I was going to do a post on what comic books influenced my gaming style and choices, but realized that outside of that particular genre, comic or supers games, they don’t really have any. So here’s what has informed our current campaign:

1) The Incredibles: Specifically, the notion that superheroes have the same issues normal people do: peer pressure to be “normal” and the threat of lawsuits. Our supers have to be registered (the Libertarian Party and Institute of Justice are fighting this as discriminatory; the ACLU is silent on the matter), and if they use their powers licensed at various levels (construction work if you’re super-strong, legally sworn as a peace officer to fight crime, etc.) A lot of them can’t afford the licensing fees and more importantly, the insurance to get licensed, and either hide their gifts or go rogue — become supervillains. They are policed by special units around the country/world that employ supers or highly-trained normals. It’s my understanding a lot of these issues cropped up in the latest Marvel Civil War books.

2) The Venture Brothers: This is a show the creators have siad is about “failure.” I’m borrowing the notion that a lot of supers are still lazy, incompetent, or downright stupid. They highlight the failure of the Jet Age promises: private supersonic jets, space stations, underground habitats, etc…things that I have included in smaller part. Similarly, the comic book Empowered touches on the same ideas — and that a lot of supers get their powers from venereal diseases…

3) Astro City: Funnily, I haven’t read this comic, but I’ve borrowed a lot of the tropes for our game — Liberty City as the cynosure for supers in America; it draws supers like Hollywood draws sexual deviants. I’ve even borrowed some of the characters and adjusted them for the game. Also, I’ve nabbed some of the Jet Age imagery that they use.

4) Every power suit manga: The cops have “masks and capes” squads that hire supers, but they also employ power armor, Masamune Shirow-style, to combat these threats. Ghost in the Shell, the manga and TV series, molded these ideas.

5) Bits and Bobs: I’m borrowing characters from the various comic books and old supers campaigns and tweaking them for our game.