So, recently I was inspired to try my hand at some superhero-themed fiction. I began looking over some recent titles out there, and I’m noticing something that concerns me; superheroes don’t seem to fight crime much.
Most titles I’ve seen these days fall into three categories:
Invasions. Huge military adventures wherein teams of heroes have to stop the city / nation / world from being taken over, and it’s handled in a largely military-story way.
What I’d hesitantly call ‘political wrangling’. Two teams of metahumans hold vastly black-and-white different views of some moral / political stance (often involving the rights of superbeings / mutants), and end up slugging it out with glee.
Retro stories. I -have- seem crime fighting, but it’s mainly in stories centered in alternate histories, or presents that are, ostensibly, how the world would be if 1950’s sci-fi (or occasionally steampunk) were how the current world was.
So… Why is this? I was wracking my brain, trying to come up with plausible, large-scale crime that superheroes could actively be working against, and I’ve come up blank; not because crime doesn’t exist, but because the current crop of comic books and the heroes within just don’t seem to have anything to do with actual crime that’s not some evil force targeting heroes or territories.
Am I wrong about this? Am I just not reading the right comics to find these things? And if I’m right, how does one write a modern superhero story that encapsulates crime fighting instead of the tropes above?