The final post in my latest list of weirdness, and it contains my sole foray into manga (I'm not a huge reader, sadly) and a representative from a well loved Wildstorm title.Part One (with some explanation on the whole thing)
, and Part Four
Before I go into details, just a point that was brought up a few times in my previous posts, and one that has a lot of validity. Quite a few of these characters have suffered from being underused, written out of character, and 'dumbed down'. This is not to say it doesn't happen to other characters, but genius characters do tend to have it harder than others, and there's a perfectly logical reason for that; writing characters who are much smarter than you is hard
. If you've got a genius scientist you can fake it a bit by demonstrating the results of their experiments without actually explaining how they got there, but if you want to be really authentic, you have to have them talk science. Same thing with a genius detective, there's only so long you can talk about what a great detective they are before you have to explain how
they made their brilliant deductions. And if you've got a brilliant con artist, it rather helps to show them outsmarting someone in a brilliant way.
If you're trying to write this and you're not actually a genius, this means that you are going to have to do research, consult people who are geniuses, or just spend hours logically working through something that your character will do in minutes. That's hard, and time consuming, and if you're working to a deadline it must be awfully tempting to cut corners, dumb down the character, or just plain use someone else instead.
So on one hand, I can't totally blame writers for not writing my favourites working to the best of their abilities, but on the other hand, it's really frustrating seeing how cool the character can be when written at their best and then having to settle for a mediocre portrayal from someone who doesn't have the time or inclination to put in the effort to write a genius as an actual genius. And believe me, when someone has
put in the effort you really can
Luckily, the last two characters do not generally suffer from this problem, possibly because they tended to be written by their creators (most of the time, anyway) and you can tell there is a genuine fondness there. Which is neat!( The oddest of odd geniuses! )
And that's it guys. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed. I'm going to put together an 'honourable mentions' post in a bit, but if anyone else has an favourite weird brainiacs that they enjoy, I encourage them to let others know about them. Character love is a wonderful thing to see :-).