Presentation: The Death of the Superhero (retrospective re-presentation of a 2018 talk)

In November 2018, I presented some thoughts on the integrated history of American comics and the early superhero role-playing games. Briefly:

  • The period from 1968 through the very late 1970s was marked by unusual ownership, editorial, and creative circumstances. This period’s comics provided the foundation for the development of early superhero RPGs like Villains & Vigilantes and Champions.
  • First-generation Champions displays many design and play features which correspond to the comics of this period, especially the open-ended, unmonitored, and unplanned aspects of authorship.
  • This period came to an abrupt and discontinuous end for both comics and games.

This presentation uses the slides from the original with today’s thoughts, including the experience of having completed Champions Now.

See also my Comics Madness post, A fearful symmetry is born, for recent applications of these ideas.


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