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Monday, September 16, 2013

Stories Someone Should Write: The Gangsta-Thug Superhero



I came up with this on Friday. You have a quite a few "normal kid given superhero powers" stories. I don't know if it started with Captain Marvel, but it's been a consistent trope through comic books. Spider-Man's a famous example. It's taken a darker turn with movies like "Chronicle" and "Kick-Ass" (power corrupts), but that's mostly with straight white males.

I want to know what would happen if a gang leader got superpowers. I'm not talking about a morally clean ghetto kid like Static or grumpy big black guy like Black Panther or Green Lantern (and obviously not a 1920's gangsta). I mean a full dyed-in-the-wool, "Don't Be a Menace to South Central" gangsta.


I mean, there's a whole economy and sub-culture of project housing and inner-city youth. These are people that have to deal with their friends and family being shot, no doors on their apartments, bribing officials. Gang retaliation, negotiations, identification, who's dealing what and where and when, keeping the kids "out of the business". It's a 24/7 job, not like Notorious B.I.G. thing most people idolize, rolling in Mercedes-Benzes with gold teeth. If you read "Gang Leader for a Day", you'd know what I'm talking about.


So what would happen if someone like that suddenly had the ability to fly, or regenerate, or do magic? Would he become more of an antagonist? Would he try and use his powers for good? Would he be limited to the same shit he's got to deal with every day? The same infinite loop? I can see him using his powers to do petty human things (a la Faust), then realize "hey, I don't need to stay in this same situation in the projects."And then "hey, my friends and family don't need to stay in the projects, I can help them." Then "Hey, NONE of us have to stay in the projects."


Now, I could never write this book, because I have absolutely no real perception of this sub-culture. Not even an inkling. This is not like a world that mixes with white stuff. This is its own thing, like an invisible world (at least from me in my privilege house). It's very much the other. Too other for me to even take a guess at where to start. But someone with more cultural experience than me...

Take it and run with it.
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