WQRobb asks, (an excerpt from his comment) "Is there a way to communicate what you are trying to do? Sort of an "Appendix N" of Superhero gaming?"
"There's a blog post idea...", he suggests. It's a great suggestion. Actually, it's a challenge.
The Initiative: Superhero RPG Appendix N Blog Challenge
I challenge you, the Superhero RPG GM, and/or player, to list between 5 and 10 Superhero comic books, and 5 to 10 Superhero live action or animated shows or films, that typify your style of Superhero RPG campaign.
Minimum is 5. Maximum is 10. This means you have to really think about the ones that best embody the type of Supers gaming you prefer. Who's up for the challenge?
Barking Alien's Superhero RPG Appendix N:
Superhero Comic Books (Including series, collections and graphic novels):
Astro City - Especially Confession, Local Heroes and Shining Stars
(Various publishers, Currently DC Comics, 1995-Present) By Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross
Green Lantern (DC Comics, 1970-1987) By Various - Not always a continuous series
Justice (DC Comics, 2005-2007), By Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Doug Braithwaite
Marvels (Marvel Comics, 1994) By Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross
The All-Star Squadron (DC Comics, 1981-1985) By Roy Thomas, and Various
The Avengers (Marvel Comics, 1970-1979) By Various
The Legion of Superheroes (DC Comics, 1974-1989) Paul Levitz era primarily
The New Frontier (DC Comics, 2004) by Darwyn Cooke*
The New Teen Titans (DC Comics, 1980-1984) By Marv Wolfman and George Perez
The X-Men (Marvel Comics, 1975-1980) By Len Wein, Dave Cockrum, Chris Claremont and John Byrne.
Superhero Non-Comic Book Media (Including films, animated TV series, games, etc.):
Batman: The Animated Series (Warner Bros., 1992-1995), Animated TV series
City of Heroes (NCSoft, 2004-2012) MMORPG By Cryptic Studios
Justice League/Justice League Unlimited (Warner Bros., 2001-2006) Animated TV series
Superman/Superman II (Warner Bros., 1978 & 1980) By Mario Puzo/Richard Donner
Superman: The Animated Series (Warner Bros., 1996-2000) Animated TV series
Teen Titans (Warner Bros., 2003-2006) Animated TV series
The Greatest American Hero (ABC Television, 1981-1983) By Stephen J. Cannell
The Incredibles (Pixar, 2004) By Brad Bird - Best Superhero Film Ever Made
Villains & Vigilantes (Fantasy Games Unlimited, 1979, 1982) RPG by Jeff Dee and Jack Herman
I'm a little short of 10 for the non-comic book, comic book Superhero media list because, quite frankly, I don't feel there were ever that many films, movies and games that got it exactly right.
Now bare in mind, I am not talking about getting Superheroes in general right. No, no. Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man, the Champions RPG, etc., are all awesome examples of the genre.
This is the Appendix N for the type of game I want to run, the type of Superhero themes, settings and styles I am trying to emulate.
I loved Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, the (early) Wild Card anthology novels, and of course, DC's Kingdom Come (perhaps my favorite, all-time Superhero story). However, those deconstructed tales of what's wrong with the concept of Superheroes in a post-modern world are not the kinds of stories I am looking to tell right now.
Think I overlooked something? Disagree with one of my picks? I would love to see yours!
Up, up and away,
*There is also an animated film version of New Frontier. I highly recommend it.