Superheroes have always had their generic roots in the twin fields of sci-fi and fantasy. A man arrives from space with great powers, a princess is given gifts from her gods as she goes out to explore the world, a millionaire fights crime with the aid of super-science gadgets, and so on. But over time, superhero fiction developed its own tropes, and left its forebears behind.
To celebrate that seemingly forgotten tradition of taking these characters out of their comfort zones, we've assembled this gallery of fantasy interpretations of your favorite superheroes. This is the best fantasy-inspired superhero art.
Q: Why did What Ifs and Elseworlds use to be so popular? And why don't we see them much anymore? -- @TheKize
A: I don't want to reject your premise outright since I think you're onto something here, but I also think it's worth pointing out that we're not exactly suffering from a lack of alternate-continuity stories, either. Multiversity, Convergence and Secret Wars were all based at least partially on the idea of exploring and playing around with the same kind of stories that didn't quite happen. If, however, you're talking about those specific brands, the What If books and the Elseworlds imprint that showed up on so many comics, then you're right.
For the most part, I think it just comes down to a simple swing of the pendulum back from oversaturation. There were a ton of those stories, and as is usually the case with these things, publishers just decided to put 'em away for a while. But there's another reason, too, and it has a lot to do with why so many of those stories exist in the first place.
Frank Miller's Holy Terror, Batman! goes on sale this week after a long and strange journey from initial concept to finished graphic novel. When first imagined, the book was a story of Batman fighting Al-Qaeda titled Holy Terror, Batman...
Last week, DC announced that just over a year after his "death" at the hands (well, eyebeams) of Darkseid in "Final Crisis," Bruce Wayne will be returning next April in a time-travel epic by Grant Morrison that sees Batman as a caveman, a pirate, a cowboy, and a noirish private eye...
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