With the news that the latest incarnation of Valiant Comics is about to relaunch its family of superheroes in a new cinematic universe, the question has to be asked, can NYC absorb even more superheroes than it already has? Because no matter what each comic universe is called they’re still all NYC. Why is that?
Historically all the the comic book companies were originally in NYC and the cartoonists lived here as well, so they all drew what they knew, huge skyscrapers, huge bridges, huge gardens. But there is a deeper reason. Any story you can think of can be fitted into NYC because it contains all stories. Any evil genius or caped crusader imagineable already lives in the place and is part of the fabric of NYC life.
NYC basically has all the props, the skyscrapers to swing from, sewers to skulk in, huge crowds to be menaced or rescued, incredible wealth to be splashed around, a distinctive and amazing energy that allows amazing things to happen, opulence that is unimaginable, poverty that tugs at the heart strings, organized crime which is horrific, heroic first responders who die rather than let anyone suffer, all those people and all these things are part of NYC.
So right from the beginning it was a tradition to locate superheroes in NYC and that tradition has continued not matter what the comic city is called. Often it’s not called New York but whether it’s Gotham or Metropolis all the visual reference points of NYC are there: the distinctive skyline and the tall, tall skyscrapers. Watch the short Spiderman video, Spiderman explicitly lives in NYC but so does every superhero, he’s got plenty of company.
So come on Valiant comics lay it on us, DC and Marvel Comics have already populated the place, but why not join the party. And Marvel is now saying it will collapse it’s two comic universes into a brand new one in May 2015. But you know what, not matter what each of the comic publishers some up with, they’re still all New York City, the place where it all happens. Is there any other city in the universe where you can do a Superhero Walking tour and know that it is real? No you can’t.