marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

history and the superpower

The thing about superpowers is that it's hard to project them too far back in time unless you want to change the world. Alternate history is generally close enough to history that you can recognize it.

All right, you could have them say that there were superpowers back in the dawn of history, thus explaining the myths of gods. But, if they were continuous to modern times, any serious number of superpowered people, or any number of people with serious power, would affect history. They would affect wars, famine, drought, flood -- possibly not for the better, but they would affect it. Functional gods floating about would, of course, have major effects on religion -- their manifest human flaws being part of the effect.

If superpowers first appear in the 20th century, you can discuss how the manifest inequality would affect democracy, since if you can't coerce them, the superpowered do not have to accept the judgment of the majority. But early would raise serious questions about whether democracy could arise at all.
Tags: genre: alternate history, genre: superheroes, politics, world-building: deities, world-building: law, world-building: religion
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