#comicbookhour Question 3: Can a comic be bad because of how far it goes to be realistic?

I think this is a case of genre. Superhero books, generally, do not benefit from large doses of realism.

The first example that springs to mind is the run in Nightwing when Dick Grayson ends up on crutches after being injured in the line of, duty. He ends up undercover in a crime family as “Crutches” and gets involved in various broadly non-descript confrontations in which it invariably turns out that crutches are an ideal improvised weapon, tool, distraction, or actual crutch.

Forget Grayson, the whole thing limps along and is utterly painful.

For something that is supposed to inject “realism” the whole thing is also completely ridiculous. This is Nightwing, the protege of ultimate tactician  Batman who also happens to have Zatanna’s phone number. This character exists in a world where gods, magic, time travel, aliens, super-science, and resurrection from death are commonplace.

It might be realistic for Dick Grayson to end up on crutches – it’s completely unrealistic for him to stay on them, let alone build a whole new undercover identity around them.

Clearly, Zatanna gets it.

In other genres, the inverse is true. Introduce something too unrealistic and you risk breaking the “willing suspension of disbelief”.

It’s not a comics example, but Bond movies are a good example of this. Batman movies are too. You are only ever one Clooney on a surfboard away from being ridiculous.

Ultimately, I think every story exists somewhere on the “Spectrum of Realism” and must stay true to its own internal rules and logic, no matter how unrealistic these might be. You cannot measure realism on one universal scale – it must be measured relative to the story world.

In your story, having your broken leg fixed by a wizard might be unrealistic but in mine it may be the obvious choice.

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