|dr_hermes (dr_hermes) wrote in scans_daily,|
@ 2009-08-02 22:20:00
|Entry tags:||char: starman/ted knight, era: golden age|
Why didn't Starman win the war?
It's a problem with ongoing science-fiction series, whether pulps or comics or TV. If advanced technology is shown to be available and workable, why doesn't it change the world? Anti-gravity, matter transporters, telepathic transmitters.. any of these would start the biggest change since the Industrial Revolution. The problem is that following stories would have to incorporate these changes and the series would suddenly stop being the world of Doc Savage and look more like the world of the Jetsons. So the amazing new gadget has to be destroyed, the only prototype smashed and the plans lost. Or, if the hero is using the gizmo as his trademark, it must be the product of a freak accident that can't be duplicated. (Doc Savage used to regularly claim the villains' disintegrator guns or earthquake machines or whatever and just declare they were too dangerous to use. Rather than trust the human race to use the tech properly, he just took it on himself to lock him them away in his Fortress of Solitude. But then, Doc had a lot of nerve any way you look at it.)
Now, the original Starman (the one who appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS and ALL-STAR COMICS beginning in 1941)had as his main distinction something called the Gravity Rod. This was a sceptre that charged up with starlight and converted it into useful energy. Anti-gravity, concussive blasts, heat rays (and the occasional rabbit-out-of-the-hat application) made Starman an upper-level super-hero able to hold his own with the heavy hitters in the Justice Society.