Science Fiction vs Supernatural

Comics can get pretty out there, even in the best of stories, regardless of how grounded it is supposed to be. But of course, there are a lot of people that love certain kinds of stories over others and so can look past some bizarre events and/or concepts.

There’s science fiction, which has helped create/explain several iconic characters, including Superman and Cyborg. Some stories present some intriguing concepts and ideas that aren’t out of the realm of possibility in real life. But there are times where they do something that is supposed to be scientific but there is no possible way that it could be explained rationally, other than just calling it magic. This is how we got the term “comic book science”. But there are people that are able to defend some of these actions and events, and props to them for finding something possible in the seemingly impossible.

Magic can be just as guilty. But in defense of magic, it is supposed to be out there. At least, to a certain extent. Comic stories based in the supernatural are supposed to pit heroes against something larger than life, portraying the ultimate fight of good vs evil. It is usually these stories that are referenced as the reasons why Comics are the modern day’s equivalent of Ancient Mythology. For those that gravitate more towards these stories, these stories have a certain tone and style that’s simply exciting and intoxicating.

Ultimate question, what kind of story do you prefer when it comes to comics - Science Fiction or Supernatural?


I lean more towards Science Fiction, but I do enjoy me a well written Supernatural/Spiritual based story as well. That’s really what it comes down to… If its well written or not.

Bumpola…and Sci fi by a country mile for me.

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Honestly, I think we need a blend of both because either one on its own would be over saturated and limited on what satirizes they could tell. Combining the two offers more variety.


@SBDL I agree, sir!

Sci-fi superhero comics are just as mythological as magic superhero stories.

Both styles have their place at the table. I think the best ones where the two are interplayed against each other.

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Zatara (RIP) and Zatanna (hubba hubba), Doctor Fate, the Spectre, Constantine, and characters in Sandman, among quite a few others, show that magic has been a fundamental part of the DC Universe for a very long time, and an essential one.

Superman’s one real vulnerability is magic. When Grant Morrison wrote JLA, Captain Marvel punched Superman out cold. Magic.

Keep the magic AND the scifi stuff. It’s a big enough Universe for both to coexist with some kool krossovers.

I always enjoy stories that mesh both science fiction and supernatural. This goes back to my days of Return To Castle Wolfenstein.

If a writer can fuse both in such a way that makes sense, then it cannot fail for a good base for story.

Having both in one setting is a distinctive trait of superhero stories that I like, but between the two I think I slightly prefer the sci-fi stuff. It depends on the specific element, though. Zatanna is awesome and I could not possibly in a million years care any less than I do about the Omega Men (original series or Tom King).

That said, Green Lantern, as the sort of “face” of DC’s sci-fi antics, is my second or third favorite “sub-franchise” in the DCU after the Bat-Family (which is comparatively grounded - not realistic by any means, but fairly minimal magic or superscience in most stories) and maybe the Justice League (which tends to skew towards sci-fi but has its share of magical stuff). So, on that basis, I think I prefer the sci-fi stuff.

Of course, things like the Emotional Spectrum are oddly mystical for what one would typically characterize as “science fiction.” Sufficiently advanced aliens and all that. Honestly, it’s kind of an arbitrary distinction. Sci-fi is just fantasy dressed up to resemble what we think of as technology. I guess you could say it’s somewhat constrained to vaguely plausible-sounding hypothetical technology, and yet comic book sci-fi will trot out things like Green Lantern Rings that don’t sound plausible at all, because comic book writers are even worse at science than other kinds of writers.