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Posted by G-Man (32612 posts) - - Show Bio

Superheroes are all about saving the world. One of the (many) problems we're facing is the shortage of natural resources. Think about when you go to the gas pump. Prices are (once again) slowly rising. What about the cost to travel by airplane? The price of a ticket has gone up yet most airlines now charge you for food and for checking in luggage.  

People need to travel. Whether it's for work or recreation, the need will always be there. Superheroes may be out saving the world on a daily basis by stopping supervillains, bankrobbers and muggers but what about the bigger picture? Couldn't they use their super-feats to do more than just stopping crime? It can't be a matter that they don't want to overstep the progress of mankind because they're interfering with daily events all the time. 

What could heroes do to solve the shortage of natural resources and high cost of fuel? 
== TEASER == 
If it's a matter of trying to drill in the right area, Superman could use his x-ray vision to figure out where the best locations were. There's usually the factor of disrupting the wildlife or natural environment at new drilling locations. Surely Superman could dig a proper path that wouldn't endanger any of the local residents that were sitting miles above any oil hotspots. 

Many heroes have a combination of super strength, speed and the ability to fly (or jump in cases like the Hulk). What if commuters or vacationers all boarded an airplane or ship and the hero simply carried them to their destination? Given their abilities, they could get the passengers to where they wanted to go faster than if traveling by plane. This would cut down on the use of fuel. The only modifications tha needed would be a way for passengers to withstand any supersonic speeds or turbulence that might occur. 

What about all the heroes with super-brains? Why hasn't Reed Richards come up with a solution by now? He did have a plan to solve everything before. We know that Tony Stark is trying to produce a new energy source with his Stark Resilient company that would absolve the need for fossil fuels. His first step was to design a car that doesn't run on gasoline. 

If you're thinking of saying that comics are just comics and reality doesn't have a role in them, I would argue with that. We have seen everyday and current events brought into comics, whether it's the tragedy of 9-11, wars in certain countries or even Lady GaGa references, we've seen the real world creep into comics. If the heroes truly want to be heroic, they should start looking at the bigger picture in trying to save the world (and making my flight from San Francisco to Chicago cheaper and faster).
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#1 Posted by leokearon (1790 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the idea of heroes helping the planet, but doesn't this bring up the age old hero problem of how much a hero should do without humanity becoming overdependant on them
#2 Posted by AFArtist1973 (113 posts) - - Show Bio

I believe that the superhero community is there for the protection of the population.  Granted, some of the biggest brains in the Marvel Universe tried their ideas and you can see where that ended up.  There are horror stories now for those characters, in other words, "the road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions."  That's what sparked their Civil War, Initiative, Dark Reign, and the Siege events.  Big Brains with ungodly amounts of power thinking that they know better than the people they're protecting.  
 
Giving the superheroes those jobs creates a labor force similar to the Initiative.  See where that got the Marvel Universe.
 
Marvel delves into the real world heavily, and it shows in the writing and the world they immerse themselves in.  DC doesn't put themselves into "real world solving" issues.  That also shows by their creation of fictional countries that are similar to the real world.  I think that is the better way.  Much like how the heroes of the DC WWII era didn't take Superman in every episode and stop Hitler or the real life evils out there.  It would belittle the efforts of the true big brains and innovators of the real world.   
 
I think in the movie "Superman Returns", Superman stated that "You say that the world doesn't need a savior, but everyday I hear people crying out for one."  In this, I can agree that Batman is right, you don't have a Superman do everything for them, because that would create a dependent humanity on the efforts of one man.  Mark that on the calendar, I agree with Batman.   
 
Humanity is full of smart, intelligent and imaginative people who can cure the ills of society without the most powerful of them doing it for them.  I can say this on opinion, we're better than that, and don't need Superheroes to solve every problem.   
 
My two cents...  Jim

#3 Posted by Billy Batson (57957 posts) - - Show Bio
yeah why not?
#4 Edited by dorsk188 (235 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd file this under: "Why Reed Richards cannot cure cancer."  If there's a gas crisis in real life, a gas crisis can be written into comics (for dramatic purposes).  If the comic universe becomes too idyllic, then it ceases to reflect our own world, and becomes less interesting.  Look at Watchmen's 1985.  With Manhattan's technological advances, the world is on a hydrogen economy.  It was great for an alternative 1985 with Nixon as President in a graphic novel, but in an ongoing series (especially a shared universe), there's value in limits to the improvements superheroes can make to their worlds. 
 
EDIT:  To be clear, I did not mean to imply that a President Nixon in his fourth term would be an improvement...

#5 Posted by Out_of_Space (720 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, they  should.

#6 Posted by Grim (2079 posts) - - Show Bio

.... i feel like both universes have kinda done it already. I mean, What the hell does the SHEILD hellicarrier run on? gas? hells no. That things been running on some sort of alien future tech since before Tony Got involved. And Lex Luthor has made a number of things that run on kryptonite. And both universes are absolutely chock full of small batteries that produce energy like nuclear fusion, transmitters that can contact people across the galaxy, and teleporters that can move groups of people around the world.
 i cant think of any instance where a gas or power shortage was really an issue. I mean, metropolis was a standing technical marvel after braniac's tech rebuilt the place. how could your city heal itself, and then still jack up the power grid?

#7 Posted by Staticoss (144 posts) - - Show Bio

yeah well, superman could just suck up all the CO2 to clean up the planet.....pffft, the whole global warming and greenhouse gas climate change, in my opinion, is a load of scare campaigns to keep us under the governments finger
#8 Edited by spider-man 2996 (660 posts) - - Show Bio

Lady Gaga in Spiderman. I think I see a team-up on the cards
#9 Posted by brvermee (31 posts) - - Show Bio

Superheroes carrying planes and things like that is totally unreal and not managable. The only plausible thing they could do, is use their superbreath to power electric windmills. Or those who can control water can use it to power hydroplants. Or captain atom can get rid of nuclear waste, like the French factory does, making nuclear energy clean. And much like nuclear submarines, you can create nuclear airplanes and trains. And if you have clean, carbonfree energie planes can fly and trains can drive even more then they do now, without the polluting.

#10 Posted by brvermee (31 posts) - - Show Bio
@Staticoss: we do need CO2 though
#11 Posted by Staticoss (144 posts) - - Show Bio
@brvermee:
exactly, that's why I think the whole rant is silly. I mean, if a coal fire blows up, all you get is a fire and some smog, however if a nuclear power plant goes into meltdown, it could practically turn off half the world
#12 Edited by brvermee (31 posts) - - Show Bio
@Staticoss: But how many coal fires would you need to generate enough power for almost  7 billion people. It's not only impossible because there isn't enough space on the earth (there isn't enough space to house people, and generate food even). And second, if you have to burn coal to generate energy, where would that coal keep comming from? We don't have trees in reserve. And considering the immense CO2 that comes along, but the excess could be removed by superman. But, does superman need to breath air? 
 
Where nuclear power only needs little space and little uranium
#13 Posted by SC (12966 posts) - - Show Bio

I think so yes, or rather than use their powers, at least have stories discussing them potentially using them, and the positive and negative effects their actions might have. We have an artificial universe created in the two big universes, but within most of the comic fictional shared universes, realism and relativity are high priorities and also almost fundamental aspects of the shared universe. Not in that we have all these strange characters with unrealistic powers, but we need an important reference for normality, so we actually know these characters are super, strange and so on. If such actual characters actually existed, well chances are their surroundings would look vastly different to ours. Just like our modern technology has made us different to people who lived over 200 years ago. We would also find our modern living changed dramatically if our technology today was transported 200 years ago. So in a way, would you rather live in our parallel universe with our technology was around 200 years prior to today? Or just go with what you have? Hell, other reality might have no negative aspects of racism, sexism, violence etc etc, or everyone might be dead killed 180 years ago? Which one would be more interesting for a story as well? Where is the line?  
 
Anyway, I don't Thor to announce with Storm that they spent a day using their powers and now the negative effects of global warming won't occur so just do whatever, Discussion might be nice though. No absolute answers either way. Should always depend I think on the story, writer and character. Some are bounded more by reality, others less, and often a lot of the ones less bound, tend to be more powerful and there fore more capable. So its a balancing act also in a shared universe. Doom and Thor have both taken over the planet and resources were bountiful under their rule. In stories limited to their own corners....

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#14 Posted by SupremoMaximo (209 posts) - - Show Bio

Isn't reliance on super powered individuals helping keep a country's infrastructure going the reason why Genosha eventually failed?

#15 Posted by RYU/BATMAN (388 posts) - - Show Bio

Not really. Natural resources could be saved by anyone. Leave that to normal humans, while the metas and heroes with no powers take care of an omega threat.

#16 Posted by DEGRAAF (7876 posts) - - Show Bio

yes they could. Stark seems to be doing a good job at it and Superman (and any hero with similar speed and strength) could self drill down to where the oil is and he could use his x-ray vision to find it. Idk if he has it in the canon version or not but in All-Star Superman he has a cosmic anvil that allows him to create solor systems for some kind of sun eater, he could create a sun that fits in your hand to power a city. Also You would think the Atom or Superman or Batman could replicate petroleum or a superior alternative. 
 
Obviously Superman's problem is that he refuses to get involved the major human decisions (so he says, his actions speak other wise). He doesnt want to alter how the human race lives bc he is afraid of changing their evolutionary path or something like that. 
 
Atom and Batman have no reason not to find an alternative. 
 
People argue that Superman is to powerful but the more powerful he is the more ability he has to do good and save the cosmos

#17 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

They should at least try!
Makes more relatable, if they do care about us, "mere humans" and the state of the world.
From a story pov.

#18 Edited by brvermee (31 posts) - - Show Bio

you won't save earth by finding more fossil fules

#19 Posted by Xenozoic Shaman (410 posts) - - Show Bio

They go to other planets all the time.  Wouldn't be a problem to bring some people there and setup shop.  I don't see why they'd need to worry about resources much.
 
Still, I agree with Dorsk188.  Their universal issues often mirror our own.

#20 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

I think some superheroes could BECOME natural resources

#21 Posted by SpectrumBlur (41 posts) - - Show Bio

The argument could be made that anything a super-intelligent comic character comes up with to help the world could be weaponized by a villain.  I remember in the Dark Reign crossover of Deadpool/Thunderbolts, that one of the tactics used by the T-Bolts against 'Pool was shooting him with anti-cancer bullets.  One of the Bolts even commented that only Osborn could weaponize the cure for cancer!

#22 Posted by NightFang (9985 posts) - - Show Bio
@Billy Batson said:
" yeah why not? "
#23 Posted by bringdeath (270 posts) - - Show Bio
@AFArtist1973:
Amazing post man.
#24 Posted by Radread (289 posts) - - Show Bio
@bringdeath: 

 
  Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne could have fixed the planet's problems years ago. Great article.
#25 Posted by karrob (4279 posts) - - Show Bio

I dont see why not

#26 Posted by Woerlan (17 posts) - - Show Bio

Look, so many superhero universes already have so many exotic power sources that don't rely on fossil fuels. Kryptonian sun crystal is more efficient than any terrestrial solar cell. Stark uses a still unexplained repulsor tech (or arc reactor tech, in the movies) to power his devices "indefinitely." So many alien or terran mad genius tech runs on cold fusion, antimatter, gravitic inversion or supercompact energy cells. And yet their worlds still use gasoline. 
 
It's a simple matter of writers not realizing that technology have applications other than stealing stuff, destroying lives and property, saving lives in immediate (not long term) peril or fighting the bad guys. They're too caught up with making action and drama stories without adding a subtext of how their tech or abilities can alter world paradigms. 
 
To put it in another way, most writers write superhero universes like this: Our world, but with guys in costumes. 
 
Stark's idea is something that's too long in coming. HEY REED, YOU MIGHT BE A GENIUS, BUT YOU'RE ALSO AN IDIOT. PAY ATTENTION.

#27 Posted by Paracelsus (1601 posts) - - Show Bio

Wouldn't this divert from their prime responsibility, fighting crime and supervillains?
 
Terry

#28 Posted by tigerex78 (147 posts) - - Show Bio

So instead of reading about superheroes defeating bad guys we get to watch them carry planes of passengers on vacation.  We get to see superman talk to geologists about drilling oil instead of fighting with Lex Luthor.  Sounds like those will sell like crazy.  The reason gas prices are going up is because of the turmoil in the Middle East where vast supplies of oil are to be found.  Anytime things go crazy there gas prices go up.  We do have plenty of places in the U.S. that have oil we just aren't drilling for it.  Geologists have come up with ways that are more environment friendly so we can still get the oil we need and have a minimal impact on the environment.  Your idea that there is an energy crisis is misinformed.  There is still a great amount of energy beneath our feet we are just not using it.  The places that are open for drilling will be producing millions of barrels of oil a day well into the next century.  The companies that get the oil out of the ground know this because of the geologists that work for them.  These ordinary people are very good at what they do.  There is no need for superheroes to come in and do it for them. As for the alternative energy sources they exist but are not yet economically viable right now.  They may be able to help reduce our consumption of things like coal and the like but they have yet to find an alternative energy source that is as cheap and efficient as what we are using right now.  In closing if Reed or Tony does come up with a new energy source how does that help us in the real world?
#29 Posted by goldenshot80 (7349 posts) - - Show Bio
@Radread said:
" @bringdeath:     Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne could have fixed the planet's problems years ago. Great article. "
ahh Pretty much
#30 Posted by bunkerbuster05 (305 posts) - - Show Bio

Reed Richards can make spaceships that travel to other worlds, and portals to other dimensions. Surely he can fix an oil problem.

#31 Posted by Joe Venom (1275 posts) - - Show Bio

What ever you do don't ask Adam Strange for any of his tech, he is very stingy with it but can never stop talking about it always Zeta-Beam this or Jet pack that ........................wish I had had a jet pack :(

#32 Posted by RazzaTazz (9611 posts) - - Show Bio

I think some comic book logic should apply here.  Is Superman really justified in having a job at the Daily Planet when there are thousands of better things he could be doing?  Probably not. 
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#33 Posted by dewboy01 (1876 posts) - - Show Bio

They should, just like right now in japan's earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear meltdowns.
#34 Posted by blaakmawf (187 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes. Save the Eurf!

#35 Edited by PrinceIMC (5421 posts) - - Show Bio

There has to be some people with superhuman powers who don't want to go out and fight bad guys. Sort of like the lawfirm that employed She-Hulk also employed shapeshifters as process servers and speedsters as couriers. There should be a teleporter or two out there who doesn't want to fight and just charges for their teleportation services. 
 
I also remember Thor gave humans a magic jewel that generates energy in order to replace a power plant but instead Tony took it and and made a Thor-buster armor with it.
#36 Edited by goldenkey (2927 posts) - - Show Bio

a higher standard of a topic.  Way to go.
#37 Posted by GraveSp (318 posts) - - Show Bio

Ozymandias did it with electric cars in the watchmen

#39 Posted by riotman (716 posts) - - Show Bio

The superheroes would be like it was fun while it lasted goodbye earth. They could go live on another planet.

#40 Posted by tbpinkfloyd (126 posts) - - Show Bio

There's also that time where Captain Cold created a glacier in the arid climate of (insert desert-like foreign country here) to provide them with water!

#41 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

Superheroes to save natural recources is good but reeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllllllllllyyyyyy boring.
#42 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio
@AFArtist1973 said:
" I believe that the superhero community is there for the protection of the population.  Granted, some of the biggest brains in the Marvel Universe tried their ideas and you can see where that ended up.  There are horror stories now for those characters, in other words, "the road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions."  That's what sparked their Civil War, Initiative, Dark Reign, and the Siege events.  Big Brains with ungodly amounts of power thinking that they know better than the people they're protecting.   Giving the superheroes those jobs creates a labor force similar to the Initiative.  See where that got the Marvel Universe. Marvel delves into the real world heavily, and it shows in the writing and the world they immerse themselves in.  DC doesn't put themselves into "real world solving" issues.  That also shows by their creation of fictional countries that are similar to the real world.  I think that is the better way.  Much like how the heroes of the DC WWII era didn't take Superman in every episode and stop Hitler or the real life evils out there.  It would belittle the efforts of the true big brains and innovators of the real world.    I think in the movie "Superman Returns", Superman stated that "You say that the world doesn't need a savior, but everyday I hear people crying out for one."  In this, I can agree that Batman is right, you don't have a Superman do everything for them, because that would create a dependent humanity on the efforts of one man.  Mark that on the calendar, I agree with Batman.    Humanity is full of smart, intelligent and imaginative people who can cure the ills of society without the most powerful of them doing it for them.  I can say this on opinion, we're better than that, and don't need Superheroes to solve every problem.    My two cents...  Jim "
Agree, accept that I like marvel being so close to the real world in locations and issue's it's heroes (namely the brains) tackle. At the end of the day heroes DO NOT need to solve the worlds everyday problems save that for the civilians, scientists, etc. The Authority dealt with that pretty well. It would only lead to a dependent population and a despotic ruling class.  
#43 Posted by Veidt (25 posts) - - Show Bio
@leokearon:  I agree with you buddy. Also there's the matter that we in real life should be able to deal with these problems by ourselves (it's not like we have any choice anyway) while, in comics, super-heroes should keep dealing with matters we simply humans don't have the means/powers to.
#44 Posted by Trodorne (2584 posts) - - Show Bio

Firestorm has the best chance to help the planet and its resources. he could turn a part of the dessert into fresh water. or he could re-arrange the atomic structure of dumps and turn them into ground or what ever. 
 
 In my eyes his powers alone could fix most of the worlds problems.

#45 Posted by CaptainRodgers (1656 posts) - - Show Bio


Well your right about heroes with strnegth , Superman could power America for like a year by going for a run .

Same with Flash , him on a Excercise bike could power the world .  
 
However the super brain thing , short of finding a new substance for them to find a way to reduce CO2 emitions and stuff like that , writers would first have to solve that problem for this world before they could use it in a comic :L

#46 Posted by GlenTennis (13 posts) - - Show Bio

 Pretty sure this guy could help.
#47 Posted by G-Man (32612 posts) - - Show Bio

It's weird that Storm doesn't do more to help those in Africa. I forget how this issue ends: 

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#48 Posted by midnightmare (98 posts) - - Show Bio
@Trodorne said:
"Firestorm has the best chance to help the planet and its resources. he could turn a part of the dessert into fresh water. or he could re-arrange the atomic structure of dumps and turn them into ground or what ever.    In my eyes his powers alone could fix most of the worlds problems. "

Exactly. And for those who think superheroes doing this kind os stuff would be boring, read wildcast v 2.0, where you see that heping the enviroment creates a lot of enemies. 
#49 Posted by kimeraevet (188 posts) - - Show Bio

We live in a world where alternative fuels such as algae biofuels are readily available and renewable forests can be grown easily. No one wants to spend the money to invest in the infrastructure. In comics, scientists give away their technology and the world's problems are so insignificant that superheroes can go beat up on the storyline of the moment. Superheroes have their place, but Bruce Wayne, Reed Richards and Tony Stark are scientists and inventors. They made their worlds better, but in their worlds' the natural resources aren't in danger, the human race is.

#50 Posted by Full_Spectrum (1539 posts) - - Show Bio

put the flash on a stationary bike. unlimited electricity!!  all world problems solved.