (let alone a life-or-death brawl). In time, I think it would be best if she develops a more compelling reason and/or ultimately fails as a superhero because she does not have the drive.

    You could also use this to build conflict with teammates. In a life-or-death profession, nobody can afford a teammate whose heart is not in the game. When she tells a teammate that she became a superhero because everybody else with superpowers was doing it, I would strongly encourage you to have the teammate retort strongly and/or heatedly.

    Her origin might also play a role here. It sounds like her life has not been very much of a struggle, which might affect her drive to succeed in a life-or-death fight and/or build conflict with other characters. For example:
    –If she were to complain about getting “orphaned” at 19, I can imagine that’d go over disastrously with a Batman-type hero that saw his parents get murdered when he was in grade school. I would be careful with the use of the word “orphan” because it implies that the character is a child and/or helpless, which probably does not apply to the character in question.
    –She doesn’t have a secret identity, which might create conflict with characters that hide because of safety and/or embarrassment issues (e.g. Mystique resented Xavier because he fit in better).
    –She has superpowers, which might create or exacerbate conflict with other characters. For example, a team leader might be concerned if she had superpowers but was accomplishing less and/or performing less reliably than a character without superpowers. Vaguely analogous situation: One U.S. Olympic swimmer publicly called out teammate Michael Phelps for not training enough and relying too much on his natural talents. Or, alternately, maybe she fares badly in situations where her powers are not very applicable. (For example, in my own The Taxman Must Die, the two main characters face challenges like a hostage negotiation even though one is an IRS agent and the other is a mutant commando–neither one has skills which are particularly well-suited to this sort of social situation, so I think it’ll be more interesting to see how they handle the challenge).
    –Other characters might be less sympathetic to her problems because she’s wealthy and/or does not need to be a hero in any way (as opposed to, say, the obsessively driven Batman or a character like Nightcrawler that would have major issues getting a regular job*).

    *Particularly if his coworkers realize that the Secret Service agent that stops by to see him every day is actually his parole officer. 😉

    “Okay, this is making me want to face palm. I live in New York City. I have been out of state exactly four times (no joke) and never out of country. There really isn’t much else I can draw experience from for my story. Would that be too terribly cliched?” It wouldn’t be disastrous to do another NYC story. Alternately, you could use a fictional setting which isn’t obviously based on NYC. For example, the city in The Incredibles isn’t named and its main attribute is probably fickleness/humanness (the city flips from loving superheroes to demanding that they disband, but is otherwise likable). It doesn’t bring New York City to mind.

    Alternately, perhaps the setting is New York City, but not all of the supervillains actually work there (because there are so many other cities with fewer superheroes). This could be used to help develop that the villains which choose to work in NYC are some combination of:
    A) Unusually dangerous–they don’t need to worry about superheroes.
    B) Stupid–they don’t worry about superheroes, even though they need to.
    C) Insular/provincial–e.g. they’ve been exposed to so few places that they can’t come up with any better targets than what they’ve seen in the news.
    D) Desperate–they need/want something in New York City which they can’t readily find elsewhere. For example, if it’s a revenge plot and the target is a New Yorker, it’d make sense if the plot largely unfolded in New York.

  27. Willis-Hollisteron 24 Nov 2013 at 8:14 am

    I just found your site, and I love this article. A year ago, I asked everyone at a dinner party what meta-human character or powers they would pick for themselves. Soon this very topic made for heated conversation. The debate established half the group was destined for mortal doom within weeks. Soon, we all agreed we would inadvertantly find ourselves quitting our jobs and becoming thrill-seeking urban survivalists. We decided that would be the pc term for supervillains. Hmm. I think I just found the seeds for a novel.

  28. Foghammeron 06 Nov 2014 at 2:11 pm

    This is a bit late to enter the discussion, but maybe new viewers will wonder, too.

    “If superpowered brawls between hundreds of superpowered heroes and villains are a daily fact of life in the town, why haven’t people cleared out?”

    It’s possible that a world with supers has abandoned cities, but that’s exactly what they are: abandoned. I would expect that the villains would follow the population, and the heroes would have to follow them.

    One could argue about motivations and such for villains, but I can’t imagine that the majority of them are simply in it for the freedom and destruction, which would be just about all that was left to experience in an abandoned city. There has to be something to exploit, something to exert control over, someone to punish, or any of the noble-but-tragically-villainous plots (like Mr. Freeze trying to cure his wife by funding himself with crime).

    Just my two cents. Love this site.

  29. B. McKenzieon 07 Nov 2014 at 8:18 pm

    “I would expect that the villains would follow the population, and the heroes would have to follow them.” If city-threatening violence were a daily occurrence (e.g. Marvel’s NYC or DC’s Gotham), I think the most realistic scenario would be the city losing 70-80% of its population over time to migration (Detroit has lost ~60% in real life, and Gotham’s situation is unimaginably worse). If this were the case in pretty much every city, I think we would see a LOT of suburbanization, and I’d anticipate that many local governments would discourage substantial population growth to avoid becoming the next Gotham.

  30. shadowon 15 Mar 2015 at 8:20 pm

    The thing is that there are so many reasons you could think of to make your hero legal. personally i write movies not comics but you still need a logical story for either one. e.g. in the old cap comics and the incredibles the hero works directly with the police and even if they didn’t they usually have a maorale to say that they will not kill a criminal without due process. and even in the case of batman, who has these morals, the writers decided it would be fun to work with a hero who was running from the police while fighting crime. even in the incredibles it showed that if a mistake was made lawsuits are likely to follow. i do agree that heroes should be more carefull than typically depicted around civilian populations. with caution heroes can be legal. sorry for being long winded.

  31. Denveron 02 Nov 2016 at 3:56 pm

    This is very good advice

  32. Andrewon 22 Nov 2016 at 1:52 am

    One question came to my mind when I was thinking up my superhero base that would probably raise a question with other heroes. Power consumption, like the Batcave. Wouldn’t the power company in Gotham notice that Wayne Manor was using large amounts of power more frequently? How much to you reckon every piece of tech in the cave uses up? How could a hero have a base that uses power without raising any questions is something I wanna know

  33. (o_n')on 22 Nov 2016 at 6:18 am

    If he owns the power subblier, nobody would ask. Another option would a generator, but anyone who investigate connection between Bruce Wayne and Batman, would possible wonder why Bruce Wayne regalurly buying fuel eneough to drive a small hospital through a major blackout? Or maybe he has placed some well hidden Wind plants. I think people in Gotham would worry about more their lifes, than wodering why Bruce Wayne out of nowhere is going into the energy sector.

  34. B. McKenzieon 23 Nov 2016 at 1:02 am

    “Power consumption, like the Batcave. Wouldn’t the power company in Gotham notice that Wayne Manor was using large amounts of power more frequently?” Some possibilities:
    1) It’s almost certainly off the grid, using his own power supply (it’s more reliable in the event of public emergencies and raises fewer questions).

    2) If anybody found out he was using a lot of electricity, he could probably explain it away as a research-and-development operation for the companies he owns. It’d be a bit strange if someone that’s supposedly a dunce would have a supercomputer in his house, but his family does have a reputation for secrecy, so maybe they wanted to keep their best researchers close for security reasons.

    3) Unless Bruce/Alfred/Lucius did all of the work themselves (including getting the dinosaur and supercomputer down there and maintaining the jet and boat and whatnot), there might be a potential security risk from whatever other specialists have to be called in from time to time. One of my clients moved a triceratops exhibit once and it took a LOT more than 3 people. (Also, military jets take something like 10-20 hours of maintenance per flight hour, so maybe BW has other people involved there).



    “Or maybe he has placed some well hidden Wind plants.” I think coal would be more fitting (very reliable and extremely dangerous), or nuclear (reliable, frequently thought of as terrifying, almost never lethal).

  35. (o_n')on 23 Nov 2016 at 10:20 am

    I think gas and oil is just as reliable as coal( a refinery facility would be pretty awesome background for a fight). Anyway Windplants is highly dangerous and lethal for Birds, but only reliable as wind blows. I don’t see coal as dangerous than any other source energy.

  36. B. McKenzieon 23 Nov 2016 at 4:51 pm

    “I don’t see coal as dangerous than any other source energy.” I think particulate matter and mercury emissions from coal can be hazardous to human health. In comparison, the cooling towers at a nuclear plant are just releasing water vapor.



    (The apparently high fatalities from hydroelectric are mainly caused by the Banqiao dam catastrophe, probably not all that applicable to 1st World planners. The situation was so f***ed the Chinese air force ended up carrying out airstrikes against several dams to limit the extent of the damage, and something like 200,000 people died and 62 dams catastrophically failed or were intentionally destroyed). As a point of reference, the biggest dam failure in the U.S. in the last 100 years resulted in ~200 deaths, and the largest in Europe had 2,000 casualties.

  37. (o_n')on 24 Nov 2016 at 7:51 am

    But cleaning emossions from coal/oil is lot easier than cleaning up Chernobyl. Not every atom plant use vapour towers as cooling system, If you have a really big lake or small sea is very useful as well. The only problem is then you catch the fish, not only you get mercury, you also get a small dose of radioaktive matter. Nuclear power is safe, so long there is no leackage. The major problem is humans, nobody wants to live with leackage, but nobody want to do repair, that is even worse if it is not a leack, but a breakdown.

  38. B. McKenzieon 24 Nov 2016 at 10:44 am

    “But cleaning emossions from coal/oil is lot easier than cleaning up Chernobyl.” I think we’re getting a bit off topic here.

  39. (o_n')on 24 Nov 2016 at 12:16 pm

    You are right.

    – So at least dozen people might were able to locate the batcave or might actually know Bruce Wayne is Batman. Unless he kidnapping them twice a month(in which if I was one of engineers, would relocate myself to another city, with less insisting heroes or better none).

    -He might have mutible planes, but only a few flying. But still need a groundteam to maintain them and direct him out of the cave safely. Secondly any registration number on plane should always be visible because it is civilian plane, any innocent bystanders with an interest in planes and a good camera would figure out who owns the plane. I don’t think it is very diffucult to get the registration list over civilan own military jets in Gotham. If he has no registration, I better bet he would be battling with US Air Force or forced to land on military base(where they split it to pieces and unmask him, afterwards they would order 200 indentical planes). And were did he get the military jet instructor from?

  40. B. McKenzieon 26 Nov 2016 at 8:57 am

    “So at least dozen people might were able to locate the batcave or might actually know Bruce Wayne is Batman.” They might know that a Batcave exists, but might have been taken there blindfolded or otherwise unable to retrace their steps. And maybe they don’t know anything about the connection with Bruce Wayne.

    “Secondly any registration number on plane should always be visible because it is civilian plane.” I assume he’s not following normal procedures there. Sort of like the laws against civilians having military jets or air-to-air missiles. 😛

    “If he has no registration, I better bet he would be battling with US Air Force…” Things have changed somewhat since the September 11 attacks, but it’s my understanding that there are not many active fighters stationed in the U.S. and, even if there were, dogfighting over a U.S. city would be absolutely a last resort to avoid major collateral damage (unless there were something like a maybe a Man of Steel or Avengers city-invasion situation).* Otherwise, personally I’d write it more like a high speed car chase, where the police generally back off if things get too dangerous and/or keeping up the chase would endanger civilian bystanders, confident that they can eventually find the suspect when he goes home.



    “And where did he get the military jet instructor from?” WayneCorp legitimately makes military aircraft, right? They’d have test pilots on staff. (Alternately, if Batman wanted to keep this strictly off the books, he could probably discreetly ask one of his test pilots to refer somebody that wouldn’t be as traceable).



    *In a District 9 situation (a single alien ship parking over a major city for years but no other warning signs), I could see more fighters being stationed in the area if officials couldn’t convince the aliens to park the ship 50 miles in any direction or preferably over an unused federal tract of land in Colorado or something, but I think actually starting a fight over a major city (American or otherwise) would be a desperate last resort.

  41. (o_n')on 26 Nov 2016 at 10:30 am

    A doge fight over city would always be the last resort. Where I live isn’t illegal to own a military jet plane(at least veteran versions), but you aren’t allowed to own missiles or bombs.

    -I think a mysterious plane, in which revisit the same city, would be invistegated and monitored very closely. Even they don’t fire at it, they definely photograph it, take some photos of area.
    And might give a reason to have military aircrafts and crew in the area for a least a shorter period to investigate it. If there is no military base, they would take the nearest civilian one…

    – the off the books situation sounds very realistic.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply